I would like to see how you use fax machines. Legacy fax machines seem to be dying and our staff likes having them on hand. 1) We have 10 machines divided out between 3 connected buildings, and 2) We currently have a phone system (Switchvox), where all office extensions are set to accept voice and fax calls. I would like to reduce our fax machines down to 1 per building and am curious on how you are set up and any thoughts or recommendation?
We have one “traditional” fax machine per campus. We use an analog telephone adapter to give it a number on our VOIP system. We very rarely get faxes, but occasionally someone needs to send. So only having one is not a problem for us.
We rarely use faxes. That said, there are a small handful of numbers we send to - health insurance and state agencies for the most part. We have 12 SIP lines from our ISP going into our Shoretel phone system. One of them is our fax number. The fax machine is plugged into an analog port on the Shoretel. We were using the fax functionality built into our Ricoh copier; we recently upgraded to Xerox but the workflow is the same. You can fax from the front panel of the machine, but you can also fax by “printing” to the print driver and selecting the fax option. You type the number into the print driver and it “prints” the file as a fax to the number you specify. We have the machine configured to turn received faxes into PDFs and send them to a shared mailbox. We forward them to the appropriate recipient from there. Since almost all our received faxes are spam, this cuts way down on wasted paper.
Up until a few months ago, we had POTS lines for fax connected to our multifunction copiers. Given the few faxes we send or receive, even that was overkill. Now we have an eFax setup with our VoIP provider. Incoming faxes land as PDFs in a mailbox monitored by our receptionist who forwards the real faxes and discards the junk (which is most of them). Staff can send faxes by sending email attachments (PDFs work best but Word/Excel are ok too) to an address based on the destination fax number.
We have ONE traditional fax machine on our six building campus. It rarely gets used, but does fill a need. It’s mostly used by church volunteer leaders who don’t have a church email.
Most of this need is filled by scan to email. We have two departmental devices and numerous multi-function machines in offices that can do this. Again, when you are staff, sending a document as an email attachment is usually the way to go.
We have an analog fax line coming in hooked up to a server and a fax machine. Faxes get received by a Server 2012r2 machine and emailed to a staff shared Office365 mailbox. People use the fax machine to send faxes.
This keeps us from printing all the junk faxes that come in and also allows users to get their faxes even if they are not here. Never setup the outbound fax stuff since we do so few and did not want to bother training people how to use it.
We still have a decent amount of faxes but we’ve gotten rid of our POTS lines. We switched over to faxfinder. Most of our people like being able to receive a fax in which case, this device will receive it and either email it to that person or will actually just send it as a print job to a printer. As for outbound faxing they can email the faxfinder server or login and upload it via the web. So far its worked very well for us!
We used to fax via pots lines connected to an analog card on our ShoreTel system as well. We were experiencing a 50% failure rate using this faxing method. We switched to Onlinefaxes.com, which was purchased by eFax back in September. Onlinefaxes used to allow unlimited receive addresses, so all staff could have their faxes faxed directly to their email inbox. With eFax, you are only allowed 5 with the type of service we bought, basically $99 a year. I setup 4 department heads to be able to Fax from their own email address, and a generic one for everyone else that’s monitored by IT and our Chms admin. They forward, then delete the fax once they confirm the intended recipient has it in their inbox. We have had 2 fax failures, 1 the person faxing forgot to add the “1” in front of the number, and 2) the receiving end had an issue but the fax was delivered after they fixed their issue. It’s been very reliable.