Faxing is an essential mode of communication and document transmission for many companies across the world. It’s one of the most secure and convenient ways to transport a document from point A to point B and is a safer method of sending private data than many alternatives. But with the latest technological improvements and a newfound focus on software over hardware, the traditional fax system is outdated. However, electronic fax filing is a direct alternative that takes the convenience and security of faxing and consolidates it with your internet-based workflow. By migrating to cloud services rather than continuing with outmoded legacy units, you’ll save your company money and time while promoting increased productivity among your employees. This guide will take you through some of the top reasons to switch to electronic fax filing and explain how your business can benefit from cloud services.
What Is Electronic Fax Filing?
Many industries use fax services to transmit information. It’s been a staple of offices around the world for the past few decades and remains a popular method of sending and receiving documents and data. But with the advancements in cloud-based services and software technology, the traditional methods have been decreasing in popularity, and more companies are turning to alternative options, like electronic fax filing.
Online faxing — also referred to as online cloud faxing, electronic fax filing or e-fax — is one of the top options, directly resolving many issues related to traditional faxing and providing multiple benefits as well. It’s a reliable form of data transmission that uses internet services, rather than telephone lines, to send transmissions, and they can save businesses a significant amount of time and money.
The goal of any e-fax solution is to virtualize and streamline your communication processes. Traditional faxing systems are prohibitive and can often hold your employees back. They require the sender or receiver to be on-premises, can only process one job at a time and leave a few security risks unchecked. While they were the best option for security at one point, advancements in business technology and software have allowed for a much safer and more capable process.
By using a cloud fax service, you can allow your workers more freedom and provide them with a system that integrates smoothly into their workflow. The electronic fax filing software provides each individual with a dashboard that’s accessible anywhere that has available internet access. They can send and receive faxes with ease and process multiple requests simultaneously, all while remaining compliant with industry security standards.
Online cloud fax is an excellent choice for companies in every industry, especially those that have to send confidential or sensitive documents back and forth. Many of these businesses are also subject to restrictions that prohibit them from sending private data via email or any other unsecured medium. For example, healthcare companies must observe and comply with HIPAA, which requires them to send sensitive information through secure online channels and restricts sending it in email format.
However, electronic fax filing makes compliance easy, as it’s more secure than email and traditional faxing. Sending faxes through online channels, rather than telephone lines, allows for encryption and ensures the information goes directly to your recipient. The document will safely sit in their inbox until they are ready to open and download it.
How Do You Use Electronic Fax Filing?
The process of using cloud fax services is relatively simple, especially if you’re familiar with the cloud. It’s a method of virtual hosting where a provider uses remote servers to store, process and access data, allowing your company to use the servers as a replacement for on-premises units. Moving your servers off-site is valuable, as it takes pressure off of your IT department, promotes cost savings and simplifies your workflow.
The faxing part of the equation is relatively similar to standard faxing, so there isn’t much of an understanding gap when you migrate from one to the other. Using cloud services can make the process simpler for most employees, reducing the amount of time you spend faxing and increasing overall productivity.
To use online faxing, you must first find a reliable provider like Softlinx. Once you’ve installed the relevant software and are on a service plan, you can begin faxing. Sending information is as easy as uploading your documents to the e-fax solution and inputting your desired recipient’s fax number or email. The software works to encrypt your data and transmit the documents to the correct address, providing your team with an easy way to send data, receive faxes and remain compliant.
Traditional Faxing vs. E-Fax
While traditional faxing has been the standard for years, e-fax use is gaining popularity. Online cloud faxing services are widely considered a stark improvement to the outdated traditional process, and companies that migrate to the new and improved version are seeing several benefits.
Here are the major differences between the traditional method of faxing and online fax services:
Traditional faxing is an older form of transmitting documents, and it hasn’t changed much since it’s original inception. Still, many companies have used it as a reliable form of sending and receiving information in the past.
Some of the main characteristics of traditional faxing include:
- Requires supplies: To send and receive traditional faxes, you have to keep your office stocked with the proper kinds of paper and toner. They enable you to send and receive faxes, and keeping the units filled is essential to transmitting data.
- One fax at a time: Legacy faxes can only send or receive one document at a time. While that might be acceptable for small businesses that only send a few faxes per day, it can be a nuisance and cause a decline in productivity for larger companies and enterprises.
