Archive for the 'Open Text Fax Server' Category

Open Text Delivers Extensible, Simple-to-Deploy Fax Over Internet Solution

Open Text Fax Gateway Maximizes Network Resources and Reduces Costs with Complete IP and Software-Based Fax Solution

Waterloo, ON. – March 02, 2010 – Open Text™ Corporation (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC), the preeminent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, today announced a complete range of fax gateways that give organizations of all sizes a single source for all their fax over IP (FoIP) needs. Easy to implement, the new Open Text Fax Gateway solutions are designed to help customers lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by consolidating voice and data network equipment for fax.

FoIP implementations can have many variables, especially in larger and more complex networks. One of the more challenging aspects is figuring out how to properly configure, test and optimize a general-purpose media gateway to act as a fax gateway. By offering purpose-built fax gateways, optimized to work with the Open Text Fax Server, Open Text eliminates this complexity while giving customers and partners a single source for service and support.  Open Text is the market leader in enterprise fax solutions offered with integration to the comprehensive management capabilities available in the Open Text ECM Suite.

“We’re seeing more and more interest in fax over IP in organizations of all sizes because it gives them a promising way to lower costs and consolidate resources,” said Matthew Brine, Vice President, Fax and Document Distribution, Open Text. “The combination of our fax gateways and market-leading fax server software makes it easier than ever to deploy a highly sophisticated FOIP solution that can deliver considerable savings and improve business processes.”

Flexibility, Interoperability, Compatibility
Communications networks in many organizations are often intermixed with circuit-switched (telephony) and packet-switched (IP) technologies. Open Text Fax Gateway serves as the bridge between these two divergent technologies and simplifies FoIP implementations by converting telephony communications — fax T.30 signals and TDM protocols— to standards-based SIP and T.38. Click to read the complete news release.

Click to learn more about Fax Gateway for FoIP.

India’s Largest Airport works with Open Text to Modernize Fax Processes

Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is a joint venture company that manages the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). With four terminals, and spreading over an operational area of 1450 acres, it is not only India’s largest airport, but that of all South Asia! Based on number of flights, Official Airline Guide (OAG) ranked it the seventh busiest airport in the world. With its overwhelming size and flight count, one can only imagine how hectic it is to keep things running smoothly and orderly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Being such a busy location, CSIA heavily relied on almost 50 fax machines due to the importance of communication within the airport and to external connections. It was too risky exposing high security documents in such a public location to fax them out. Not only was the wait to use a machine extremely inefficient, but wait time for someone to come to repair a broken fax machine and the financial resources used to maintain them made having multiple machines very costly.

Thanks to Open Text’s Fax Server, RightFax Edition, CSIA employees can send faxes electronically from any Microsoft application without even having to leave their workstations. For signatures, they’re scanned and stored, and when sent, a delivery notification is sent to the signing party as a notification. For those on the go, faxes can even be sent or received straight to a mobile device anytime, anywhere. Even on one of CSIA’s flights!

MIAL did look at other options, although some did not provide support in India and others could not meet the user capacity needed for such a large user interface of 1000 users!

After acquiring Open Text’s solution, Mumbai International Airport Limited was able to eliminate avoidable costs, reduce manual processes from minutes to seconds, eliminate almost all fax machines, and increase confidence in communication security. There is no longer the need to rely on the office for faxes they can be easily conducted from anywhere, really. What used to be a security concerned documents are now confidential. What used to be expenses are cost saving benefits. What used to be an inconvenience is now more convenient than ever.

The full case study is in pdf format published here.

Configuring Microsoft Exchange 2010 UM for Inbound Faxing

Feature Pack 1 of the Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition v9.4, delivers interoperability with Microsoft Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging (UM). The new UM settings allow for inbound faxes to be referred to the Fax Server instead of being processed only through Exchange 2010 UM. Faxes are now handled by a fax server but still processed where end users are typically used to receiving faxes in Outlook with Exchange 2007 UM.

The problem is that with this new technology comes the scary question that comes to mind for anyone who is going to have to implement this and is not familiar with Unified Messaging in Exchange, “Do I really have to time to install Exchange 2010 and then study how the Unified Messaging piece works just to setup inbound faxing”?  Rather than you spending days installing and reading about UM concepts, we created two videos that should pretty much get you up to speed (assuming you have about 20 minutes).

Configuring Exchange 2010 UM for Inbound Faxing – Part 1:

  • How to configure Exchange 2010 to listen for CNG fax tones
  • Setup a UM Dial Plan
  • Setup a UM IP Gateway
  • Setup a UM MailBox Policy.

