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June 15, 2012

What Fax Means in Today's IP World

By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Managing Editor

The fax machine was first envisioned by Alexander Bain in the 1840s. That’s right the 1840s. For many, the golden era of the fax machine was in the 1980s, when the number of machines in use in the world increased more than tenfold. But in today’s world of mobile phones, voice over IP and unified communications, where does the term “fax” even fit in?

In the earliest days of the fax machine, of course, fax transmissions were handled on the public switched telephone network because, frankly, that was the only option. But today, when so much communication is handled over IP networks, more and more fax transmission are making use some form of IP fax technology.

An increasing number of companies are turning to SIP trunking technology and VoIP communications for cost, quality and ease of deployment. In light of this, many fax providers are looking to provide services, usually software-based solutions, that make use of the IP framework for fax transmissions.

IP fax provides many benefits, of course, including the elimination of costly equipment. In this day and age when computers and printers are ubiquitous, having a fax machine can seem redundant. Also, the IP fax technologies will coexist with already-installed VoIP infrastructure.

This technology can also result in cost savings, removing the cost of paper and supplies and maintenance of specialized equipment. IP fax is also faster, so employee productivity will go up. Also, IP fax solutions can lower the power bill and is far more efficient for the IT department.

There are other advantages of IP fax as well. In the next part of this series, we’ll enumerate more of these benefits!

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

Technology Marketing Corporation

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