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By Christophe Viry
on 05 Apr 2017 11:10 AM
  • Digital transformation
  • EDI
It would seem the fax isn’t going anywhere. While some of its uses have become obsolete, believe it or not, professional use is still in full swing. There are currently over 2 billion faxes sent in France every year, and it remains an important means of communication in the B2B sector. Apparently, businesses still see the key benefits of faxing: it is easy to use, it has legal and traceability values, it provides a guaranteed delivery flow, and as a result of all these factors, it is still used today in 99% of businesses. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) software has provided companies with the ability to consolidate and manage postal mail, fax, and email in a digital manner, but now it’s time to look at where we are heading in terms of the fax, specifically. The future of the fax lies in the cloud and we have come up with 10 good reasons for migrating your fax service over.
 

Risk of device obsolescence

If you are using an in-house, centralized fax system you may be at risk of finding that your hardware and software come with an expiry date. We are seeing a big push towards the use of SaaS EDI applications, often because a move to the cloud eliminates the worry of manual software updates and maintenance, while at the same time consolidating different means of communication. 
 

Outsourcing of IT to the Cloud

Outsourcing certain IT jobs to the cloud allows your internal IT team to spend time on things that matter more. It alleviates the pressures of maintenance and upgrades from your IT team, is all managed remotely, and ensures your company is using the most up-to-date technologies.

Consolidating applications

A great benefit of moving your fax system to the cloud is the ability to consolidate it with other business applications. A fax-managed service can be integrated within a global collaborative B2B platform, where you can easily switch between communication media. Fax to EDI, EDI to portal, portal to fax, there are many ways to configure flows based on your business requirements.
 

Need for secure and compliant software

Traditional, analog fax servers contain security risks that you may not have considered before. Unsecure, unencrypted copies on a server or a hard drive, outdated security measures, and even confidential material lying out for everyone to see puts a company at risk of not meeting compliance standards.  A SaaS Fax-Managed Service can significantly reduce these risks both during exchange and storage.
 

Overall visibility and reporting

Cloud-based and integrated software provides a higher level of visibility, and an easier way to manage flows, maintain excellent traceability, and configure reporting services to match business needs. 
 

Higher and different service levels

SaaS SLAs give customers the ability to configure the services requested by need rather than by buying into a costly system that provides services that they don’t need, or, on the contrary, isn’t able to adapt to newer functionalities. These service levels can be adjusted when business processes change.
 

Better support for business users

SaaS fax management solutions and support can be configured via SLAs and contracts to match the needs of the customer, a benefit that cannot be provided by traditional fax software and hardware. 
 

Lack of expertise or interest from the provider

A traditional fax service provider may just be interested in providing the initial hardware and software, but not the accompanying maintenance, or even updating the system to account for changes in business processes. This basically locks you into a system that can easily become outdated or even obsolete.
 

Reduction in costs

Cloud-based SaaS Fax Management software can help significantly reduce internal costs as billing can be based on service use, which allows for lower costs during off-peak periods of use. Investments and reinvestments in hardware and software are also eliminated.  Costs for maintenance, support, and upgrades are also included in the monthly fee rather than billed separately.
 

Digital transformation strategies

Companies are looking to leverage the acceleration of digital technology development across their supply chain, and the ability to consolidate EDI with other services via cloud-based SaaS platforms is very enticing.
 
Moving your fax system to the cloud is a step towards the future of EDI services: a more cost-effective solution that allows companies to not only consolidate applications, but also expand their efficacy and reach on a global level.
 

Christophe Viry

Expert in EDI, Software integration, e-invoicing…