171 Main St., 2nd Fl.
Hackensack, NJ 07601
The new Net2Fax service from Net2Phone offers PC-to-fax functionality in a simple
software package. The service allows users to send faxes to any fax machine in the world
through the Internet, by signing up at the Net2Phone Web site. Users can fax from
virtually any PC platform without multimedia capability, and can send fax broadcasts to
multiple recipients through the service. Faxes travel over IP, then through the Net2Phone
network to the recipient fax machine.
Faxes are sent via an interface on the desktop, or directly through a PC program. The
Interactive Information center on Net2Phone's Web site allows users to check their account
activity and calling and billing details. The company has made an agreement to incorporate
Open Port Technology's fax client and server software to help power the solution. For more
information or to sign up for the service, visit Net2Phone's Web site at www.net2phone.com.
FAXport Version 7.0
LANSource Technologies, Inc.
21 Randolph Ave., 4th Fl.
Toronto, ON Canada
The FAXport LAN server solution is a 32-bit fax messaging system geared toward Windows
95/98/NT, and allows users to fax-enable almost any Windows application. Using a
load-balancing process, FAXport shares work between the client and server for optimum CPU
utilization and a reduction of network traffic. It offers real-time confirmation of
inbound and outbound faxes, and inbound traffic is routed to a user's desktop. Broadcast
faxing is also enabled through the server.
Faxes may be routed to recipients through administrative routing, direct inward dialing
(DID), dual tone modular frequency (DTMF), port/line routing, calling station
identification, dialed number identification systems, and area number identification
service. Other features include an enhanced fax image viewer, a security module for
setting permissions for users, and local and remote administration. FAXport can also
convert fax databases into phonebooks using OBDC or MAPI. For more information, visit the
LANSource Web site at www.lansource.com.
RightFAX, version 6.0
6303 E. Tanque Verde Rd., Ste. 200
Tucson, AZ 85715
RightFAX's RightFAX, version 6.0 fax server family has four different NT-based
products to suit a variety of needs within the enterprise. The RightFAX, RightFAX
Enterprise, RightFAX Enterprise Suite, and RightFAX Satellite Server offer easy
maintenance and administration, and may be integrated with Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.
The new version offers the RightFAX Enterprise Fax Manager (EFM), for simultaneous,
centralized management of all servers on the network through an Explorer-like interface.
Additional new features include paging and alerting support, so that users can get
short messages and pages to be informed that a fax has arrived, fax sending failures, and
new fax notification via Caller Subscriber Identification (CSID) or Automatic Number
Identification (ANI). Server-side application conversion for Office 97/2000 documents is
also included, as well as redundancy and load balancing, and a feature to maximize
hardware in clustered server configurations.
800 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453
The UltiFax IP fax platform from UltiVerse offers a migration path for existing, legacy
fax machines. Using a standard data or phone connection, the server may be seamlessly
connected to fax machines, telephones, networks, or the Internet through a Microsoft
Exchange architecture that utilizes Microsoft Message Queues (MSMQ). It offers a single
message and directory store, and routes faxes and e-mail through MAPI and an enhanced
print-to-fax driver. The server provides up to 96 ports of fax connectivity.
A personalized inbox system can convert e-mail to fax format and vice versa. Messages
may also be sent and received remotely, and UltiFax offers secure messaging through
password-protected inboxes. Cost tracking and billing features allow companies to
calculate fax costs and perform real-time billing. Other features include remote network
administration, outbound queuing for backup when Exchange fails, and fault recovery. For
additional information, visit the company's Web site at www.ultiverse.com.
FaxStorm Internet Fax System
28 Crosby Dr.
Bedford, MA 01730
Netcentric's FaxStorm Internet Fax System allows subscribers to set up unique accounts,
send and receive faxes, and access status information. The carrier-class IP fax system is
compatible with HTTP, SMTP, and SNMP, and is geared toward large network service
providers, allowing for easy integration with back-office systems, and the ability to sell
wholesale services through ISPs.
