In the age of email, how does the fax machine keep a presence in the modern workplace?
Irrefutably, technology has displaced many traditional means of file sharing. For instance, cloud storage enables users to upload and download on demand. Email and instant messaging, too, eliminate the need to pass memos around the office.
As everything moves online, offices waste less paper. That said, hard documents still belong in many workplaces. Lawyers and accountants deal with legal contracts on a daily basis. Doctors and nurses keep records in cabinets, binders and clipboards as well.
Yet the average small business can get by sending and receiving PDFs. So why is fax still here? What keeps it from becoming obsolete?
Fax Sales over the Last Few Years
In the last few years, a few reports surfaced on fax sales. In particular, "multifunctional device" sales, which includes hardware that scans, prints and faxes. Each report estimated sales hovered around the 37-million mark.
Although this doesn't prove every buyer uses fax, it shows the technology is available. Thus, businesses cannot eliminate faxing completely.
In fact, international businesses must consider how fax might be standard in other countries. This is true in countries with stricter communications policies. Similarly, countries with limited internet use.
Business Phone Systems Are Changing, So What Does That Mean for Fax?
Businesses considering a hosted phone solution needn't worry about faxing. Most likely, businesses exploring this route need only incoming support. And most cloud-PBX systems offer this capability.
Our own PBX platform accepts fax and redirects them to email. It saves each document as an attachment for quick viewing on the go. It also makes the fax forwardable to other contacts.
E-faxing promises a variety of other benefits. It prevents paper waste, speeds up communications and addresses organizational concerns. In other words, businesses can use their computer's filing structure to back up and navigate quickly.
It's unlikely that the fax machine will disappear anytime soon. Plus, having fax support with your PBX solution has no real downside. All it does is past- and future-proof your business.