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April 08, 2011

IP Fax Thriving in Unified Communications Environments

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director


Slowly but surely, the world’s communications are moving onto IP networks, including the once-forgotten fax machine.  Without exception, IP fax vendors are seeing surging interest in their products, for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps the biggest reason is existing analog fax equipment continues to break down, and businesses are taking advantage and moving to IP fax.

“There is a big shift in technology,” says Bob Wood, vice president of sales, Americas and APAC, at Sagemcom.  “People are looking at their old vendors, reevaluating them and figuring out what to do with their old fax technology.”

In most cases the case is an easy one to make, because ROI starts at hard dollars, and when businesses consider the savings from toner and paper, thanks to digital documents transferred via IP fax, the dollars add up quickly.  There is also no need for repair and maintenance of fax machines, which often fall victim to paper jams.

Not surprisingly, many businesses are also looking to leverage their existing multifunction devices, seeking IP fax vendors that are able to connect directly to those devices when hard copies are needed.  In fact, Sagemcom recently added two new Ricoh connectors as part of its strategy of simplifying faxing and document management for customers.  Sagemcom is also in the Sharp developer program, and ACS (News - Alert), which was acquired by Xerox just over a year ago, has standardized on XMediusFAX.

Of course, technology vendors, themselves, are driving the migration to IP fax vendors, like Sagemcom, as they cease support for their legacy fax products.  Sabrina Stratford, strategic sales manager at Sagemcom suggests the end of sale this May of Cisco’s (News - Alert) fax server will leave a hole in the market. She adds, though, that, being part of the Cisco developer program and integrating with Cisco Call Manager, the boardless XMedius FAX product presents a convenient replacement technology for Cisco VoIP and UC environments.

The simple fact is fax is neither dead nor dying, as some have suggested.  In fact, it is thriving.  There may have been a lull in the market, as VoIP was going through its growing pains.  But, today, as VoIP and Unified Communications (News - Alert) adoption is stronger than ever, companies like Sagemcom, who help businesses leverage their investments in IP infrastructure to enable their fax capabilities, which remain a vital part of their operations.


Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Editorial Director of TMC, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to 2,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein



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