These days, fax machines are largely considered a relic of work years past. In the 1980s, fax machines were widespread and became an essential tool for businesses, becoming an integral part of communication. Once considered as an innovative cutting-edge technology, now many think that no one uses faxing anymore.
Is faxing obsolete in this digital age of instant messaging and online sharing? While fax machines have earned their place in technological history, faxing as a process of document workflows and file-sharing should not be confined to the past just yet. In fact, for many businesses, faxing is more important than ever and relevant in their day-to-day operations.
There are compelling reasons why faxing is still around in the world of business. Let’s explore how faxing still holds a critical place in modern communication and document sharing, even in 2023.
The evolution of fax
Since its inception in 1843, (yes, it’s almost 180 years old!) effective transmission of messages has been the name of the game when it came to faxing. With its successful use of optical scanning and transmission of photographs since 1902, this early fax technology laid the groundwork for how we understand and use the fax machine today.
In its early days, faxing was limited to point-to-point transmission between two fax machines. You simply place one document onto the machine, punch in the number for where you want it to go, and it’s sent to another fax machine. Nowadays, you might not even need a fax machine to send and receive faxes.
Online fax services have been on the rise and has been a common transition for offices that have been using faxes in their workflow for decades. Online fax services receive incoming faxes as email attachments and send them in a similar manner. Novatech’s recommended tech stack, RingCentral, allows you to send over a thousand files and documents within their dedicated phone numbers; you can even set up which numbers are only meant to receive faxing.
Why do businesses still send faxes?
It all boils down to two words: security and reliability. Faxing remains a popular choice for legacy and older businesses as one of the most secure forms of communication. This is why faxing is still being used by medical and healthcare providers, and those working within law firms. Traditional fax machines still use telephone lines as their mode of transmission. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for message tampering or interception by third parties. Physical fax machines don’t use a digital network, preventing hackers from accessing anything that you’ve sent or received through the device through online means. Plus, without filters like spam folders, businesses can make sure documents actually make it into the right hands.
When it comes to reliability, many legacy businesses who started during the height of fax use may be too reliant on this mode of communication. Most members of those types of offices are familiar with how faxing works and the protocols for sending and receiving. Faxes are still effective at getting messages across safely and securely, and this keeps people on the fax lines.
Faxing in 2023: Online fax services
Faxing is here to stay. It’s come a long way and has adapted to the digital age. How, you might ask? Online faxing has emerged as the preferred alternative to traditional faxing. It works by sending and receiving documents via the internet.
You might be hesitant given that the biggest sales pitch of faxing is its security. Its lack of network through the internet makes for more secure transfers of sensitive data and documents.
Online faxing takes after its predecessor, the fax machine, making sure transmission of files and documents is secure. Online faxing uses high-level encryption to ensure that all transmissions aren’t easy to intercept, and helps prevent unauthorized persons from accessing your data. This technology allows businesses to send and receive faxes not just through fax machines, but through email as well. This eliminates the need for physical fax machines, which can be a way to reduce operational costs.
Using online fax services like RingCentral also makes sure your confidential business information is within the confines of the service platform. This has revolutionized the way businesses communicate, as online faxing allows bulk file transmission containing videos, audio, and other files that don’t require formatting to fit in the information transfer. You can also attach, or drag and drop folder files to integrated fax programs like Microsoft 365. There’s more you can do when it comes to the varying types of file transfers that aren’t limited to paperwork.
Faxing remains a viable option for the modern business. Many organizations still use faxing as one of their modes of communication, and online fax services have become available to businesses of all sizes. These services are designed to be easy to use, and they offer businesses the convenience and flexibility they need to keep up with their fast-paced operations.
Looking to still effectively use the fax within your business? Novatech can help you improve your fax processes and provide the best fax services for you, be it online or traditional. We’re happy to help you and your fax machines up to speed with your business needs.