Faxing is something you may or may not be familiar with in a business setting. There was a time when faxing was the most cutting-edge and revolutionary business technology around. Of course, that may have been around the time that it was introduced, roughly about two generations ago. Needless to say, things have changed since then, dramatically so in the world of business communications. Why is it, then, that fax machines tend to still be made and sold online? It was news when the last commercially produced VCR was discontinued, and they aren’t as old as faxing is. This is most likely because there are a few reasons that faxing is still relevant, and will most likely remain relevant well into the future. And with that in mind, we’re offering these following examples of what is keeping the mostly-forgotten technology of faxing up and running.
Out of the Spotlight, Not Out of Commission
The fax machine isn’t the sleekest, sexiest, the most sizzling hot new piece of office hardware you can find these days. In fact, most offices that use fax machines still will have them as part of the popular, all-in-one model of printer/copier, so that makes it unlikely that you’d even recognize a modern fax machine if you only knew the bulky, clunky, noisy behemoths of yesteryear. And in spite of the relative invisibility of the venerable fax machine, they are persistently in the quiver of business communications tools of successful organizations the world over. These following reasons are the ones chiefly responsible for faxing’s continued relevance.
- Paperless Faxing
Faxing technology has evolved considerably from the days when rolls of direct thermal printing paper began spooling out messages over 50 years ago. Much like the majority of modern technologies and business systems, faxing can be done completely paperlessly. Digital paperless faxing can send and receive documents directly from an email inbox with email to fax. Using email to fax reproduces all of the benefits of a fax machine without ever having to worry about running out of toner, loading paper properly, or that annoying tonal cacophony that accompanied any sent or received fax from back in the day. And seeing as how email-to-fax is included with all of our advanced cloud-based business telephone systems, it’s easy to see why many businesses don’t have any intention to kill the fax machine just yet.
- It’s like The Soccer of Business Tools
Or rather, football, if you will. I draw this comparison because soccer is the world’s biggest, most widely-participated-in sport. So, too, is faxing. More businesses in the global economy depend on faxing rather than email mostly because broadband internet penetration in the world as a whole is nothing like it is here in the United States. In fact, even domestically we are well behind many of our developed world companions in access to high-speed internet. This is a situation that’s ideal for faxing because faxing technology was developed to only use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN, effectively any non-ethernet telephone line). And seeing as how raw materials, shipping hubs, and supply chain integrity all rely on being virtually continuously updated and accessible in order to successfully bring products to market, the simple telephone wire is the most important and ubiquitous form of communication on the planet.
- Safer Than Email
Faxing is based on “Base64 Binary Encryption,” and while this may sound like gibberish, it’s clearly the secret to faxing’s most compelling feature. This encryption technology is not just possibly the biggest reason for its longevity, it’s also the golden ticket for it to be the primary communications method for some of the world’s largest industries. Specifically, Law Offices and any medical organization that wants to conduct business within the United States or with a company that operates here needs to have access to a fax machine. According to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) regulations, the only recognized process for document security is faxing. Also, faxed documents remain to be the only digitally transferred signed documents that are legally recognized, as well. Therefore, any business that ever interfaces with a legal representative (ergo, all businesses everywhere) will most certainly at some point be required to send or receive a fax machine. Even with such a relatively old security protocol as Base64, faxing has stood the test of time and remains to be one of the most secure document transfer options available, and certainly the most affordable.
Nobody has a crystal ball, so it’s impossible to tell for certain if someone somewhere is working on a technology to sweep the world and supplant faxing as a stalwart of business communications. That said, barring any such wild development, it’s safe to say that faxing will probably remain a necessity for businesses well into the future. Don’t have your digital faxing strategy figured out yet? Don’t worry, because like I mentioned, email-to-fax is available on all Dash Basic, Pro, and Unlimited Plans so you’d be able to take faxing with you anywhere your business went if you wanted. Plus, because all of our Dash Plans are on sale for our massive Cyber Monday Sale, there’s never been a better time to prepare yourself for the future than right now! When Monday rolls around you’ll have to act fast, though, because we’ll only be extending those saving for one day and one day only. You can click on the banner below to learn more.