Configuring Exchange 2010 UM for Inbound Faxing – Part 2:

  • How to create a Receive Connector (for security)
  • Configure the Open Text Fax Server
  • Configure a AudioCodes MP-114 (media gateway)
  • Send a test to see it work

We also have a new white paper on faxing with Exchange Server 2010 UM.   Download here.

Inbound Faxing in Microsoft Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging

There is a big change in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging (UM) that opens an opportunity for the Open Text Fax Server to help. With the Exchange 2007 UM, there was an option for sending inbound faxes to Outlook clients. In Exchange 2010 UM, the internal feature for inbound faxing was discontinued but an option to redirect fax calls to third-party vendors to provide the capability was added. Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition is able to provide that server for Exchange 2010 UM as of Feature Pack 1.

We have developed a brief video presentation to explain this.

Exchange Server 2007 UM provided an option for inbound faxing but did not provide options for outbound faxing. With Exchange 2010 UM, there is not a built-in option for either inbound or outbound faxing but there is an option to configure the server to redirect fax traffic to the Open Text Fax Server.  The Open Text Fax Server Exchange Connector has been available for inbound and outbound faxing in both Exchange 2007 and 2010 but this does not work within the Unified Messaging roles.

Microsoft published a case study on how Open Text developed this integration and it is available here.

We have a new white paper on Inbound Faxing with Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging.  Download here.

Fax Archiving: How to Flatten Mountains of Paper and Give Your Fax Server a Holiday Gift

With the holidays just around the corner we find the amount of mail we receive sky-rocketing. From greetings cards to catalogs and brochures, it’s not long before the paper mountain starts taking shape. Depending on where you live in the world your own letterbox maybe a slot in the front door or, a box outside your home or, on the street.  These designs have been around for years and continue to serve as a dependable way for homes to collect their mail. The common mailbox however, was never designed to act as a long term storage area for mail. Depending on your own particular model they either become full or, prevent you from being able to open your front door.  For most of us this never becomes an issue as we continue to use a tried and tested process to manage our mail.  This process normally involves removing the mail from the collection point, distributing items to particular people in the household and recycling those pieces we no longer need.  When managing e-mail we adopt similar processes that enable us to store and manage emails away from the server. So why do so many companies continue to burden their fax servers with the long term accumulation of faxes at the point of capture? While the prospect of succumbing to a lethal avalanche of kitchenware catalogs is unlikely, mistaking your fax server for a document repository can have some negative effects of its own.

Compliance Considerations

Let’s talk about compliance for a minute. Compliance may be a term that many of us have become anesthetized to, but the fact remains that non-compliance can be costly and potentially fatal to a business.  Whether compliance relates to specific regulations, audit requests or legal discovery, a company’s ability to provide faxes related to a given transaction, process or case can mean the difference between a negligible business interruption and operational standstill. Unfortunately, solutions for compliance only reach the top of an organization’s priority list once they find themselves subject to fines and legal action, by which point it’s often too late.  (We have published a new white paper on how fax servers are critical for compliance efforts.)

Efficiently Managing and Archiving  Fax Documents

Compliance aside, there are other reasons that should motivate an organization to transition documents away from the fax server and into a secure, searchable and auditable repository. How a business categorizes its faxes impacts how usable and “findable” those faxes becomes in the future.  By leaving documents on the fax server we are essentially categorizing information by fax recipient. So what happens when an employee takes on a new position or separates from the organization? Given the volume of faxes that can be received each day how quickly can we really find that individual fax that references the customer account number solely in the body of the document? Searching for faxes in these scenarios can quickly become distracting and more importantly, expensive.  It’s also worth considering that not having the right information to hand can quickly result in an organization finding itself at a strategic disadvantage in negotiations and business conflicts.

Just like that trusty mail box and the corporate e-mail server, the fax server was never designed to act as a long term repository so, relying on it to sort, manage, secure and share documents is a strategy we might all consider avoiding. One strategy worth considering however is that of fax archiving. Fax archives not only provide a long term storage solution for fax documents but also dramatically increase the value of the faxes themselves.  By attaching a document archive they are quickly able to:

  • Create secure repositories for fax storage
  • Audit document access and usage by user
  • Use OCR to extract text from fax images, making them highly searchable
  • Age, retain and dispose of faxes according to company policy or regulation
  • Share fax documents across the organization
  • Make documents accessible in Microsoft SharePoint and across the web
  • Relate faxes to other business documents
  • Create and distribute offline fax archives to third parties
  • Refocus Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition on executing fax capture and management processes versus fax storage

Many Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition users pair Open Text Document Server, Alchemy Edition with their fax server.  To decide if your organization will benefit from implementing a fax archive, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could your company ever find itself having to fulfill requests to provide fax documents to a third party such as an auditor, legal counsel or regulatory body?
  • Are your faxes subject to regulations or policies that dictate their retention and/or disposition?
  • Do faxes need to be shared amongst users in order to execute or support a business process?

