Small businesses currently employ 44% of Australia's workforce. If you're one of those people, I'm sure you're familiar with a common problem: you have an endless pile of documents to be faxed to customers, clients and associates and a clunky old fax machine that slows down your workday.
Thankfully, there's a solution that can streamline your faxing process: online faxing.
This complete guide to online faxing will teach you everything you need to know to get started with online faxing, including what online faxing is, how it works and how it helps businesses thrive.
What Is Online Faxing?
Online faxing was first released to the public in 1996. With an online faxing service, your business can transmit faxes using the internet.
When you send a fax with online faxing, your faxing service provider encodes it with Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption and transmits it through their servers.
But what makes online faxing different from traditional faxing?
Online Faxing Vs Traditional Faxing
Online faxing and traditional faxing are similar technologies, but there are some critical differences between the two. These differences include:
The mode of transport = online faxing transmits faxes through the internet, while traditional faxing uses phone lines.
The equipment required = traditional faxing requires a fax machine, whereas online faxing only requires an internet-connected device.
The output = traditional fax machines print faxes when they receive them, whereas online faxes are stored digitally with cloud-based storage.
The cost = online faxing costs as little as $169.50 annually, whereas the average fax machine costs $1,259.76 annually.
Do Online Fax Services Use Fax Numbers?
Like traditional faxing, online faxing services use fax numbers - though online fax numbers do not correspond to physical PSTN/ ISDN fax lines.
Online fax numbers look the same as traditional fax numbers, meaning they include:
A country code (i.e. '61' for Australia)
An area code (i.e. '02' for Sydney)
A local fax number (i.e. '90827361')
If your business wants to continue faxing through your current fax number, you can simply port your number to your online faxing provider when you switch.
How To Use Online Faxing
There are four ways to send a fax with online faxing: email, eFax's desktop app, the eFax web portal or eFax's Android and iOS mobile apps.
To send an online fax with eFax, follow these instructions:
Open eFax and log in (if you are not an online fax user, you can sign up here).
Click 'New Fax'.
Type in your recipient's full faxing number (including country and area code).
Click 'Attach' and select up to 10 files.
Fill in your cover sheet.
With online faxing, any faxes you receive are stored digitally. Press 'Received Faxes' to view your faxes.
Best Online Faxing Features For Small Businesses
Online faxing is a great communication tool for small businesses. While every online faxing service is different, eFax's system includes the following features to help small businesses fax better:
NBN compatibility = As eFax does not transmit faxes through analog fax lines, switching to the NBN will not disrupt your businesses faxing connection. eFax is also an accredited Business NBN Provider.
Large file transfer = eFax can help your business transfer files up to 3GB.
Digital signatures = eFax allows you to add pre-saved or fresh signatures to documents, meaning you won't have to print, scan and send documents that need signatures.
Cloud-based storage = eFax stores your businesses faxes in free cloud-based storage, meaning you'll never lose another fax around the office.
A PDF converter = eFax's PDF converter can help you change documents into PDFs quickly.
International faxing = eFax's low international rates can help you fax documents globally without obliterating your operations budget.
Online Faxing Case Studies
While online faxing has many benefits, the best way to see the true value of the technology is through the eyes of businesses that rely on it. Here are four of their stories.
#1. McCabe Group
McCabe Group is a construction business that works with developers and contractors every day. While the organisation used to rely on paper faxing, they were constantly losing contracts, blueprints, plans and drawings between work sites and partners.
So they tried online faxing.
Online faxing allowed McCabe Group employees to fax from wireless-enabled laptops while out of the office. This reduced data loss, saved the company roughly $1,300 per person per week and increased project efficiency tenfold.
#2. Regional Bank
Before they tried online faxing, a regional banking business with 29 branches used to manage an average of 8,000 faxes by hand every month. Machine faxing was time-consuming for staff and dangerous for the business, as the bank had branches located in disaster-prone coastal areas.
To fix these issues, the bank tried online faxing.
Switching to online faxing helped the business reduce their hardware, software, telecommunications, time-input and software costs by up to 25%. It also helped the business become compliant with the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX), the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and the 2018 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).
#3. Duane Morris
Law firm Duane Morris also improved their efficiency with online faxing. Lawyers and key personnel at the business were juggling piles of handwritten documents daily. Looking for a scalable solution that integrated with their existing digital systems, Duane Morris tried giving each of their attorneys a private faxing number.
This allowed the attorneys to send private and confidential documents from anywhere, which has been instrumental when working out of the office.
#4. CarePlus Pharmacy
CarePlus Pharmacy works with a network of 50 care homes across the UK. Each care home faxes the pharmacy documents and prescriptions they need to process, dispense and deliver in 2 - 3 days.
Before they switched to online faxing, CarePlus Pharmacy managed these faxes using fax machines. However, this took hours, as they frequently faxed Medical Administration Records (MARS) that were up to 200 pages long.
Switching to online faxing allowed the pharmacy to go paper-free, which reduced their staff's workload, increased the security of their communications and allowed them to automatically store key documents in the cloud.
How Online Faxing Can Help Your Business
Online faxing has significant benefits for small businesses, as it can help you:
If you're looking for a fax partner that's got your businesses back, make sure you choose eFax. eFax is a leading fax provider that works with over 11 million customers worldwide.
Their faxing system gives your business the freedom and flexibility to fax from any smartphone, tablet or computer. eFax's system also includes plenty of small-business-friendly features, including digital signatures, large file transfer, email faxing, cloud-based storage and a PDF converter.
As eFax is a fax-line free faxing service, it's also fully NBN-compatible and future-proof. eFax can even help you smoothly transition to the NBN without interrupting your fax service. eFax is currently offering a free trial that includes a free fax number, full access to eFax and up to 400 free faxes.
Try eFax by starting a 30-day free trial here
or call 1800 283 361 to speak to a faxing expert.