Fax to Email: Your Lean, Green, Money-Saving Virtual Fax Machine
New technologies mean that the ways in which we’re communicating with each other are changing every year. And that’s not just for personal communications. Cloud-based “virtual” services have started a revolution in business communications as well.
Unified communications is one of the latest revolutions. As the name suggests, this unifies all of your incoming communications into a single channel, which you typically access via email. That means that you can access all incoming communications including emails, phone messages and faxes from anywhere that you have email access: including from a smart phone.
Of all of the unified communications services, Fax to Email (Fax2Email) is proving to be the most popular with small to medium businesses. Even though most businesses don’t rely on faxes the way they did 20 (or even 10) years ago, there will still be times when you need to be able to send or receive a fax. One common use of fax machines is for contracts and other legal documents that need a signature in ink.
In the past, if you didn’t have a fax machine of your own, you had the option of running down to the local business centre to send or receive a fax. Unfortunately, many of those centres have stopped offering fax services.
Introducing Fax to Email (Fax2Email)
With today’s Fax to Email service, you can now receive and send faxes from the comfort of your own office online with no fax machine required:
- When someone sends you a fax, it first goes to a central server where it is converted to either .PDF or .TIFF. The converted fax is then forwarded to you as an email attachment.
- To send a fax, you simply attach the document you want to fax to an email, and send it to your Fax to Email provider together with the recipient’s fax number. The attachment is then converted and sent to the recipient’s fax machine or service.
Not only is this service super-convenient for businesses that don’t send or receive a lot of faxes, it can also save you a lot of money.
With a traditional fax machine, you’re up for the following costs:
- Purchase of the fax machine
- Monthly line rental for the fax line
- Call rates for out-going faxes (sometimes long distance)
- Consumables including paper, toner/ink and electricity
- On-going maintenance
This can be pretty costly for a machine that you don’t use very often, with line rental alone typically costing around $30 a month!
With a Fax to Email service, you’ll pay the following:
- One-time set up fee of $10
- $9.50 per month
In addition to cost savings, a Fax to Email service provides the following benefits:
- Flexibility to send and receive faxes from anywhere you have email access, including using a smart phone.
- Environmentally friendly, in that you can select to print only the faxes (or pages) you require.
- Efficiency, with faxes being easier to forward, share, store and manage when they’re in digital format.
- Security, with no worries about confidential faxes being left sitting in a fax machine where others may see them.
You can integrate your 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers with a Fax to Email service, which allows you to use a single online fax number for the life of your business and provides you with benefits including flexible routing and free built-in reporting.
You’ll also receive a local landline number with each service, allowing you to provide your callers with an alternative local number if required.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from the cost savings and convenience that Fax to Email and other unified messaging services can provide. To find out more about how your business can benefit, call us today on 1300 255 835!
We’ll finish this blog post with a description of fax machines that is maybe a little dated, but is enjoyable all the same!
The Deep End: Paul Venezia
“Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That’s just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phones. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles.”