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May 20, 2009

Telecom CTI Improves Hosted IP Fax Service Using Sagem-Interstar's XMediusFAX Server

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet


Telecom CTI, a value added reseller (VAR) of telecommunications solutions to the SMB market, is now offering its hosted IP fax service using Sagem (News - Alert)-Interstar’s XMediusFAX Enterprise edition fax server software, utilizing T.38 FoIP technology.
 
With Telecom CTI’s (News - Alert) hosted “eFax2eMail” service, customers can send documents via e-mail to the XMediusFAX fax server, which converts them into a fax-able format and then faxes them to the final destination as specified in the e-mail message. When a customer is sent a fax to their fax number, the system works in reverse: XMediusFAX converts the fax to a standard document format and then emails it to the customer.
 
Previously Telecom CTI was offering its hosted IP fax service using a competitive fax server solution. This system however, proved to be problematic, as users experienced activation codes that became inactive, frequent hardware restarts, and communication errors related to fax reception.
 
What’s more, Telecom CTI has been seeing strong uptake of its hosted fax service, so it wanted an IP fax system that was highly scalable and expandable. Unlike their former solution, which requires the installation of specialized hardware fax cards to facilitate expansion, the Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert) “boardless” solution is expandable without the need to make additional hardware investments.
 
Also driving Telecom CTI’s decision to use Sagem-Interstar (News - Alert) was the fact that it recently upgraded its network infrastructure to an all-IP Cisco environment. This included replacing its existing analog PBX with a new Cisco (News - Alert)-based IP PBX. Analog based circuits were transferred over to a digital Primary Rate Interface (PRI) that would carry both voice and data, including fax traffic. This, combined with the fact that Sagem-Interstar is a Cisco partner (their solutions are fully interoperable and can be integrated quickly), was a decisive factor in selecting the XMediusFAX solution. By consolidating voice and data onto a Cisco based unified platform, Telecom CTI has effectively leveraged the seamless interoperability of the XMediusFAX FoIP software solution with VoIP gateways, IP BXs, voicemail systems LDAP directories, and MFDs.
 
In addition to vastly improving the reliability and expandability of its hosted fax service, Telecom CTI is also benefitting internally from the cost-cutting and productivity-enhancing features of Sagem-Interstar’s XMediusFAX Fax over IP (FoIP) solution. Telecom CTI’s 20 employees send and receive a wide variety of faxes in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and .PDF formats and IP fax is an integral part of the company’s day-to-day operations. To give you an idea of the volume, on average the company transmits and receives about 1,500 fax pages a day.
 
One of the basic benefits of IP fax is that it cuts paper usage by more than half , and thus helps companies reduce their reliance on paper. IP fax also helps companies save on telecommunications costs, as it is VoIP-based and thus each connection costs less. Perhaps more importantly, but harder to measure, these systems help boost employee productivity in a wide variety of ways: For example, when an employee is able to get an email alert each time a fax arrives or is successfully transmitted, it saves the employee from having to constantly get up from their desk and physically check the fax machine for activity.
 
Telecom CTI estimates that, between paper savings, telecommunications savings, reduced maintenance, simplified operation and the (less tangible) boost in productivity, it is now saving a about $12,000 a year thanks to its deployment of the XMediusFAX solution.
 
The Montreal, Canada-based company and its customers are also benefiting from the enhanced security and privacy that is inherent with the solution: With IP fax, all faxes are encrypted while in transit, plus no one except the intended recipient actually sees the faxed message until the alert arrives in their email inbox. This is different from traditional fax solutions, which leave printed pages sitting on the fax terminal for prying eyes to see.
 
“Our organization is extremely satisfied in our migration to the XMediusFAX fax solution,” said Valentin Cimpan, president, Telecom CTl, in a new whitepaper from Sagem-Interstar. “We are especially pleased with certain functions such as the ability to merge documents from various applications into a single fax. In all, XMediusFAX has enabled us to realize operational savings of approximately $1000/month while facilitating our delivery of a value added service to our customers.”
 
To download the complete Telecom CTI success story, click here.
 
Sagem-Interstar recently participated in the virtual Cisco IT Innovations Forum on Thursday, May 7. During the event, representatives from two other Sagem-Interstar customers, Van Meter Industrial and The Cardiovascular Group, talked about how the company's IP fax solutions have helped them cut costs and boost employee productivity. You can check out these compelling video testimonials, which are archived here.
Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray



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