Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) is an analog voice transmission system that leverages copper wires to facilitate communication, such as fax. While POTS lines performed well for business-critical fax in the past, they are increasingly becoming outdated and can no longer adequately meet evolving business needs. A recent FCC order reflects this sentiment.
FCC Order 19-72a1 stipulates that businesses who use POTS MUST find an alternative service by August 2022. While your fax lines may still work now, you need to plan for tomorrow. How long will they continue to work, and how much will the price increase in the meantime?
The recent FCC Order may cause your fax service provider to increase costs in hopes of expediting the retirement of this outdated technology. Some clients have already reported a 4x price increase. Any company faxing with POTS lines should invest in a digital fax solution before they are caught off guard by a sudden price increase or cease of service.
To help your organization avoid these outcomes, let’s define and review the benefits of digital fax solutions.
What is Digital Fax?
POTS lines and traditional fax are being eliminated, but documents still need to come and go. Businesses still need the ability to send and receive faxes securely, no matter where they are. This is where a digital fax solution comes into play.
Digital fax or eFaxing is a process of electronically sending a fax document using peer-to-peer direct connection across the telephone network (analog, digital, or IP telephony). Digital fax eliminates the need for hardware and conveniently allows users to securely send and receive fax documents using phones, computers, tablets, and multifunction devices.
A digital fax solution allows businesses to capture and extract data from faxes automatically and intelligently route them to the appropriate application in a usable format. A robust digital fax solution simplifies content-centric processes and provides flexible options to weave electronic data exchange into business-critical workflows. For example, faxed documents can be integrated into operational applications such as ERP, CRM, and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems to increase efficiency and accelerate processes.
At SymQuest, we’ve partnered with OpenText, the world’s most complete and integrated Information Management platform, to provide our clients with modernized fax capabilities. OpenText’s suite of powerful tools enables secure paperless faxing without traditional fax machines. This digital fax solution allows users to exchange faxes from desktop applications, email, and multifunction printers (MFPs) and send and receive from enterprise platforms, including Oracle and SAP.
Top Benefits of Digital Fax Solutions
Intelligent digital fax software eliminates reliance on expensive analog lines and provides other significant benefits. If your organization is considering investing in eFax, here’s a closer look at the benefits.
Reduce Costs - Compared to paper-based fax, digital fax has a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) as there’s less continuous maintenance of equipment and no consumables such as ink, toner, or paper.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance - Highly secure digital fax software helps ensure regulatory compliance with stringent standards such as HIPAA, SOX, and PCI.
Increase Productivity - Employees can integrate digital fax with desktop and email applications for simplified and streamlined faxing in familiar user environments.
Increase Data Security - Outdated fax machines aren’t equipped to combat advanced digital threats as they lack firewall and data encryption capabilities. Centralized digital faxing enhances data security by eliminating the risk of lost, misplaced, or misfiled paper-based faxes.
Enhance Support for Remote Employees - Digital faxing provides an intuitive fax experience across devices, enabling remote employees to send and receive documents regardless of location.
Unlock Actionable Fax Insights - Digital fax software provides advanced reporting tools to discover actionable insights and gain complete visibility into historical fax data, including volumes, processing times, deliveries, and exceptions. Advanced reporting capabilities enable businesses to quickly identify operational issues and make data-driven decisions based on historical performance to remedy the problem.
Ready to Implement a Digital Fax Solution?
With the FCC no longer supporting POTS lines, it’s time to bring faxing into the 21st century. Your business needs to be proactive and shift from the traditional analog POTS infrastructure to modern digital fax solutions. Digital fax provides businesses with a secure, convenient, and cost-effective way to exchange sensitive data and confidential information. Businesses ready to switch to a modern digital fax solution should partner with an experienced information management service provider to ensure a smooth transition.