Just the Fax – How IP-based Technologies Modernize Faxing for the Internet Era
“It’s a well-known, albeit off-color joke in the industry, that the fax machine is the cockroach of technology: no one wants it, but there’s just no way to kill it,” says Paul Banco, CEO of etherFAX. “Fax has survived numerous technological evolutions, and today’s fax servers make faxing more popular than ever, by enabling companies to digitize analog fax traffic, and route it through a server to the desktops of those that need it. It’s efficient, and it addresses a major compliance requirement that companies cannot ignore.”
Read more about TelcoBridges and faxing on our fax termination solutions webpage.
For example, all US healthcare providers are required to comply with HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is meant to improve health care efficiency by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange throughout the U.S. health care system. This is fuelling demand for technology like fax servers and the IP infrastructure required to support them.
For enterprise companies (specifically financial services companies), the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) requirements force businesses to track the distribution of corporate data and documents in a manner that provides accountability and financial transparency. Such compliance further adds to the demand for fax server technology that can provide audit trails for inbound and outbound faxes.
To simplify the process of sending and managing IP-based faxes, etherFAX turns the entire process into a service, by offering cloud-based fax services capable of processing millions of faxes each month. etherFAX’s service eliminates the need for companies to acquire the components of a fax server—such as a fax board, T.38 stack, media gateway, disaster recovery solutions, SIP trunks, and the recurring telephony connectivity costs. Instead, etherFAX provides all of this functionality as a service, and their media gateway of choice is TelcoBridges’ Tmedia.
Read more about TelcoBridges Tmedia gateway and its capabilities.
“What we’ve done is extend the copper between the fax application and the enabling technology, by providing a virtual adaptor that sends fax traffic through Tmedia VoIP gateways. The adaptor converts it into HTTPS, and we create a real-time stream to any number of protocols (e.g. ISDN PRI, G.711) to send the fax,” adds Banco. “The customer doesn’t have to worry about latency, and this solution removes all of the issues previously associated with T.38. Simply put, this is a much more reliable way to send a fax over IP. It’s sending faxes over the cloud.”
“We’ve been using Tmedia VoIP gateways for a number of years, and we’re very familiar with its capabilities. It’s the de-facto standard in our network,” adds Banco. “TelcoBridges is great to work with if we ever need support, but for the most part, we know what the gateways can do.”
“Some of the Tmedia functionality - like Call Trace (part of TB Analytics) – is a real time-saver. If we get calls from customers indicating they’re not getting a fax tone, or a busy signal, we can use the Call Trace feature to record a fax transmission, see what’s wrong, and find out exactly where in the network the problem is. So many of the issues reported are simple things like calls not making it onto the network, because a number hasn’t been ported yet. Call Trace makes it easy to diagnose these types of issues, and that saves us a lot of time.”
Today, etherFAX is working with dozens of enterprise companies, healthcare providers, and many of the largest banks in the world. Numerous service providers and carriers are bundling etherFAX’s service into their offerings. etherFAX’s rapid growth as a company confirms the fact that they’ve truly built a better mouse trap when it comes to Internet faxing. Their approach, using HTTPS over the cloud and TelcoBridges’ Tmedia VoIP gateways in their core network, has addressed all of the quality/latency issues associated with early-generation T.38 fax.