- Decent security: Since the beginning of faxing services, the process of transmitting information through fax has been a reliable and relatively secure way to send or receive data. However, it does leave some risk, as printed faxes remain open and available in a tray until the recipient files it safely. Also, every fax prints as a physical document, making the information susceptible to loss and requiring your employees to scan it to create a digital copy.
- On-premise system: Traditional faxing systems require your company to host your services on-premise, meaning you must have any necessary hardware internally. Additionally, maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of your IT department.
- Telephone service: Landline telephone services were much more popular during the early days of fax systems. Legacy units require telephone lines to transmit information to the recipient. As companies are moving away from using traditional telephone providers, they’re also moving towards cloud-based fax systems.
Electronic Fax Filing
While it does follow the same premise as traditional faxing, e-fax has a few significant advantages. Overall, it’s easier to integrate with the rest of your processes and workflow and can help you boost your company’s productivity while decreasing costs.
Some of the main characteristics of implementing an online fax service include:
- Direct downloading: Rather than printing as the sender transmits data, the recipient can download the files directly to their computer as a secure file. They can print the document if necessary, but the system doesn’t require it. However, the services are also backward compatible, meaning even legacy systems can decode the transmission if your recipient doesn’t use cloud services or requests you send to their fax number.
- Simultaneous fax capability: Since cloud faxing uses internet servers rather than telephone lines, the systems allow your employees to send or accept multiple faxes simultaneously. All they have to do is submit multiple documents or multiple fax jobs to the software.
- Excellent security: Where traditional faxing creates physical copies for anyone to see, online cloud faxing is about the safest way you can send sensitive data. It doesn’t print upon receipt. Instead, once you send a fax through the cloud server, it goes directly to the recipient’s inbox, encrypted and protected by their computer and email passwords. It removes the risk of accidental loss or theft from the equation.
- Off-premise system: When you partner with an online fax service provider, you have the advantage of the off-premise system. This shift means you won’t have to store, maintain or stock any hardware or supplies for the sake of faxing. You can complete every function from a computer, and your IT department won’t have to worry about resolving fax issues or preventing downtime. The off-premise setup also means e-fax costs are significantly lower than traditional systems.
- Versatility: As long as you have a secure internet connection, you can send and receive faxes from anywhere. The cloud servers allow your employees to fax from their work or home computers, tablets or smartphones. There’s no need to access a physical fax unit or wait for each document to go through individually.
- Internet service: Every company uses internet services. As the need and desire for integration increases, the cloud is becoming a more popular tool. With the development of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP), cloud-based services have nearly eliminated the need for telephone lines, consolidating all communication functions to online dashboards and off-premise centers. Cloud fax services are no different, integrating your faxing capabilities with your online software and workflow.
How Online Faxing Cuts Costs
Beyond all the benefits online faxing provides your employees and your company as a whole, migrating to cloud-based services can also help you significantly cut costs. And the savings begin as soon as you switch. By creating a less expensive faxing system for your employees, you’ll boost your budget and promote productivity, regardless of the industry you serve.
Here are several reasons why using cloud services is a fax cost-saver:
With traditional faxing, you need specific hardware to support your document transmissions. To send or receive faxes, you need to be near the equipment, and to send information immediately, you have to make sure no one else is using the device at the same time.
With online faxing, you won’t need to rely on hardware at all. Cloud services move all of the physical elements off premises, meaning there’s no line to send a fax, and you don’t need to commit storage space to legacy units. You’ll save in several ways by moving off-premises, including creating more usable space, reducing your electricity usage and avoiding the need for costly repairs or IT department fixes.
Speaking of your IT department, using cloud-based faxing means they won’t have to spend their time on maintenance. In traditional systems where hardware is necessarily internal, your team is responsible for any repairs, replacements, software upgrades and bug fixes. More severe issues can cause costly downtime and prevent your employees from getting their work done. You also have to factor any replacement parts and labor into your budget.
When you migrate to online faxing, your IT team no longer has to provide regular maintenance or be responsible for repairs. The service provider you partner with takes on those responsibilities. They ensure that if any issues arise, they deal with them quickly and effectively. With no need to maintain legacy units, you can save money on hardware, IT costs and the risk for downtime.
Office supplies can rack up significant costs when you’re using them regularly. Traditional faxing requires you to order enough paper and toner to support the number of faxes you send. If your employees collectively send a large number of faxes per day, your fax expenses can use a large portion of your supply budget.