The software is made up of a management server, which provides system management
through configuration, account, and customer care managers; a messaging server for hosting
subscribers- accounts, providing user authentication, and collecting transaction
information; a telephony server for PSTN-to-IP transmissions; and user access software
which offers the option to fax from a desktop, e-mail, or traditional fax machine. For
more information, visit Netcentric's Web site at www.netcentric.com.
100 Crossing Blvd.
Framingham, MA 01702-5406
The NaturalFax/AG 4000 fax boards from Natural MicroSystems offer a high-density, low
cost-per-port PCI platform for fax-over-IP deployment. The 4000 family of T1/E1 boards may
be configured for up to 4,000 MIPS, and support ISDN and digital channel associated
signaling (CAS). The boards also offer IVR functionality, switching, and fax-over-IP
applications. The boards use the TMS 320C549 DSP chip from Texas Instruments with a 486
CPU controller chip for processing efficiency.
The 4000 digital interface board offers from eight to 120 intelligent fax ports on an
open platform. The CT Access development software from Natural MicroSystems allows for
open application programming through unified API and development tools, for simple
development of multimedia and call control functions. The platform is compatible with the
T.37 standard for store-and-forward fax, as well as the T.38 real-time fax standard. For
additional information, visit the Natural MicroSystems Web site at www.nmss.com.
Enterprise Messaging Services (EMS)
905 Airport Rd., Ste. 300
West Chester, PA 19380
The itelfacs family of IP fax products and services allows businesses to reduce
expenses through better management of their fax activities. Through the itelfacs family,
users can send and receive faxes as e-mail messages, send faxes to an individual PC, and
retrieve faxes from anywhere in the world. Users may also create cover pages and maintain
their own set of distribution lists, fax numbers, and broadcast fax lists.
The product family is made up of the itelfacsENVOY, a transmission system for sending
faxes over IP; itelfacsANYWHERE, a subscription service for remote retrieval of faxes via
the Internet; and itelfacsDISPATCH, software so users may send faxes using their PCs, over
IP or the PSTN. With the itelfacsANYWHERE service, businesses can allocate unlimited
telephone numbers (through EMS) so users will have their own incoming fax numbers. For
more information, visit the EMS Web site at www.emessages.com
Intisoft Communications Corp.
4261-A14 Hwy. #7, Ste. 277
Unionville, ON L3R 9W6 Canada
The FaxTop peripheral accessory for fax machines enables IP faxing from traditional fax
machines. FaxTop allows users to continue using their current fax setups, while routing
calls over the Internet for cost savings. The product features proprietary network
congestion control for use even when network traffic is heavy, and uses encryption for
security, and signing to add a digital signature to fax messages.
FaxTop is compatible with Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer/Outlook
through S/MIME, and can interface with a G3 fax machine through a standard, RJ-11
connection. Additional features include immediate failure reports, an e-mail address book,
fax storage of up to 40 pages, and fax directory lookup through LDAP and Microsoft ILS.
For additional information, visit Intisofts Web site at www.intisoft.com
5401 Tech Circle
Moorpark, CA 93021
The ChannelGauge hardware and software testing system from Genoa Technology has a simple
GUI for analyzing voice and fax traffic over digital lines. The interface offers a matrix
of channel versus time periods for synchronizing calls and testing over multiple lines.
The system also features a Batch Job Editor for executing separate test patterns and
groups of patterns that simulate real traffic.
The system is scalable, and the network interface for T1/E1 may be configured for any
switching protocol. Voice and fax testing may be done on all lines, and a ratio of voice
and fax tests per session may be set. The ChannelGauge Result Analyzer and Statistical
Report Generator offer an overall view of system operation, and results are presented by
volume, channel, and protocol. For more information, visit Genoas Web site at www.gentech.com
Vodavi Communication Systems, Inc.