If you answered YES to one or more of these questions you might consider attaching a document archive to your fax server. For a datasheet on Open Text Document Server, Alchemy Edition visit here.

We also have an updated overview on the Document Server, Alchemy Edition Connector for Fax Server, RightFax Edition available here.

Written by Darren Boynton with the Open Text Fax and Document Distribution Group.

Fax Server Redundancy – Protecting Your Document Communications

Wikipedia defines redundancy as, “the duplication of critical components of a system with the intention of increasing reliability of the system, usually in the case of a backup or fail-safe.”

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundancy_(engineering).  Makes sense so far, right?  We all know however, that redundant systems can increase overall system availability too, meaning users or processes can run more efficiently. Still for being such a broad topic with many variables, we do see all kinds of monikers used when it comes to this subject:   High-availability; load-balancing; fault-tolerant, disaster recovery, and so on.  From an abstract perspective all of them are in some way descriptive of redundancy, with the end result real easy to understand: No loss of data and interruptions to your business.

A business interruption can be anything; telephone or internet failures; a corrupt database; a computer virus, a bad disk drive, a failed CPU in the datacenter, or any unplanned system downtime. They can even be as far reaching as a full scale disaster; floods, power outages, hurricanes, or even terror attacks. It goes without saying, but measures must be made to ensure that all mission critical applications are in some way redundant.  This could mean anything from a simple backup to a full-blown high available, redundant system. The choice is yours, and the options are plentiful.

Yet, the biggest challenge when considering redundancy for a software application like an enterprise fax server is exactly how much redundancy do you want? After all, Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition has a multi-layered architecture in which various components, databases, or processes can be placed into redundant scenarios that can ensure high uptimes while preserving faxes and data from being lost. This is good. Preserving lost faxes means preserving your business after all.

Getting down to some specifics:  When architecting your fax solution to provide maximum uptime it is helpful to understand the difference between fault-tolerance and system redundancy, as both can be addressed differently and have different ramifications to a business that relies on fax. A fault-tolerant system will continue to work if a single fax server component fails. Redundancy on the other hand, allows the entire fax enterprise to continue operating if one major component of that system fails. In a redundant scenario each component of the fax server must be duplicated. Typically it is common to have two fax servers operating in tandem, so that if one server fails the other server will continue to operate.

In practical terms specific to Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition, there are three typical redundant scenarios used:

  1. Load-balancing and Shared Services: This is a scenario in which a fax server shares its database of users, groups, printers, etc. amongst an enterprise of multiple fax servers. Typical with any company having more than one physical location, combined with the advancements made in Fax Server architecture, less fax server resources are now needed at the remote locations, making it easier to build in redundancy while leveraging your company LAN/WAN. In the end, a proper load balancing and shared services scenario will allow Fax Server to literally share its various server services and fax images across a network. In fact, many will say that this is very similar to an active-active cluster, in which shared resources not only ensure backup, but provides processing optimization and single location to administer.  Furthermore, Fax Server is optimized for high-availability, in which the database resources are shared such that the application is providing a centralized location for all company users, groups, and other data object, it does not have to be replicated anywhere else.  Here’s an example:  A fax server in Los Angeles will be “aware” of users located in the New York office because the database is shared. There is no need to have user data replicated across the enterprise. That shared database in L.A. can obviously be placed into a database cluster for redundancy purposes. All in all, taking advantage of Open Text Fax Server’s shared service architecture will boost your system reliability and your business’s ability to run without failure.
  2. A “Cold Spare” Scenario: A cold spare configuration is intended for use in the event of a long-term system shut down, a failure, or any other system interruption that may take more time to repair. Typically this is implemented as two fax servers on two hardware servers (or virtualized) as a primary server and a secondary server. It is important to note that a cold spare is not used in production but is available so that it will expedite recovery. A cold spare system is typically stored in an isolated or remote location and is considered to be “offline”. Its purpose is to be activated in the event of a primary system failure. This is a straightforward approach and offers an affordable way to have a level of redundancy if you can tolerate some manual intervention.
  3. Active-Passive Clustering: Typically, cluster environments protect against an application/service failure, system/hardware failure, site failure and even downtimes due to planned maintenance. In the case of Open Text Fax Server where a primary fax server had a failure, the business would revert to a secondary server to continue fax processing. That is of course, if a second fax server system has been setup to function as a passive “node”. What’s nice about Fax Server’s approach to this is the “node” doesn’t have to be the entire server application. Since Fax Server connects to the telephone system, there is a way to leverage the architecture to realize the benefits of clustering. Using remote Doctransports will allow you to divide up your fax channels between one active node (a.k.a a Open Text Fax Server) and a passive node (a.k.a. a backup copy of Fax Server). You still get the same channel capacity 100% of the time, but in the event of a node failure, those fax channels simply “see” the other node and keep on processing your critical fax documents. Combine this with the shared database and services and you’re now starting to build a high available redundant system unparalleled in efficiency and effectiveness.

