What can Cloud-Based Online Faxing do for me?
The newest buzzword hitting the business world is “the cloud.” Sounds mysterious, yet almost tranquil, does it not? Well, for businesses the cloud is becoming the new normal, whether we want it to or not. The latest sector heading to the cloud are online fax services. With different services out there, each offering the same basic service, the question becomes, “who do I choose?” Well, before choosing a cloud based service for your faxes, take some time to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts.
What is the cloud?
Simply put, the cloud is a web based computing and storage solution. Instead of placing software or hardware in your location, the tasks are carried out through the web, thus freeing up your resources for other tasks. Applications and programs are stored on external servers and you, the user, access these programs through your PC. The benefit of the cloud is that the problem of installing, updating and replacing software packages is handled on the provider side. This removes the burden of keeping up with hardware revisions or software updates. All the user needs to worry about is having a broadband connection to access the cloud-based services.
What is a cloud-based online fax service?
The old way of faxing was a bit of a tedious experience by today’s standards. Take a hard copy document to the fax machine and punch in a phone number and hope the fax got to its destination. Today’s cloud-based online fax services make the process of sending a document much easier to accomplish. Instead of requiring a physical document, the fax service takes your computer document (Word file, PDF, etc.), converts it to a file type compatible for sending over the internet (usually an image file) and then the fax service transmits this file to the recipient. The reverse process occurs when a fax is sent to you. The file will either come to your existing fax machine or your email address through the fax client software and the fax number they assign to you.
Why should my business use a cloud-based fax service?
One word: flexibility. With the use of a cloud-based fax service, your fax number travels with you. As long as you have access to the internet you have the capability to send and receive faxes. There is no need for a physical fax machine since the documents will arrive in your email inbox. No more searching high and low for a fax machine in a hotel you are staying at for business, or trying to find the business center in a convention hall during a trade how. The convenience of a cloud-based fax service cannot be understated.
Also, the cloud-based fax service has the added benefit of reducing paper usage (and associated costs such as toner, maintenance plans, etc.). Another benefit that will scale up the larger your business operation is that you do not need hardware-based fax machines anymore. However, should your business still require a physical fax machine, you can still reap the benefit of reducing the number of actual machines needed by using a cloud-based fax service.
What should I look for in a cloud-based fax service?
Your best bet is to search for a service that has a positive reputation for service and security. These two qualities are most important. First, you want to make sure your documents are getting to where they need to be, and secondly, you want those same documents to arrive securely. Data security is vital in today’s business environment and you do not need a service that cuts corners in this area. The third quality to look for is price. Most services charge a monthly fee combined with a maximum number of pages. Should the user go over the plan’s maximum number of pages, a per page charge is levied. Before signing up with a cloud-based fax service, you should try to determine the average number of pages you fax a month. This will help you determine the plan that is right for you.