6961 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Norcross, GA 30092
For simple delivery of faxes from one fax system to another via the Internet,
Vodavi offers the PathFinder platform. The PathFinder is a Windows NT-based platform, and
runs fax delivery along with voice mail, and automated attendant. It features voice
prompting for usage, and provides billing reports, and access control through account
numbers and PINs. The platform also supports unlimited multi-node networks.
The product can receive a fax from any fax machine, and deliver it to another
Pathfinder system anywhere in the world via IP. The receiving server will then access a
local line to deliver the fax to the destination machine.
The PathFinder platform offers more than 100 ports with features like multi-lingual
prompting, store-and-forward faxing, fax-on-demand, and integration with major PBXs. The
fax capability is sold as an add-on to the basic platform. For more information, visit
Vodavis Web site at www.vodavi.com.
GTE IP Fax
3 Van de Graaff Dr.
P.O. Box 3073
Burlington, MA 01803
GTEs IP Fax service lets companies outsource their fax services, using GTEs
Global Network Infrastructure (GNI) for quality faxing over IP. Customers install GTE
client software for sending point-to-point and broadcast faxes directly from the desktop
from any Windows application. Faxes are sent over GTEs high-speed, managed
data network to fax machines or desktops. Users can also track progress and delivery
status from the desktop, and the software features several automatic retries if the fax is
not delivered the first time.
Faxes may be received in a Web-based inbox, or through any Web connection for remote
access. Users are assigned a direct inward dialing number for their inbox for secure
transmission, and faxes may be forwarded from an in-box to a fax machine or e-mail
account. They may also be saved as files or printed. For more information, visit GTE
Internetworkings Web site at www.bbn.com.
22900 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 175
Woodland Hills CA, 91364
This software server from ProtoNet allows a standard PC with a modem to become a
fax and pager server. ProtoFax 3.1 will run on Windows 95/98/NT, and allows fax delivery
and alphanumeric pages from the Internet to be delivered through e-mail, the Web, or a
Windows application. The software supports HTML 3.2, and allows automation of incoming Web
orders for e-commerce efficiency. It also offers an intelligent fax queue for fast
broadcasting capability, and integration with proxy servers and firewalls for security.
ProtoFax 3.1 may be installed using standard hardware, and will run on an existing
server as an IP fax gateway. Other features include the ability to retrieve e-mail from
any existing account and deliver via fax to anywhere in the world. The software also
includes a free print driver for faxing from Windows applications on client workstations.
For additional information, visit ProtoNets Web site at www.protonet.com.
Smith Micro Software, Inc.
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
The new HotFax 4.0 from Smith Micro Software offers a broad range of IP faxing features,
including the ability to act as a personal office manager for fax, paging, and voice mail.
The softwares Internet fax feature allows 3D FaxFile (50:1) compression of
information, with immediate decompression on the receiving end. The new Fax Merge feature
allows users to integrate separate faxes into one fax for time and cost savings. The
product comes with a cover page designer, as well as fax management and logging
capabilities. HotFax also features automated archiving for sent and received faxes, as
well as automatic forwarding of received faxes if necessary. It maintains fax and data
phonebooks for single-click faxing from any application.
The software is wireless, cellular compatible, and supports calling card dialing,
distinctive ring, and caller ID. Other features include fax annotation and drag-and-drop
faxing, optical character recognition (OCR), instant faxing through the QuickFax feature,
and the ability to send failed faxes directly from the send fax log. HotFax may be
integrated with a Microsoft Exchange phonebook, and also supports OLE, TAPI, and MAPI. For
more information, visit Smith Micros Web site at www.smithmicro.com.
Biztrans Technology, Inc.
7432 Alban Station Blvd., Ste. B226
Springfield, VA 22150
The FaxAnywhere service from Biztrans Technology allows PC documents to be transmitted to
any standard fax machine throughout the world. The service allows faxing from Microsoft
Office documents, e-mail programs, and basically anything that can be printed within a
Windows program. The installation software enables a PC to automatically dial the
FaxAnywhere Fax Server to send and receive faxes, and use the FaxAnywhere print driver to
send from Windows applications.