Lots of choices and options are available to build a redundant Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition system and keep your business up and running. As stated before, the options are plentiful, no matter what size your company.  Be sure to work with a Open Text Fax Server VAR or Partner who can help design a plan that meets your needs.

To learn more about Fax Server, RightFax Edition and devising redundant scenarios to protect your business, download our eBook jointly published with Windows IT Pro.

We have just published this brief overview video on the Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition Shared Services Module which helps with redundancy.

The Reality of Fax Virtualization

What’s all the fuss about virtualization anyway?  Well for starters, it’s a hot topic in IT consolidation today because it saves money and helps the environment too. Virtualization is the ability to run multiple instances of applications, operating systems or CPUs on a “virtual” or “alien” platform. The obvious benefits are easy to see: Less computer hardware to maintain, less space in the datacenter, and even less energy consumption.

At first pass it sounds straightforward, but if you dig deep enough, virtualization can be thought of at multiple layers within the topology of an Enterprise to such a degree that it can be downright confusing. Popular definitions of virtualization will usually lump it into two main categories however: Platform virtualization and Application virtualization. If you want more, then it starts to get a little too deep.  As a matter of fact, Wiki lists about ten distinct categories of virtualization. But fear not, with respect to Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition (Formerly Captaris RightFax) and its role in your virtual reality, it is well, “virtually” a no brainer. Simply put, the new version Fax Server, RightFax Edition is an application that can run on a virtual machine using VMWare.   This means that your fax solution can now play nicely with whatever virtual strategies you have in place today and for the future. 

But wait, what about the fax boards that interconnect the server to the phone system? After all they are physical pieces of hardware that require occupancy in a machine. How do you turn that into a virtual solution too? The first answer is easy: Consider migrating to a software-only solution that eliminates the need for the fax boards altogether. That’s right; we’re talking about strengthening your virtualization strategy by adopting a fax over IP (FoIP) solution. Now, you’ve created a truly replicable environment.  

Okay, so what if that is not possible? Since we are on the topic of “reality”, it is well understood that many organizations are just starting to implement their plans to migrate to FoIP and that there are in fact a lot of installed fax boards already in place and working fine just as they are. That brings us to the second answer and it’s just as easy: Using Fax Server’s modern architecture, it’s simple to setup the fax boards in a dedicated CPU machine (with a remote DocTransport service running for example) and placing the rest of the application on an “alien” or “virtual” machine. You’re still going to recognize tangible benefits while leveraging your current fax board investments. Over time, you can migrate your fax hardware to FoIP and gain even more return as you virtualize the rest of the solution. 

To sum it all up, if going “virtual” is in your company’s plans, then Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition now offers flexible ways to make it… real.

Download a Fax over IP Toolkit and information on fax server virtualization in VoIP environments.  

Open Text has also published The Essential Guide to Fax Server Software and you can download it for free.  Jointly published with Windows IT Pro, this comprehensive guide details all considerations when developing a secure and cost effective fax enabled document delivery strategy.


RSS Open Text Fax & Document Distribution Group

  • SIP Trunking: Part 2 May 14, 2010
    In part 2 of the 3-part SIP Trunking series, we go beyond the simple implementation approach of just providing an IP address and explain the additional work required to get any fax server to interoperate with the SIP Trunk.
  • SIP Trunking: Part 1 May 3, 2010
    Senior Technical Trainer Adam Friedmann discusses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and the benefits of SIP Trunks.
  • European Distributor Automates Order Processing with Enterprise Fax and Content Management Solution April 28, 2010
    Cito Benelux replaced manual fax and order processing with an integrated fax and content management solution to automate and optimize order processing resulting in faster, error-free processing, enhanced service and compliance, and the elimination of fax machines.
  • Open Text at Interop, Las Vegas 2010 April 25, 2010
    The Open Text Fax and Document Distribution Group participated in the InterOp 2010 show held in Las Vegas during the last week in April. The event was IT focused with companies representing areas such as computer and network monitoring, VoIP, virtualization, cloud computing, hosting, and security. We had a steady stream of traffic and discussions […]
  • Three Minutes to Install an Open Text Fax Gateway March 31, 2010
    International Technical Instructor Matt Williams, is surprised at how quickly and easily he got an Open Text Fax Gateway up and running after opening the box.