Why a unified communications strategy must include fax
Companies must include faxing in unified communications strategies, says Craig Freer, MD of fax specialist Vox Amvia - or risk implementing an incomplete strategy.
“The market for unified communications is booming,” says Freer. “It's being driven by fixed-mobile convergence, videoconferencing, social media and tablet computers. To avoid confusion, missed messages and productivity-killing games of e-mail tag, companies have to offer their employees a single communications media that they can access from any device.”
In this diverse mix, says Freer, companies should not forget fax. “Fax is currently the only pervasive medium we have that offers secure point-to-point communication with a full audit trail,” he says. “As the world moves to stricter regulations around privacy and data protection, the importance of fax will only increase.”
Legal, financial and medical records are examples of data that must be protected, says Freer. “When, for example, a doctor sends patient records to a medical aid, it's not acceptable to send them via e-mail. By using fax you get a full record of when it was sent and when it arrived.”
Fax servers with built-in optical character recognition (OCR) extend data protection from communication to storage, say Freer. “A faxed document can be moved straight into a database and routed to the appropriate person to process it,” he says. “That also makes it possible to maintain a full record of when, where and by whom the information was viewed or printed. This is both more efficient and more secure than letting a document sit in a printer tray or e-mail inbox.”
Freer notes that RightFax, the fax server software offered by Vox Amvia, is fully compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley and the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as well as local legislation like the pending Protection of Personal Information Bill.
“Cisco and Microsoft recently altered their existing fax strategies dramatically and no longer offer fax as a branded solution. Both companies now recommend RightFax to meet fax requirements from both a security and compliance point of view.”