Fax technology pre-dates telephones, and their commercial launch in the mid 60's made them so common to be referred to as ubiquitous through the 80s, 90s and 00's.
Email and scanning technology has replaced them in many industries, but if you still have a fax machine in your workplace, we have some advice on how you can keep the dream alive and continue faxing into the 2020s.
"Faxes have problems, namely with privacy. Nothing sent by fax is encrypted..."
The glory days of fax are gone
The once ubiquitous fascimilie machines have disappeared from many offices over the past decade, but there are plenty of industries that have held on to them for convenience, disaster recovery or legal reasons.
The introduction of the NBN Co network into Australia has further set aside the humble fax, with analogue connections disappearing from many of our workplaces all together.
If you still need a fax, whether it's for rare or regular use, there are solutions out there.
Do I still need a fax?
The most important consideration is if you still need a fax.
For small to medium enterprises (SMEs), the physical fax machine has been cast aside.
Nearly 95 years have passed since photos were first sent over a telephone line using fax technology, and 55 years have passed since Xerox launched the LBX as the world's first commercialised modern fax machine.
Having a desktop fax or integated copier/fax machine is problematic now for a few reasons.
Firstly, the fax requires an analogue telephone line. Australia's transition to the NBN network removes that analogue connection for a digital one. Even for those with analogue line access, the line rental cost makes retaining a fax machine an expensive communications option.
Faxes have problems, namely with privacy. Nothing sent by fax is encrypted, and medical or financial records laying in an in-tray have only physical security protocols to keep them save from employee error or unauthorised access. Finally, a fax is basically a low-quality photo, and can not be modified or stored as data, only as an image.
There's also the issue that most workers under the age of 35 have never had to send a fax, or file documents in a filing cabinet as you'd expect is still required by faxes.
Where in the past the fax line represented an alternate communications method if the DSL Internet link went down, this no longer applies, as any fax lines now will be slave to an NBN digital connection.
Fascimile in the Cloud
Those organisations that still require a fax to send or receive, are best served by looking to the "cloud".
Companies like GoFax, eFax and mBox do the sending and receiving for you, with the communication to and from from the cloud done via email and/or web page.
Fax line number options are available, including selecting a new number or transferring an existing fax line number. PC and mobile device apps are available, allowing you to read and despatch documents wherever you can get access to the Internet.
Collection can be controlled through using selective recipient email addresses, reducing the chance of any unauthorised access.
Fees start at around $15 per month in AUD, around half of the cost of an analogue line rental. These basic packages give you the ability to send around 150-200 pages per month.
We're here to help
If you're nervous about letting go of your trusty fax machine or are being forced to by technology or industry, give us a call and we'll help you get going with a fax service. Our Business Technology Managers (BTMs) are specialised in assisting Australian organisations through their digital transformation. Contact us below or call us today on 1300 307 907.