Stratus, a new cloud-based “fax as a service” solution from Vox Amvia, will offer the powerful document management features of enterprise fax servers to small and medium-sized enterprises for the first time.
“Rumours of the death of fax are greatly exaggerated,” says Craig Freer of Vox Amvia, the enterprise fax specialist in the Vox Telecom group. “Fax is still a critical tool for many businesses because it delivers security, auditing and tracking that email can’t match. That’s why documents like purchase orders, invoices, loan applications and the like are still routinely transmitted by fax.”
But until now, says Freer, only medium to large corporates have been able to afford the fax server technology that makes it easy to manage large numbers of faxes. “Distributing, securing, storing and archiving paper faxes has always been a nightmare, which is why fax server technology has been so widely adopted,” he says.
Fax server technology allows companies to meet stringent security requirements, says Freer. “You get a complete audit trail showing exactly who has received, viewed, forwarded or deleted a fax.”
In addition, a fax server makes it possible to intelligently route faxes directly to the correct person or business application, even if the company is only using one fax number “This allows companies to significantly streamline business processes and improve customer satisfaction levels,” says Freer.
The advent of cloud computing and hosted services, adds Freer, has democratised fax server technology. “Hosting enables us to offer Stratus to everyone from the home office market to mid-sized enterprises. That’s on top of all the other benefits of hosted technology: There is no upfront capital investment and people pay only for what they use. You also always have the most up-to-date version of the software available – there’s never any need to download and install updates or patches.”
Stratus can make the process of sending and receiving faxes truly paperless, says Freer, enabling faxes to be delivered to any email address or network folder in the organisation. “It’s a particularly good solution for companies that demand stringent audit trails on document movement, want to consolidate fax numbers for each business unit, access content of fax images , or automate faxing to and from business applications.”
Even more importantly, he says, it enables fax to become part of the enterprise-wide document management process – including being stored in searchable form in an archive. “It makes finding an old fax as easy as finding an old email, using any search engine.”
“All of this means Stratus is a lot more than a simple fax-to-email service,” says Freer. “It can take days off business processes and dramatically reduce administration costs.”
Vox Amvia is the sole South African agent for RightFax, the world’s leading fax server vendor. “With Stratus we’re able to enable even small businesses to route, store, search and archive their faxes without ever having to print or capture data.”