The Fall of the Mighty Fax Machine
If Back to the Future’s Marty McFly time traveled to the modern office, he would probably feel a little disoriented. He would see employees squinting at little televisions, mobile devices right out of Star Trek, and no rows of file cabinets. Then Marty would notice a fax machine and feel right at home, because fax machines have been around forever.
How these clunky fax dinos have survived the digital age meteor, remains one of the greatest paradoxes in the history of circuitry. Many offices still use fax machines regularly, and some industries are stubborn enough to only accept faxes for signatures. Despite these exceptions, more companies are finding ways to chuck their fax machines in the nearest ditch. In fact, Virgin Media Business interviewed 500 technology CEOs, 65% predicted the office landline (the lifeline of the fax machine) will disappear within five years.
There are great services available to send digital faxes over email. These technologies can interact with the old steam-powered fax machines on the other line, totally eliminating the need to keep yours. This will free up valuable real estate on your desk, and slim down any maintenance needed to keep your old fax machine running. We will go over these solutions with you in two parts: sending and receiving faxes.
Sending an electronic fax is as easy as signing up for a free online service like HelloFax, FaxZero, and many more. Most of these “free” services are only free for a sign up trial period, or free if you include their advertisements on the cover letter. If you are planning on regularly using this service, then it is worth it to sign up for a service plan. These plans have a monthly charge based on the amount of faxes you sign up for, other services have the á la carte option instead. Sending a fax is as easy as uploading a document, and filling out your information in a premade cover letter template.
As much as we celebrate throwing out obsolete technology, you may want to hang on to your scanner (most printers have scanners built into them). The majority of offices are not yet totally paperless, as your mailbox will attest. Scanning a document as a .pdf file, and uploading to your online faxing service, will be just like having a fax machine.
If you don’t need to send these documents to another fax machine, and email will suffice, you can take advantage of that because you now have a digitised copy of that document.
You can use the same online fax service to receive faxes, it shoots the fax to a specific email folder as a .pdf file. Unlike sending faxes, there are not many free trial options available with receiving faxes. This is because receiving a fax requires a designated fax number, this new number is something you sign up for at the when registering your online fax account.
If you receive and send a fax that requires your Jon Hancock, the online services has an easy-to-follow walkthrough to capture your digital signature on a document. If you need to obtain a signature from the fax recipient, the fax service will attach the same easy-to-follow digital signature instructions to the recipient’s email.
The benefits of electronic faxing adds up. Digital signatures make the signing process faster which speeds up projects. Saving paper, ink toner, and electricity will make the office that much greener. Taking a baseball bat to the fax machine, priceless. If you want to know more about how electronic faxes can work for you, and explore the best possible fax solutions, then call us at Netstar at 020 7101 0544 and we will be happy to set you up.