The server confirms delivery status via e-mail, and will send a monthly bill invoice to
customers via e-mail or on hard copy. Customers are charged only for faxes that were
successfully delivered. A 386 processor is the minimum hardware requirement to use the
service, and customers must also have Windows 95/98/NT. For more information, visit the
Biztrans Web site at www.biztrans.com
8160 Baymeadows Way West, Ste. 220
Jacksonville, FL 32256
The FaxJack routing device from MegaHertz-NKO directs domestic long-distance and
international fax transmissions to a destination fax machine in real time, using the
companys NKOnet network. Call completion is ensured by the fail-safe connectivity
feature built into each FaxJack, and the destination machine does not need to have a
The FaxJack can work in tandem with the companys FaxJet service, which allows
customers to route their faxes over the NKO network without changing their long-distance
providers. Fax quality is assured since the companys network handles data
transmission exclusively, and digital error correction is provided. Other features include
usage information reporting, and the ability to fax without dialing extra numbers or
changing a fax machines configuration. For more information, visit the MegaHertz-NKO
Web site at www.nko.com.
TR 114 Series
Brooktrout Technology, Inc.
410 First Ave.
Needham, MA 02494
Brooktrouts TR 114 Series of fax boards offer advanced fax and voice
processing for fax transmission and reception, voice recording and playback, call
progress, and DTMF detection and generation. Advanced fax features include 14.4 Kbps
transmission, error correction mode, MMR compression, and T.434-compliant binary file
transfer. Digital configurations are available in two-, four-, and eight-channel boards,
which have MVIP or PEB interfaces. The boards are also available in two- and four-channel
analog, featuring loop-start or on-board DID telephone interfaces.
The TR 114 Series boards feature one integrated CISC and DSP processor per channel, and
one MB of RAM standard per channel, with another MB optional. They are compliant with the
ITU T.30 fax standard, and feature on-the-fly image conversion and handling for ASCII,
PCX/DCX, TIFF-F, MR, MH, and MMR documents. For additional information, visit
Brooktrouts Web site at www.brooktrout.com
3255-3 Scott Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Castelles FaxPress servers offer the ability to send faxes from Windows applications
like Microsoft Office, Lotus SmartSuite, and Microsoft Exchange/Outlook. The servers also
integrate with other e-mail packages, for flexible, scalable routing of fax documents over
the Internet. The standalone FaxPress servers do not require fax modem boards, software,
or even a dedicated PC, and the system comes with independent hardware. Inbound faxes are
delivered directly to the desktop via DID, ISDN, T.30 sub-addressing, DTMF, line group
routing, and manual routing.
The servers come in four models: The OfficeConnect Fax Server, which features one fax
line for less than 50 users; the FaxPress 1500-N, featuring one to two lines for less than
100 users; the FaxPress 3500, with two to four lines for an unrestricted number of users,
and the FaxPress 5000, with four to eight lines. All models integrate with GoldMine sales
automation software, and feature support for the T.4 and T.30 fax standards. For more
information, visit Castelles Web site at www.castelle.com
2275 Research Blvd., Ste. 320
Rockville, MD 20850
The Fax2Net service offers a reliable means of sending and receiving international faxes
over the Internet and other digital networks. The service is made up of a call router,
which connects a fax machine or modem to a telephony jack, and routes long-distance fax
calls to a local Fax2Net server. The router also detects customer access information for
each call, for added security.
The Fax2Net fax servers are located throughout the world, and route transmissions to
and from the services customers, who use the Fax2Net desktop setup for Windows
95/98/NT. The servers also compress and decompress information for speedy transmission. A
database clearinghouse acts as the central repository for all network traffic information,
and offers account billing information, traffic monitoring, and statistical data. It is
also used to maintain and update system configurations. For more information, visit
Fax2Nets Web site at www.fax2net.com
98 North Washington St.
Boston, MA 02114
The FaxMission 3.0 faxing software from FaxNet Corporation offers free inbound faxes sent
as attachments to an existing e-mail account. Faxes may be viewed with a standard fax
viewer, forwarded, stored, or printed. Outbound faxes may be sent to a fax number or
e-mail address, along with multiple attachments from various Windows applications.
