In a rapidly transforming world, where live video streaming, VR conferencing, cloud-based computing, and AI bot-driven communication are becoming commonplace, the very idea of faxing as a mode of business communication seems antiquated. Although the fax machine itself has become quite nearly obsolete, faxing as a business file-sharing tool has certainly not been confined to the dustbins of technological history. In fact, in some types of businesses, faxing has continued to be as useful as ever for document sharing. Here are some of the key reasons why some businesses continue to rely on faxing as a means of transmitting files and other business communication.
Some regulated industries still need faxing
In part due to the risks of cyberattacks and in part simply because some old practices still work well, a number of highly regulated sectors, such as the health care and pharmaceutical industry, defense industry, banking and finance, legal firms, and government agencies may often required hard copies of certain business documents. While digital signatures on documents are now accepted in many businesses, their legality is not universally recognized. Sensitive businesses relying may not want to take the risk of e-signatures for certain documents. In some courts of law, a document with a physical signature might hold up, while an e-signature may not. Therefore, legal documents of a sensitive nature, such as agreements, sales contracts and property deeds may be faxed even when only document copies are required to be sent.
When it comes to legal issues, dates and timestamps could also be vital because they can serve as evidence as to when the document was sent or received. Some business people may not trust emailed document with the same degree of confirmation. Nowadays cloud faxing software programs allow for convenient transmission of documents, while providing a reliable means of supplying the time and date of the transmission. Cloud faxing is fast and easy, and meets all the urgency requirements for document delivery. For instance, if you need the other party to sign and send back the document, faxing the document and receiving the signed document back by fax is a highly convenient and quick way to do it.
Safeguard your business communication against cybercrime
Cybercrime is rampant in today’s digitized business environment. Passwords can be bypassed, firewalls can be breached, and encrypted data offers little solace in a situation where illegal but sophisticated hackers have targeted your business. Just watch "Transformers" (the first one) or "Jason Bourne" (the fifth entry in the Bourne series) and you will know all about this. According to business communication analysts, as many as 40 percent of all email accounts or web communications would be compromised at some point. Cyber-thieves continue to build expertise to break into your company’s server or your personal email box. This is where faxing offers a solution for some businesses against such vulnerabilities of the digital world. Faxing too can be compromised, but to do that, the hacker will have to make a breach at the point of fax transmission. In other words, unless the hacker is aware of the precise timing when a file will be faxed, they may not be able to breach it.
Secondly, most hackers are busy acquiring skills to break into digital systems, and are largely unfamiliar with hacking cloud faxing systems. (Cloud faxing also comes with advanced security measures and data encryption.) Therefore, a conservative business can quietly carry on using faxing with lower security costs and lower risk of cyberattacks.
Copying and printing
Some businesses are happy to maintain the good old fax machine, and use it as a photocopier, in addition to its main function of file transmission. If the business requires photocopying only occasionally, they may not like to invest in a dedicated photocopy machine and provide extra space for it. Some of the new facsimile machines also provide the option of printing documents. You can connect the fax machine to your computer network, and give the print command. Again, this method is cost-effective only if your business have very little or occasional printing needs.
Improving your client service and sales effectiveness
Even if your business does not need faxing, some of your clients may be using this mode of business communication. So, you may need to use faxing for the sake of your customers. If your business operates in international geographies, you may prefer to maintain a faxing system in your workplace. In some of the advanced countries such as Israel and Japan, faxing continues to be a common mode of transferring business documents. In some parts of Africa and Asia, the Internet connectivity may not be as efficient as their phone lines. To deliver a written message or document in such situations, faxing may be a more reliable choice.
Fax broadcasting continues to be a smart sales tactic for some businesses. It is an affordable way to directly reach your prospect with your sales message, and cut through the clutter. The chance of your prospective customer picking up your fax message is far more than going through your ‘salesy’ email in their Inbox. You could use fax broadcasting for a select set of targeted customers while announcing a new product launch or offering a special discount. Faxing continues to work well also in areas such as fast-changing real estate offers, exchange rate changes, or even reminders about trade shows. Some businesses also prefer to distribute their press releases or newsletters via fax instead of email.
It is possible to integrate faxing and digital communication
With cloud faxing, businesses can now combine faxing and digital communication. Cloud faxing lets you edit a digital file and even include signatures using a touch-screen device. Similarly, a traditional fax copy can be converted into digital version using a scanner or a camera, and stored or transmitted digitally as required. Cloud faxing gives businesses the versatility to manage communication while integrating the traditional fax and digital formats.
Cloud faxing: Hello, 21st century
Cloud faxing is the answer to the new-age demands of a traditional business communication technology. Companies do not necessarily need to install a traditional fax machine any longer, and yet include faxing as a vital component of their business communication strategy.
More Business Communication articles
- Wait! What? Have chat apps replaced email?
- How chatbots are changing the way teams communicate internally
- Using the entitlement management feature in Azure AD for identity governance
- Microsoft Teams: Top features to improve work collaboration
- Microsoft Teams and Office 365: A marriage made in Redmond