The fax machine dilemma when migrating to VoIP
WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook, Twitter, email. We have all of these, so who needs a fax?
This might be a common first reaction to the inclusion of a fax in the title of this post but many enterprises and small to medium businesses still rely on faxes today for many operations, and they are not willing to give them up when they move to VoIP.
“I need to keep my fax machine”- makes some service providers cringe when they hear these words coming from their business customers, and as it turns out, they hear these words a lot.
As businesses transition to VoIP and unified communications, mainly around the carriers PSTN migration to All IP initiatives, they demand a reliable and efficient fax solution be part of these initiatives. The business customer may prefer to receive faxes electronically via E-mail with a fax server or a fax service, but for hardcopy documents that need to be delivered, the fax machine is the easiest and preferred method. With vertical markets such as healthcare, legal, finance, government and education relying heavily on the fax, it’s critical for businesses to implement a solution for their fax machines that will continue to render them reliable and secure as they move to VoIP.
When service providers are faced with the need to deploy fax machines in a VoIP environment, they typically turn to one of the following options, and quickly find each has their own challenges.
- Implement an ATA that supports T.38 or G.711. These standard ATAs work great for voice calls when connected to a phone, but T.38 and G.711 have been known to have issues with transmitting faxes over the Internet. Whether the problem is packet loss, jitter or latency, any of these reasons can cause a fax to fail. Not only is the reliability compromised, but the security of the fax is as well.
- Leave a POTS line connected to each fax machine. Sure the fax machine will continue to be reliable and secure, but the VoIP provider is no longer offering a VoIP solution with this option. In many cases, the customer now receives a separate phone bill from the incumbent phone provider. Not only does the VoIP provider lose business to their competitors, but the customer loses money by paying higher prices for POTS lines.
In addition to the above, with the latest PSTN sunset winds blowing, this option is becoming less and less relevant ….
The HTTPS Fax ATA Solution
The AudioCodes HTTPS Fax ATA gives VoIP service providers a reliable and secure solution for their customers’ fax machines as they move to VoIP. With more than 100,000 Fax ATAs in production today, the stack of success stories is constantly growing as businesses move to VoIP and take their fax machines with them.
Here are some of the highlights of this solution:
- Reliability: Using real-time HTTPS to transmit the fax over the Internet rather than T.38 or G.711, the issues of latency, packet loss and jitter are non-existent. This reliability has allowed customers to implement the Fax ATA in even the most diverse Internet environments such as satellite, cellular and Wi-Fi.
- Security: The patented technology behind the HTTPS(S) Fax ATA solution gives providers the ability to encrypt the fax via SSL. This is a key benefit for industries that need to meet compliancy standards such as HIPAA and SOX.
- Compatibility: The Fax ATA Connector software integrates with any fax server or fax service via API or T.37. Customers have deployed the Fax ATA solution with fax servers from FaxBack, OpenText, Sagemcom, etc.
More information about the AudioCodes HTTPS Fax ATA solution can be found at: www.faxata.com