Broadcast faxing is also enabled, as well as mail merge and real-time Web-based status
Faxes may be redirected to a fax machine via an Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system,
and delivery notification reports are sent via e-mail. The outbound faxing software
requires a LAN or dial-up connection to the Internet, and an Intel 486/66 Pentium
processor or faster. TCP/IP and an e-mail application are also required to use the e-mail
features. For more information, visit FaxNets Web site at www.faxnet.net
FaxLauncher Pro 1.1
NetMoves Corporation (formerly FaxSav)
399 Thornall St.
Edison, NJ 08837
The FaxLauncher Pro 1.1 software from NetMoves offers the ability to send a fax from a PC
to any fax machine in the world via IP. Faxes are delivered through an existing Internet
connection, and the software offers broadcast fax capabilities through a PC, or via the
companys EZ-List Broadcast Services for sending high-volume faxes to just about
any-sized list. FaxLauncher also features automatic retries for busy signals, fax status
checking, the ability to edit, resend, or redirect a sent fax, and offline queuing of
Customers pay only for successful delivery of faxes, and the software also features
account codes for tracking costs by department, person, or project. Multiple documents may
also be combined for more efficient faxing. FaxLauncher is compatible with Windows 98, and
features a cover-page designer, address book importing, and the ability to import TIFF
files. Other features include being able to resend individual faxes that were part of a
group list, and breaking up group faxing results into successful and unsuccessful folders.
For additional information, visit the NetMoves Web site at www.netmoves.com
IPLaunchPad Fax Suite
Open Port Technology
676 N. St. Clair St., Ste. 900
Chicago, IL 60611
Open Port bundles its Fax Suite with the IP LaunchPad platform, so that service providers
can offer new and enhanced services through an out-of-the-box application. The software
suite allows customers to fax from a fax machine, PC, e-mail application, or Web client
over IP. The IP LaunchPad Fax Client may also be used for Windows-based faxing,
with an interface similar to Microsoft Outlook. The Fax Suite includes broadcasting
ability, the ability to fax to a never busy fax mailbox, designated by an
assigned DID number, and fax on demand.
The Fax Suite can interface with other faxing applications that support the T.30 and
T.37 fax protocols. It offers built-in intelligence with least-cost routing, and
management of transaction costs including load balancing, PSTN termination charges, and
bandwidth allocation. Switch-based redirection is also featured, in which the software
intercepts a call and uses intelligent network redirection to forward it to IP LaunchPad
for least-cost delivery. For more information, visit Open Ports Web site at www.openport.com
Panasonic Office Products Company
2 Panasonic Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
The Panafax DX-1000 from Panasonic allows seamless com-munication between fax machines and
desktops, for standard or desktop IP faxing. The product uses the T.37 standard, as well
as universal e-mail protocols like TCP/IP, POP3, SMTP, and MIME forsending paper-based
documents as TIFF-F e-mail attachments among PCs and fax machines - to promote secure,
The DX-1000 can route G3 faxes to recipients- e-mail inboxes, if they are sent with a
sub-address from any sub-address-compatible G3 fax machine. Desktop faxing may be
performed from any PC application, as long as the free Panasonic TIFF-Converter and mail
linking software for MAPI is in-stalled. The machine also operates as a 400 dpi network
scanner for creating TIFF-F image files, which are sent to a PC as e-mail attachments. IT
can also act as a local network printer if the downloadable printer driver and line
printer remote software is installed. For additional information, visit Panasonic's Web
site at www.panasonic.com
3 Hayarden St.
P.O. Box 76
Yavne, 70600 Israel
For real-time IP fax services, ArelNet offers the i-Tone carrier-class gateway
for transfer of voice and data. The i-Tone supports real-time fax-to-fax, e-mail-to-fax,
fax broadcasting, and Web-based faxing services, as well as store-and-forward services. It
also enables voice over data services. Faxing may be done from Win-dows applications, in
addition to faxing through e-mail or a Web interface. The i-Tone is H.323 compliant, and
offers packet recovery algorithms for compatibility with third-party destination systems.
