Why You Should Ditch Your Fax Machine And Embrace Cloud-Based Fax Solutions
If you’re getting sick of paper jams, busy signals and extortionate maintenance costs, you may be considering ditching your office fax machine.
With over 46 million fax machines in operation globally, faxing remains essential for many Australian businesses. With such a high number of users, how can you continue faxing without a machine?
The answer lies in cloud-based fax solutions.
What are cloud-based fax solutions?
Cloud-based fax solutions are a form of fax system that allows businesses to send and receive faxes without the need for a physical fax machine. These fax systems run through your computer, tablet or smartphone, sending faxes digitally. There are several forms of cloud-based fax, including online fax, PC fax and VoIP fax.
Cloud-based fax is used by thousands of Australian businesses every day, as faxes are distributed through the internet. This makes fax accessible to businesses nationwide, as the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggest that 95.4% of Australian businesses have internet access.
Data from the ABS also shows that 59.3% of businesses place orders over the internet, while 37.1% receive orders over the internet. For many industries, this makes digital fax solutions necessary for sending orders to suppliers and receiving orders from customers.
Today, cloud-based fax solutions are used for four primary purposes:
Sharing documents within a business's supply chain.
Sharing confidential documents.
Inbound order processing and vendor invoicing.
Customer service and billing.
To see a cloud-based fax solution in action, consider the daily operations involved with running a warehouse. Warehouses process hundreds of purchase orders and packing lists every day, sending a constant stream of receipts, manufacturing documentation and certificate of origins to customers. Simultaneously, warehouse staff are faxing suppliers orders for more stock, as well as coordinating with management and other warehouses owned by the company.
Instead of processing these documents through a physical fax machine, cloud-based fax solutions allow warehouses to send, receive and store documents through a single fax number.
Traditional fax vs cloud-based fax solutions
The global online fax market is estimated to be worth over USD 2.4 billion by 2022. The online fax industry has grown rapidly since 2016, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%.
The growth of the online fax industry is driven by businesses turning off their old office fax machine and embracing the new world of cloud-based fax. While traditional fax machines served the average office well in the ‘80s, traditional fax machines are a pain point of modern businesses. This is because:
Traditional fax machines are expensive to maintain, requiring paper, toner, ink and routine maintenance.
Faxes sent on traditional machines can be picked up by anyone near the machine.
Traditional fax machines can only send or receive one fax at a time.
Printed faxes must be manually filed to be kept.
Traditional fax machines break down regularly and can be expensive to fix.
Traditional fax machines are stuck in a single location.
Long term, these pain points make traditional fax machines more expensive and less useful than cloud-based fax solutions. A traditional fax machine can cost an Australian business an average of $1,259.76 annually, while the same business would pay just $116.55 with a cloud-based fax service.
Unlike traditional fax machines, cloud-based fax works on any computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection. This makes cloud-based fax flexible, affordable and efficient.
Cloud-based faxing benefits for Australian businesses
Cloud-based fax solutions aren’t just cheaper long-term. Digital fax solutions that are well integrated into your business will make your business more productive and efficient. Here’s why.
#1. Cloud-based fax is more secure than traditional fax.
Cloud-based faxing uses end-to-end encryption to ensure your faxes are not intercepted. While traditional faxes can be collected by anyone near the fax machine, cloud-based faxes travel directly into the inbox of their recipient - keeping your communications secure.
#2. Cloud-based fax is multi-functional.
Cloud-based fax systems can process multiple faxes simultaneously, removing the delay when sending faxes on a busy line. Cloud-based faxes also travel digitally, meaning they can be sent to multiple recipients without needing to send multiple faxes.
#3. Cloud-based fax works internationally.
Want to fax someone in another country? No problem! While a traditional fax machine needs an international carrier to send faxes overseas, cloud-based faxes can be sent to any country.
As a business with cloud-based fax, you can select a local, toll-free or international number. Many online fax companies even allow you to run your fax machine with a number from another country.
#4. Cloud-based fax can travel with you.
As cloud-based fax machines operate through your computer, phone and tablet, your fax machine can travel with you. All you need to reach your fax machine is an internet connection, making cloud-based fax as flexible as email.
#5. Cloud-based fax systems perform their own maintenance.
Sick of paying for a technician to fix your office fax machine? Cloud-based fax systems perform their own maintenance! As cloud-based fax machines operate through apps and software, updates to the technology are provided by your fax service provider. This means your fax machine can update itself - no expensive technician required.
#6. Cloud-based systems file your faxes for you.
Say no to the filing room and yes to cloud-based fax storage. Cloud-based fax systems store the faxes you send and receive for you. These systems rely on cloud storage, meaning your faxes will only be lost if you delete them.
On top of those six benefits, sending cloud-based faxes is easy.
How does cloud faxing work?
Like traditional fax machines, cloud-based fax solutions give your business a fax number. This number is used to send and receive faxes through an app on your mobile or tablet, software on your computer desktop, your email or your fax provider's website.
To send a fax, you simply follow these three steps.
Open your fax providers app/software/website and press to create a new fax.
Type in the fax number you are sending to.
Attach your fax documents and press ‘send’.
When you receive a fax, it appears in your email inbox as either a PDF or TIFF file. This file is saved to the cloud as it is sent, meaning you do not need to save the fax to access it again. Many online fax companies also provide an inbuilt document converter, meaning you can convert your documents into a PDF or MS Word document if required.
Faxes sent with cloud faxing can also be sent to multiple people without recipients identifying each other - like ‘BCC’ in email.
Cloud-Based fax and the NBN
When investing in cloud-based fax, it’s essential to choose a fax provider that’s future proof and NBN compatible - like eFax. eFax has been revolutionalising their multi-platform online fax solution for the past ten years and are passionate about helping Australian businesses embrace online fax in the NBN age.
While many Australian businesses lose their fax service when connecting to the NBN, eFax customers have access to expert support from fax professionals. Over 95% of member calls to eFax’s customer support are resolved in less than 2 minutes.
eFax even allows you to keep using your existing NBN number from day one - making the transition to online fax seamless. With eFax, you’ll get the comfort and security of an NBN compatible fax provider while joining a network of over 11 million happy customers worldwide.
To learn what a cloud-based provider like eFax can do for you, contact eFax on 1800 283 361 and start a free 30-day trial today.