ITEXPO begins in:   New Coverage :  Asterisk  |  Fax Software  |  SIP Phones  |  Small Cells

Product Reviews
March 2004

Internet Fax Desktop Solutions

Venali, Inc.
1680 Michigan Ave., Ste. 1014
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tel.: 786-276-0770
Fax: 305-695-4022
Web: www.venali.com

Pricing (for single users) starts @ $4.95 per month and is cheaper in volume. Venali also offers higher priced packages that include more features and/or more minutes.

Editor's Choice Award

Installation: 5
Documentation: 4.75
Features: 5
GUI: 5
Overall: A

There are those who say that with e-mail prevalence, fax is dead � but we say fax has merely evolved in keeping with the technological times. Internet fax is fast becoming a popular method of transmitting documents to fax machines that retain the look of the original document, including any graphics. An advantage that fax has over e-mail is that faxes are still considered legally-binding documents. You can�t for example e-mail mortgage papers over to your attorney or even sign documents, scan them into your computer and e-mail the scanned image. Well you could, but technically it�s not a legally binding document. Venali�s Internet Fax Desktop Solutions is one of the leading Internet fax offerings that features e-mail-to-fax, fax-to-e-mail, and even Web-to-fax capabilities.

First we tested fax-to-e-mail. We simple sent a fax the old fashioned way (a fax machine) to our Venali fax number and �voila!� the fax appeared in our inbox just a few moments later in TIF format (PDF also supported). Next, we tested e-mail-to-fax. What�s nice about the Venali solution is you don�t require a special fax printer driver or a proprietary client. Instead, you simply use your e-mail client as your faxing interface. This is great for IT administrators that may have to deploy the Venali solution on hundreds of desktops since no installation is required. In any event, all we had to do to send a fax was type �<fax number>@venali.net� in the To: field, attach a document or simply type a message in the body of the e-mail, and finally click the e-mail �Send� button. The e-mail is routed to Venali�s highly-scalable and redundant network where the fax is first rendered and then sent out to its destination. Venali supports most document formats including MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat PDF, Plain Text, RTF, TIFF (Groups 3 and 4), Adobe Postscript (Apple Laser Writer Plus), HTML, ASCII Files, PCL5, VSD, BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, PCX, DCX, and compressed documents/attachments (Win Zip). We should also mention that due to Venali�s highly scalable network, you never have to worry about your fax number being busy, even if multiple faxes are being sent to your fax number!
Venali supports Office 2003 integration to allow users to send faxes from any office application by selecting �File �> Send to �> Recipient Using Internet Fax Service�. We tested this feature and it works quite well. We simply used this �File, Send to...� feature and our e-mail client popped up allowing us to type in the recipient fax number, add a cover sheet, etc.
Another option is Venali�s Internet Fax for Windows � a plug-in for the Microsoft fax service, that allows you to use the Microsoft fax client (the printer driver that is part of this) along with the Venali Network for fax delivery. Job submission is done via XML over HTTP. Venali Account Management Center which is browser-based provides real-time monitoring and reporting for both administration and users to view fax traffic online. You can search for faxes by number, by area code, by date range, and more.
Other features include: Integration with Office Document Imaging (and the built in OCR engine), full tablet PC support, cost calculation within the Outlook fax send screen and automatic �junkfax� filter support. Venali has collected over three million junk faxes to build their junkfax filter. They told us it�s a patent pending technology that evaluates if a fax is spam. Received faxes that are identified as spam are then marked as such and local rules or local spam filters are used to deal with them (like auto-delete, move to special folder, and the like).

� Send faxes privately and securely to multiple recipients as an e-mail.
� Security fax tokens ensure the validity and authentication of each delivered fax.
� Calculate the cost of sending your fax.
� Eliminate the hassles of manual fax such as printing and scanning documents.
� Confidential and urgent documents are delivered securely in your e-mail inbox for personal and easy access.
� Receive multiple faxes simultaneously � your inbound number is never busy.
� Select an individual inbound fax number from 175+ locations to receive faxes directly into your inbox as an e-mail.
� Messages are stored in your e-mail client for convenient access.
� Web-based Management and Reporting Tools.

Our only suggestion would be to have easier mass-faxing support. Sure, we could use Microsoft Word�s mail-merge feature and then write some VBA macros, but we feel there should be something more intuitive and easier to use.

Venali offers enterprises the opportunity to sign-up for services with a free 30-day evaluation account, so it certainly doesn�t hurt to try it out. Overall, TMC Labs was quite pleased with Venali�s solution which was not only very easy to use but it has some pretty powerful features and we would not hesitate to recommend it.

[ Return To The March 2004 Table Of Contents ]

Today @ TMC
Upcoming Events
ITEXPO West 2012
October 2- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
The World's Premier Managed Services and Cloud Computing Event
Click for Dates and Locations
Mobility Tech Conference & Expo
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas
Cloud Communications Summit
October 3- 5, 2012
The Austin Convention Center
Austin, Texas