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March 29, 2012

FoIP: The Next Wave in Unified Communications

By TMCnet Special Guest
Steve Woodard, President and CEO Quadrant Software


As a response to the economy and the increasingly virtual workforce, many enterprises are turning toward Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) to save money and consolidate resources. In fact, 60 percent of organizations now have some sort of Unified Communications in place, according to Nemertes research.

FoIP is truly the backbone of today’s enterprises. Recent research has found that virtual fax solutions are growing at an estimated annual rate of 14.5 percent, and FoIP is poised to become the future of document output management.

FoIP is the next logical step for organizations looking to save money and simplify their management of fax. Similar to Voice over IP (VoIP)-based UC and Telephony systems that are now commonplace in many organizations, vitual fax solutions allow enterprises to improve server utilization, add flexibility and cut costs while streamlining document output management in a virtual environment.

Organizations can achieve many business benefits by migrating to virtual fax-based document management systems. For example, as organizations continue to focus their IT projects on server consolidation, FoIP can help by eliminating the need to purchase costly boxes and servers to add to their data center, leading to increased cost savings. Additionally, migrating to FoIP can further cuts costs by routing long distance fax and phone traffic over IP, reducing long distance charges from phone carriers.

Disaster recovery is another area that organizations are increasingly looking to improve upon. Unlike traditional fax systems that rely on appliances and phone lines, FoIP allows organizations to fold fax into their existing IP server infrastructure, which is inherently more stable than traditional environments. Therefore, data is protected even if the server goes down. Additionally, with a virtual solution, there are no boxes onsite, offering further protecting in case of a disaster.

FoIP also provides simplified management of fax within the enterprise, including easier deployment and maintenance.  FoIP provides the same ease of use as traditional fax, but it does not require dedicated fax lines at each of the organization’s locations, so all faxes can be centrally managed and routed throughout the company.

Finally, security is an important benefit of FoIP. A virtual fax-based system includes all of the security benefits inherent to traditional fax, with the added protection of encryption, which is required to protect sensitive information that is sent over public IP networks.

As IP-based technology continues to grow in importance and as FoIP will soon be a part of many organizations’ business strategies, it will quickly become clear that FoIP will offer many benefits, as they continue to move toward greater consolidation of resources, increased efficiency and lower costs. It is a valuable technology that truly supports the business in many ways.

Stephen Woodard is the President and CEO of Quadrant Software. Quadrant Software is leading provider of Document Output Management (DOM) software and solutions for the enterprise. Through DOM companies can electronically create, manage, and distribute mission critical documents to reduce expenses, increase productivity and improve communication in a more secure and compliant manner.




Edited by Rich Steeves



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