Other features include efficient network utilization, least-cost routing, advanced
billing capabilities, and high resiliency and redundancy. The gateway also offer remote
administration, encryption, and authentication, as well as seamless network management.
It uses error correction on IP packets, and offers basic spoofing of fax machines to
make up for dropped packet recover delays and IP network jitter. The T.30 fax standard is
also supported. For additional information, visit ArelNet's Web site at www.arelnet.com.
Impact Fax Server 3.01
Black Ice Software, Inc.
292 Route 101
Amherst, NH 03031
The Impact Fax Server 3.01 from Black Ice Software enables e-mail-to-fax and fax-to-e-mail
capability, as well as the option to use a Web browser as the client for accessing
messages. Incoming faxes are forwarded directly to an e-mail address, while outgoing
messages are sent to the server through fax or e-mail. The server integrates with
Microsoft Exchange or Outlook and provides a universal mailbox for fax and e-mail.
Other features include inbound routing through DID, DTMF, and subaddressing, as well as
an advanced TIFF viewer with an annotation and cover page generator. Users may also keep a
phonebook, and can send broadcast faxes, or automatically print incoming faxes. The Impact
Fax Server works with Class 1, Class 2, or Class 2.0 modem and fax boards from Brooktrout,
Dialogic, Natural MicroSystems, and Gammalink. Remote administration is enabled, and an
activity montior creates usage reports and offers real-time status information. For more
information, visit the Black Ice Web site at www.blackice.com
Fax Sr. Enterprise
8 Industrial Way
Salem, NH 03079
The Fax Sr. Enterprise system from OmTool allows companies to automate their fax
communications from the desktop over IP. The Fax Sr. Server receives and routes inbound
faxes, and handles acceptance, prioritizing, queuing, and sending options for outbound
faxes. It runs on Windows NT, UNIX, or the VMS server operating system, and can be
administered from Windows 95/98/NT. The Fax Sr. Client allows users to create, send, or
receive faxes from a Windows or Mac desk-top, or from any Web browser.
The system also offers components for interfacing the fax server with Microsoft
Exchange, Lotus Notes, and enterprise e-mail systems, for an integrated messaging
platform. It also offers a native gateway to interface with SAP R3 and R4 systems, in
addition to APIs for use by resellers, IT professionals, and integrators for creation of
custom interfaces between the fax server and existing applications. For more information,
visit OmTool's Web site at www.omtool.com.
Interstar Technologies, Inc.
5835 Verdun Ave., Ste. 302
Montreal, QC H4H 1M1 Canada
Interstar's LightningFAX v6.5 fax server software works with Windows NT, Sun
Solaris, or AIX, and may be used with one or several fax boards for handling up to 960 fax
lines per server, and three million fax messages at a time. LightningFAX servers
communicate over IP and feature load balancing, redundancy, and LCR control for an
e-commerce fax solution. The software integrates with other Windows applications for
easy-to-use faxing, and users may have multiple phone books and personalized user
settings. Detailed fax logs may also be archived and exported.
Other features of the software include automatic archiving of faxes, and an
auto-switching backup system. A secure client/server architecture allows only authorized
users to access the server, and the administrator may grant three levels of access rights
to users. A graphical fax monitor is used for queue management, and features real-time
status reporting and fax priority transmission scheduling. Batch file faxing is also
enabled, as well as fax routing for the enterprise through DID, DATMF, DNIS, line, or
channel transmission. For more information, visit the Interstar Web site at www.faxserver.com
DM3 IPLink Release 3
1515 Route Ten
Parsippany, NJ 07054
Release 3 of Dialogic's DM3 IPLink IP telephony boards enables real-time fax over IP
through a firmware download of the GDK 4.0 software development kit. The boards, which
feature densities of four to 60 ports for PCI and CompactPCI, run on Windows NT, UnixWare
7, and Sun Solaris. They are used as a development platform for fax over IP, and support
Ethernet connectivity, media stream processing, and a PSTN interface on one card. The DM3
IPLink boards are H.323 compliant, and support the T.38 fax protocol.
