Posts Tagged 'Fax over IP'

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.

Why Faxing is Still Relevant in the 21st Century

By Darin McGinnes

Why would a communication technology that was conceived in the 19th Century and perfected in the 20th Century, still be important today in the 21st Century? The simple answer: faxing is a guaranteed delivery technology that email has yet to achieve. For those of us who work in the industry, this might be stating the obvious. But for the uninitiated, most believe faxing is practically dead, after all aren’t we in the Information Age? My answer: not so fast, as faxing is still alive and well!

Don’t get me wrong, email is a wonderful, convenient, and easy to use technology that for many businesses that relied on faxing in the past, do not need to use it as much anymore. But if you’re in an industry such as medical, finance, legal, or construction, you know that email isn’t good enough when it comes to delivering or receiving important, time sensitive or legal documents. In this respect, one may wonder why faxing is superior to email. It all comes down to the fact that a fax is considered a legal document because the transaction can be confirmed while email cannot.

Let’s look at how a fax is transmitted vs. email.  Email is built upon technology from the internet. It uses packet switch technology, which means it’s unreliable. Not that it’s ineffective, but the sender never knows for sure if the other side received the email as it is sent best effort only. Worse yet, it also could be easily intercepted by unscrupulous types. Faxing, on the other hand, is built upon technology from the tried and true public switched telephone network, the oldest communications network in the world. It uses circuit switch technology, which means that it’s reliable; both parties will know if the fax was sent successfully or not. Also, intercepting a fax transmission is much more difficult. And for those of you who are thinking: what about VOIP? Well, all that’s about is emulating a point-to-point circuit switched phone conversation over the packet switched internet. Circuit switched reliability is still intact.

One may ask if there is a better way to fax. After all, using traditional fax machines can be an unwieldy, inefficient process. Not to mention the difficult, time consuming process of integrating with business applications such as ERP, CRM, or document management systems. My answer to you is the fax server.

Either with an enterprise software solution like Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition or an appliance solution like Open Text Fax Appliance, FaxPress Edition, a fax server shields the inefficiency of sending or receiving faxes from the end user. It allows users to conveniently send and receive faxes from the desktop or leverage existing multifunction printers or scanners to send hard copy faxes. Furthermore fax servers seamlessly integrate with back office business applications that allow customers to realize a true paperless office, bringing the clunky fax into the 21st century of technology and convenience.

To learn more, download one of our free whitepapers:

Implementing Fax over IP in your Organization

Network Faxing with Open Text Fax Appliance, FaxPress Edition 

Open Text Partner Avanquest Solutions Discusses the Value of FoIP

This article originally appeared on the Enterprise Fax over IP channel on TMCnet.
As more companies are building or expanding their IP infrastructures, the benefits of consolidation with enterprise fax over IP are becoming evident as many organizations have already invested in VoIP technology as an alternative to traditional phone communications. In a recent interview with Avanquest Solutions, Mike Rae, sales director of the U.K.-based firm, discusses some of the advantages of adopting fax over IP.
 
“Using this existing IP resource to also transmit all your fax communications delivers an even greater return on this investment. Many of the costs associated with traditional fax machines such as hardware maintenance, consumables and phone line rental disappear,” Rae said. “Analog routers that are required in order to connect fax machines to your VoIP environment can also be removed creating even greater savings. Customers with multiple sites have the greatest opportunity to save money due to the fact that a centralised fax server can now manage faxing across the whole enterprise without the need for additional telephony provision at local sites.”
 
Avanquest Solutions has been the U.K. distributor and support and training center for Open Text Fax Server, RightFax Edition since 1992.
 
With fax over IP, the entire solution is software-based which means it can be implemented in a virtual environment which reduced the number of physical servers required and provides high-availability and disaster recovery, Rae explained.
 
There are several efficiencies that are achieved with Open Text Fax Server, Right Fax Edition. According to Rae, fax is still the most reliable and secure point to point document delivery solution there is. 
 
“Electronic faxing dramatically reduces costs, reduces paper and speeds up business processes by allowing users to send faxes from any application in under a minute. Staff no longer has to print out documents they want to fax, wait by the fax machine while it transmits and rely on a paper-based delivery report. The whole process is replicated electronically,” Rae said. “Fax servers enhance your unified communications infrastructure by delivering inbound faxes directly into the user’s personal inbox which means faxes can be retrieved from any location, with any device, improving response times to customers and saving time.”
 
The process of sending paper documents through OpenText Fax Server is easy, too, he said. By integrating with multi-functional devices, users can login to the device, select the fax option and enter recipient’s number just as they have always done. The document is transmitted by Open Text Fax Server through their personal account, delivery notification is sent to their email address and the fax and transmission history are stored electronically.
 
“This is all achieved over your IP network. There is no need to install a fax modem on the multi-function device or connect it to an analogue phone line,” Rae added.
 
OpenText Fax Server can also act as a fax gateway allowing almost any application to automate outbound faxing and e-mail delivery replacing the manual process of printing and posting batches of documents. Thousands of customers rely on the system to deliver trade confirmations, monetary payment confirmations, purchase orders, remittances and many more critical business documents, Rae said.
 
Since inbound faxes often trigger business processes, Open Text Fax Server can act as the on-ramp into your organization. Documents such as purchase orders and transfer requests can be handed to an intelligent capture application where they can be classified so that the relevant data can be extracted and verified before being automatically uploaded into a line of business application saving time and money and reducing data-entry errors.
 
In addition, enterprise fax over IP helps companies in terms of regulatory compliance by providing a degree of visibility and control over your fax traffic, which is difficult to ascertain with traditional methods of faxing. Open Text Fax Server stores a full electronic audit trail for each document which can be passed to billing systems and document management applications for cost-tracking and compliance purposes.
 
“Many industry regulators such as the Financial Services Authority deem fax machines insecure and non-compliant because they automatically print out received documents with no way of determining the recipient or what they did with that document next,” Rae said. “A fax server allows you to see exactly who printed, annotated or viewed the document and at what date and time.”
 
According to Rae, moving to FOIP greatly improves the business case for VoIP.
 
“The consolidation of data and communications to a single IP resource reduces the total cost of ownership – one bandwidth for all voice, data and fax communications,” he said. “Switching from traditional fax to FoIP allows you to centrally host faxing for multiple locations. Fax can be integrated with other applications throughout the organization as part of automated business processes and workflow.”

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.