Since e-fax services allow you to move all hardware off-premises, you can cut down on the supplies you order each month, significantly decreasing your spending.
Consolidating your faxing to your existing online service allows you to send and receive faxes through your high-speed internet, removing the need for a separate telephone carrier or line plan. Faxing through the traditional method requires you to pay for a telephone line, and if you don’t already have one or send a large number of faxes, you’ll often need an independent line for the fax alone. Without a separate plan for your phone line, faxing can interrupt or affect the quality of calls.
This extra plan can drive up your expenses. An individual telephone fax-only line can cost your company hundreds of dollars per year on average, without the addition of any long distance charges.
Since cloud services operate solely online, you can use your current high-speed internet service. You may also have versatile payment options depending on how often your company sends faxes.
When it comes to saving costs, reducing your electricity bill will both decrease your expenses and do the planet a favor. Legacy fax systems typically use a significant amount of electricity each day, as you have to leave them running to accept calls and receive documents. While they sit in standby mode, they use energy and drive your bill higher. If your employees send and receive a large number of faxes daily, it can raise your electricity bill significantly.
Cloud-based faxing helps you decrease your electricity bill and bring your power usage down, reducing your company’s carbon footprint. By moving your systems off-premises and relying on your high-speed internet services rather than a telephone line and internal hardware, you’ll cut a portion of your electricity costs.
Also, when your systems are directly connected to your office’s power, your units are susceptible to any outages or weather interference your building experiences. If your faxing is on-premises, this can mean an inability to send and receive documents until the outage is resolved. With cloud services, your employees can continue conducting business off-site through laptops, home computers or any other smart device with an internet connection.
Why Choose Softlinx?
When it comes to choosing a cloud fax service provider, it’s essential to partner with a company that has your business’s best interests in mind. Softlinx ReplixFax is an excellent way to migrate to cloud faxing while reducing your fax costs significantly.
1. Easy Migration
With Softlinx, electronic fax filing is easy and fast, allowing you to get back to work and start saving in no time. Our customer support will provide your company with same day service, shifting your system from on-premises faxing to a virtual cloud server with no delay.
Softlinx also has a variety of plans to suit every need and budget. We let you decide whether you want to pay as a monthly or annual subscription and flexible plans to allow for shifts in faxing volume.
2. Straightforward User Interface
Softlinx’s services include a full suite of electronic fax filing tools, all of which integrate into your current systems with ease. With our full suite, you can receive and send faxes through a multitude of mediums, including PC and mobile web interfaces, email providers and Windows applications. There’s virtually no learning curve, and with minimal training needs from your staff, you’ll be able to shift entirely to cloud faxing quickly.
Our fax services also include an easy-to-use web portal, which allows you to manage users and conduct internal user-related administrative tasks, while we take care of the system-related administration efforts.
3. Powerful and Secure Systems
For companies that need to meet specific data regulations, secure faxing is essential. Softlinx Enterprise Cloud Fax Service is compliant with government and industry regulations, including HIPAA and PCI-DSS. When you send documents through our secure servers, we secure the information throughout the transmission process and host it in a reliable data center using AES-256 bit encryption standards and continual virus scanning.
While traditional faxing may present a significant amount of downtime or force your employees to wait for service availability, our systems are consistently up and running, ready to take on any amount of transmissions. Our cloud infrastructure supports far more than the traditional fax systems, providing you with continued service availability and limited disruption.
4. Advanced Customer Support
If you have any service issues or questions, response time makes all the difference. With fast responses and real-time performance monitoring, Softlinx ensures your systems are running smoothly, and our service infrastructure is error-free. If we detect any complications, our servers send out an immediate notification, allowing our team to take care of the issue fast and providing maximum uptime and availability.
At Softlinx, we also offer 24/7 technical customer support to handle your problems as soon as they arise. You can get in touch with our support team by way of email, phone and web conferencing at any time, whichever medium best suits your needs.
Upgrade to Online Cloud Faxing With Softlinx
The future of fax is cloud-based. Migrating to an electronic fax filing solution will bring your company to a new level of communication, and Softlinx is here to help you make the change. With our versatile, competitive and comprehensive systems, your employees will see higher levels of productivity with almost no learning period. Meanwhile, you’ll benefit from lower costs, increased uptime and data security.