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March 18, 2010

Fax Still Beneficial to Business Communications

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

We’re guessing your communication speed is rather important to your business, that you like being able to cost-efficiently process contracts, invoices, purchase orders, and other legally binding, mission-critical documents.
Indeed, according to a recent survivability guide white paper from XMediusFAX, this is where the fundamental business value of fax is clear – “its well-established wide ranging benefits including low costs, format insensitivity, ubiquity and global standardization as well as transport velocity, security, and general robustness.”
A recent Gartner (News - Alert) report cited in the paper found that “the kinds of documents sent over fax servers are, if anything, even more mission-critical than ever.” This highlights the need for IT/network administrators, architects and business leaders to better understand the tradeoffs associated with different fax survivability solutions.
Survivability is the capability of a product or system to withstand partial or total failures, hardware or software, or even a catastrophic disaster without significantly impairing its normal operations. Two metrics to pay attention to here are recovery time objective – how much downtime can be tolerated -- and recovery point objective, how much data loss can be tolerated. It will typically range from a few seconds to a matter of hours.
Advanced applications that provide failover solutions and “self-healing” mechanisms enable organizations to add survivability to their network fax operations. An overall strategy, the study finds, must take into account increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, accelerating TDM to VoIP migration, evolving infrastructure strategies and others.
The XMediusFAX software -ased IP fax server platform supports diverse survivability deployment models ranging from high availability to disaster recovery and remote branch survivability, company officials say, adding that “it is important to emphasize here that the adoption of a specific survivability strategy should not compromise the overall fax server solution’s scalability features and security attributes.”
And network-based Fax over IP is built to exploit the global trend of TDM to VoIP migration. In this migration, VoIP networks that deploy solutions that are survivable, scalable, and secure are helping to fulfill the compelling promise of Unified Communications (News - Alert). Organizations that rely on faxing as part of their day to day operations can benefit from novel and innovative IP optimized fax survivability solutions, such as those offered by Sagemcom’s XMediusFAX platform. These solutions range from LAN optimized High Availability to WAN optimized DR and Branch Survivability solutions.
Enterprises and organizations of all sizes that consider fax to be a “mission critical” component among their telecom/IT applications strive to deploy advanced solutions that will safeguard their operations and provide business continuity during network outages. Tailored fax “survivability” is paramount to many businesses who simply can not afford downtime in their faxing operations as it directly impacts their productivity, revenue, and even their corporate reputation.
Find the full white paper here.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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