Is Fax Still Relevant?

The fax machine still lives

Slap a phone and a phone line onto a copy machine and you have a fax machine – what’s the big deal? Or more like, why is it still a big deal? Fax has been around a lot longer than most people know and it continues to be used for very specific reasons.

The evolution of fax and its history are quite interesting, dating back to the early work (1840’s) of Scottish inventor Alexander Bain.  With continual improvement and new advancements through the twentieth century, its growth began in earnest after 1980 spurred on by the adoption of the ITU’s (International Telecommunications Union) G3 Facsimile Standard.

For some industries faxing still fulfills a specific purpose

In many ways, the fax machine has held on in industries where the ease of use and method of record transmission matters and it is in these industries where the fax machine still maintains a relative stronghold.

So, the fax has a life after all – in fact, it has at least four:

  1. Traditional Business Practices. Old habits die hard and many organizations often don’t have time to redesign work flows and so the fax machine continues to be used. This covers everything from document distribution, work order transactions or any business that still uses paper tracking of work flows.
  2. The Law. In order to avoid a mistrial, judges and lawyers adhere to strict communication guidelines that don’t often encompass electronic mail. A fax provides a time stamp, and proof of delivery, so when mail or personal service isn’t an option they just fax it.
  3. Medical Transactions. While documents associated with protecting patient information require HIPPA compliance, a significant number of transactions such as scheduling, referrals, etc.… still use regular fax methods.
  4. Contractual convenience. If you’ve ever had to sign a contract without a fax you’ll understand the extra steps it takes to print, then sign, then scan, etc. With a fax machine, you simply receive the fax, sign, and feed it back through the phone lines.

 

The future of fax

As the internet and email take more and more of transactional document traffic and since PDF documents still do not handle manual updates as easily as good old paper, fax will still continue to exist.

Financial groups in most companies still depend on fax for the receipt confirmation and inherent copies. So while logic dictates that fax should go away, it will be slower than most would expect.

At nexVortex, we aren’t writing fax off so quickly.  Our channel partners and their customers still need a solution and so we offer nVFax.  It allows users to send and receive faxes from anywhere on any device, including traditional fax machines.

Because our nVFax service is cloud–based, it provides all of the benefits of a cloud service: always up, accessible from any device, never busy and never out of paper. With the option to send and receive faxes as attachments via email or directly from our secure fax portal, nVFax provides the ultimate in convenience.  Via our gateway, nVFax also delivers to, and receives from, your legacy fax machine if you decide you need to keep it. Retire your expensive fax phone line but keep your fax machine.

For more information on how you can cut that expensive fax line but still have a convenient, easy to use cloud-based solution contact one of our experts today.