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October 01, 2010

Unified Communications Drives Efficiency with IP Fax

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) as a communications platform is gaining in terms of adoption as organizations throughout the global marketplace are realizing the financial and operational benefits of integrating multiple communications technologies on a single, IP-based platform, including IP fax.

There are a number of operational advantages for organizations that include IP fax into their UC strategy, including the fact that they offer secure, mission-critical and easy way to exchange fax communications to maximize customer satisfaction, according to Jean Champagne (News - Alert), general manager, Sagemcom Canada Inc.

At the same time, fax over IP offers an effective method for eliminating costly fax machines and POTS lines and can help to produce a huge return on investment (ROI) on UC and IP infrastructures. IP Fax integrated into the UC platform can also help to increase profit margins; accelerate TDM to IP migration; integrate MFP deployments; facilitate regulatory compliance; support virtualization; and help to drive low-cost ECM/ERP integration. 

“There are immense benefits to thinking ahead on IP fax when implementing a UC strategy.  Network faxing over an IP network is the most secure and easiest way to exchange mission-critical fax communications. Not only does it maximize customer satisfaction and increased profit margins, it also offers a huge ROI on UC and IP infrastructures. Furthermore, since IP fax enables an audit trail of digitally archived faxes, it facilitates regulatory compliance with laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA,” Champagne said.

Implementing IP fax into the UC strategy also delivers advantages in terms of mobility as it enables people to fax from anywhere, anytime and from any device. 

This implementation provides the easiest way to exchange legal, financial and other mission critical records, including health records and insurance claims. It also enables mobile workers to use a simple Web interface for sending faxes just like they would an e-mail. In addition, IP fax is considered the most secure, time-efficient, reliable and economical way for sending a fax over any web-enabled device.Working IP Fax into the UC strategy can also deliver specific “green” advantages to an organization as it moves the workflow to digital processes. Network fax solutions leverage existing LAN/WAN connections and VoIP gateways. 

Fax over IP (FoIP) helps to reduce costs and can also enhance productivity. “Network fax solutions that leverage existing LAN/WAN connections and VoIP gateways can eliminate up to a ton of paper per day in some large enterprises. By “greening” operations, FoIP not only reduces costs, but it enhances productivity by as much as 90 percent through flexible client access and tools, OCR fax spam filtering, and MFP integration,” added Champagne. 

“Software-only FoIP solutions, such as Sagemcom’s XMediusFAX which does not require costly fax boards or dedicated hardware, leverage an organization’s virtualization strategies," Champagne added. Streamlining computing hardware footprint leads to lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In the case of software-based FoIP solutions, such as Sagemcom’s XMediusFAX, we offer built-in redundancy with load balancing to reduce hardware footprint.”

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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