Developers may put up to four DM3 series boards in a single chassis, for up to 120
ports of fax connectivity in four PCI slots. Based on Dialogic's mediastream architecture,
the boards support T.30 features, and advanced compression schemes and modem speeds for
sending and receiving - on 24 or 30 channels. They also allow for enhancements like color
faxing, and support of V.34 for 28.8 Kbps fax transmission. For additional information,
visit Dialogic's Web site at www.dialogic.com.
Get With The Program - Outsource Your Fax
Machine And Your Fax Business
BY GORDON BURNES
Relying on traditional fax machines costs companies a fortune. Surprised? For many
companies, fax communications constitute hundreds of thousands, or even millions of
dollars per year. Most companies are deeply invested in the fax business, paying for all
infrastructure and business costs associated with this communication medium.
In isolation, these costs seem relatively insignificant when compared with the
importance of the individual documents transmitted. However, viewed in its totality,
faxing is a substantial investment of resources that can be redirected to the
companys core business.
Research and analysis of faxing costs otherwise known as the total cost of fax
(TCOF) offer data that varies depending on a companys size. The examples
below will demonstrate the dynamics of per-page fax costs, as well as show surprisingly
For most companies, the TCOF breaks down into two categories. Hard costs include
transmission/-yield, connectivity, hardware, and support and supplies. Soft costs comprise
security and fraud, efficiency, reporting and control, and confidentiality.
Most would say the cost of sending a fax is equal to corporate long-distance
phone charges. While this is a component, it is by no means the most significant cost of
being in the fax business. Today, many large corporations enjoy long-distance rates of six
cents per minute, with international rates continuing to decrease. With a 75/25 split of
domestic and international fax traffic, it can be assumed that corporations spend an
average of between 12 cents and 18 cents per page on transmission costs (based on a
transmission rate of 45 seconds per page).
The other component of transmission costs is equal to the yield specifically, on
any given fax transmission, as some pages may not transmit successfully on the first try,
either as the result of a paper jam, interruption during the transmission, or an error
condition at the receiving end. This inefficient yield invariably results in higher
The second, most-easily identifiable cost is connectivity. Most fax machines require a
dedicated analog phone line. At an average corporate rate of $16 per month, if a given fax
machine sends five pages an hour, every hour during the work week, that equates to 800
pages per month or about 2 cents per page. Additionally, faxing also incurs an operational
cost, which oftentimes is difficult to identify and allocate (e.g. set up, moving,
administering dedicated phone lines, etc.).
Similarly, the cost of the physical fax machine must be amortized over the total number
of pages faxed. Assuming the average corporate fax machine costs $600 and lasts three
years, using the traffic patterns from the example above would add another two cents per
page, excluding maintenance or service contracts which add to the annual cost.
Finally, supplies such as toner and paper, and the administrative burden of ordering
and stocking these supplies, only further adds to the per-page cost of each received fax
transmission. Given the variety of paper and toner costs, this number is difficult to
allocate on a per-page basis, but it is a cost that should be included as part of the
total cost of operating a fax business. For the purpose of this illustration, assume that
supplies add at least a penny to the cost of sending a fax.
Given the above estimates, the cost of an average fax page can add up to more than 20
cents per page. For a company sending thousands of fax pages a day, costs skyrocket to
hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
So far we have only examined the identifiable, hard costs associated
with faxing. However, there are intangible costs associated with faxing that not only
directly impact the company, but individual employees as well. The frustration factor
significantly impacts the end users view of faxing. How often is one under a
deadline waiting for a fax machine to free up? Then, once ready, the first three attempts
to transmit result in a busy signal, and then after finally getting a connection
a paper jam occurs. This insidious cost of faxing doesnt show up as a line
item on the P&L; rather, it results in workers feeling some kind of frustration.
