Legacy systems and the security of faxing mean that faxes remain critical for many business document workflows. Market research shows that faxes continue to be frequently used in business communication — and that the fax market is likely to continue growing over the next few years.
Businesses that are expecting to handle an increased volume of faxes may assume that their only option is to upgrade their fax servers and pay any necessary costs — more hardware, fax server software upgrades, telephone charges and potentially extra staff to keep the system running.
There are other options. Businesses can also switch to cloud-based, automated faxing. Automating faxes with a cloud-based fax service can offer serious benefits for major businesses that have been managing in-house fax servers. Automated cloud faxing can increase the efficiency of your document workflow, boost productivity and save time spent working with an unoptimized faxing system.
Below, we’ll cover how to upgrade to automated cloud faxing in just a few steps.
What Are Automated Faxes?
Cloud-based fax automation is an alternative to on-site fax servers that allow desktops on a company’s network to send and receive faxes. While fax servers rely on in-house hardware and software, cloud-based services move all of the necessary technology to the cloud.
With automated cloud faxing, all a business has to do is integrate their business applications with the cloud fax service, and faxing becomes about as simple as sending an email or attaching a document.
Benefits of Cloud-based Faxing Automation
There are many benefits for businesses that move their business faxing to the cloud. Cloud-based faxing automation allows employees to receive faxes directly to their inbox. Faxes can also be delivered electronically to your company’s network storage. Outgoing faxes can be sent out with none or minimal manual efforts as well. These automated fax solutions allow businesses of any size to streamline their document workflow and cut down on the labor costs of faxing.
Cloud-based services are also much more scalable than on-premise fax servers, which can only handle so many requests at the same time before they’ll need additional fax server hardware. With a cloud-based fax service, adding additional fax lines or users is as simple as a few clicks on your service administration web page or contacting your provider and asking for an upgrade. You’ll have quick access to resources as your business grows and needs to handle more faxes. You also won’t need to worry about the steep upfront capital expenses of expanded server capacity, either.
Automating your faxes will also offer some basic quality of life upgrades. With cloud faxing, there will be no more busy fax tone. Automated cloud faxing can also help streamline your company’s document workflow. By providing your team with faxing automation tools, cloud fax service can simplify the process of sending and receiving faxes. Switching to cloud faxing will also provide your team with simple and easy-to-use, end-user faxing tools — like email-to-fax, web fax and multi-function printer (MFP) support — that make the process of sending, receiving and managing faxes as simple as possible.
Better Security and Compliance With Automated Faxing
You’ll also benefit from improved service reliability and disaster recovery. With cloud faxing, extra copies of important documents can be held in the cloud. It will often be possible to recover your documents in the case of a major weather event or cyberattack — crises that can take your network offline and corrupt or delete files stored on-site.
Some automated fax services, like those from Softlinx, are also fully HIPAA and PCI DSS compliant — and supported by strong encryption methods that protect data during transmission or while at rest in the cloud. When it comes to keeping sensitive information safe, secure automated faxing can be a serious improvement over on-site fax servers.
By switching to cloud-based faxing, you won’t need internal IT staff dedicated to managing all the aspects of your in-house fax system — the server, network and telephony connections — freeing them up for more essential work. You also won’t have to pay the monthly telephone charges for a fax server’s minute usage.
Working with a cloud fax service means you’ll also have access to a dedicated support team that can help you and your IT staff if something needs troubleshooting. This is outside help you won’t get if you maintain an on-site fax server.
How to Set Up Automated Faxes
To set up an automated faxing system, identify your business needs and pick the right service with the tools your team needs to streamline their document workflow.
If you want to automate your company’s faxes, follow these steps:
- Start by identifying how you want to implement the automated fax system. Know which fax automation tools and services will help your team the most. Softlinx offers automated faxing tools that all businesses can use to optimize their document workflow, including folder faxing, electronic filing, metadata passing and barcode recognition as well as comprehensive fax APIs to fax-enable any business application.
- Determine which applications you want to use to send or receive faxes automatically — whether it’s a health record system, purchase order processing tool or other document management system. Our cloud fax APIs come with sample code that your IT staff can use to integrate your business applications with our automated faxing service — making it simple to send, receive or store faxes using the tools your team is already familiar with.
- Get in touch with an automated faxing service provider to make the switch from a fax server to automated faxing with the cloud.
- Depending on the needs of your business, you’ll work with a cloud fax service provider to set up one or more virtual fax numbers. These numbers can be specific to different departments or personnel as needed. Don’t worry if you’re not sure how many numbers your business will need — with cloud faxing, it’s easy to add numbers as your business grows.
Once you’ve created your online account, the process for faxing is extremely simple:
- A sender assigns one of your virtual fax numbers to a fax they want to send to you.
- Your automated cloud fax service receives the fax and converts it into a PDF file. This file is then sent securely to your email address, or intelligently delivered to where you need it — like a specific folder in your company’s network — based on information like fax metadata.
- When you’re ready, you can simply open the stored file or email message with your fax attached. The fax can then be shared, stored or edited just like any other secure file.
Simplify Document Management With Automated Faxing
Interested in fax automation for your business? Softlinx’s automated cloud faxing is a secure and cost-effective alternative to in-house fax servers. We also offer a free consultation on the costs and benefits of moving to the cloud to help you choose the right service for your business.
For assistance with setting up a secure automated faxing service, or for more information on automated faxing, contact us today.