Above and beyond this common frustration is the inefficiency of faxing, whereby
documents are printed, physically transported to a fax machine, and manually fed into the
machine while a fax number is entered. Typically, the sender has to monitor the
transmission to ensure all the pages transmit properly. Utilizing this disconnected piece
of equipment is contrary to todays digital workplace, where employees are used to
queuing print documents or e-mail messages on a server and going right back to work. The
paradigm of using a disconnected piece of equipment without a document buffer
A host of other indirect costs result from the traditional fax infrastructure,
collectively relating to security, management and control. Security is a multi-faceted
issue, ranging from the public dissemination of confidential material (e.g., account
passwords, company financial data, offer letters or resumes, employee medical data) faxed
to public machines, to the unauthorized use of fax machine telephone handsets for
long-distance calls (by virtue of the analog line bypassing the PBX).
Corporate fax is expensive, frustrating, and inefficient, but what is the alternative?
THE IP-BASED NETWORK
Faxing over a managed IP network reduces the time and costs associated with
business fax communications, while offering a consolidated set of communication services
running over a high-speed, high-capacity, reliable, and efficient private fiber network.
Outsourcing fax services and running them over an IP network that is already in place
allows corporations to:
- Reduce the total cost of fax. Fax machines, fax servers, circuit, and maintenance costs
are reduced or eliminated, enabling buyers to transform their LAN/WAN environments into a
virtual fax distribution center without the costs of expensive circuit requirements, or
the labor associated with end-user interaction.
- Enjoy a rich set of features for end users. Users can send faxes from a variety of
sources, such as PC desktops, e-mail accounts, and fax machines, as well as receive faxes
through the PC, fax machine, or via e-mail. Broadcast fax capabilities, a contact manager,
and the ability to mix fax and e-mail recipients into group faxes are now standard
offerings available to IP fax users. With secure browser access, users can view their
faxes from anywhere on the managed IP network or the public Internet. By leveraging the
browser interface, specialty installed client software is eliminated and end-user training
is greatly reduced.
- Receive usage reports. Detailed calling records are accessible from a password-protected
Web site. This fax status information can include calling and receiving numbers, number of
pages, modem speed, number of minutes per transmission and more for both incoming and sent
- Transmit and receive faxes securely. Users can prevent faxes from being automatic ally
printed in public areas and/or at times when they
can be seen by unauthorized employees. Additionally, sensitive faxes can be routed to
others online, providing an even greater measure of security. This enables a PC desktop or
laptop to be turned into a secure fax machine and server without the financial costs of
installing additional phone lines, purchasing hardware, or using scarce office space.
- Leverage existing IP infrastructure investment. By leveraging a global network
infrastructure and facilities, companies can minimize capital expenditures and save time
and money by allowing the network and security experts at the IP fax service provider to
manage the network. As well, IP fax can be integrated within a suite of IP-based
communications services just now entering the market such as unified messaging, Internet
call waiting, and voice over IP, each of which can be easily integrated as part of a
flexible IP network architecture.
With the availability of outsourced and enhanced IP fax services, business fax
communication can be managed, and overhead costs can be reduced. IP fax delivers both a
wide range of benefits over legacy and other previous approaches, while representing an
opportunity to outsource this critical but non-strategic portion of business. This allows
enterprises to focus on what is really important the core business. At the same
time, IP fax presents exciting new opportunities to leverage existing IP infrastructure
investments, while taking advantage of the new opportunities the IP revolution is
Gordon Burnes is the director of marketing for GTE Internet-working's IP Telecom
Group. He is responsible for the group's product messages and marketing activities. GTE
Inter-networking offers managed access to the Internet, and a variety of value-added
services for businesses and other organizations. For more information, visit GTEs
Web site at www.bbn.com