When Comparing Cloud Fax Providers:
Look for Extensive Capabilities
For the fifth post in our blog series about assessing cloud fax solutions, we focus on the need for a wide range of system capabilities. Electronic fax customers differ greatly in processes and workflows—they require a broad array of options for how end users can send and receive their faxes. Organizations benefit most from an internet fax system that enables them to work in the way they always have and replicates their existing processes. Here are some specific areas where the breadth and flexibility of a digital fax system are key:
To help you gather the right questions to ask other internal stakeholders for your fax solution purchasing process, we’ve put together a checklist of considerations to help you begin scoping your project. Download the checklist below.
If a cloud fax provider offers multiple options for transmitting and receiving faxes, organizational users will adopt the system more quickly, increasing return on investment. Understand a prospective system’s capabilities and think about your organization’s flexibility in terms of extending existing processes or transitioning to new solutions. You definitely want to get a handle on how easy new systems are to use, the kinds of file types they support, and importantly, whether they include web portal or address book functionality. Faxing should be available from any application with the ability to print, from an email inbox, and from any multifunction printer or scanner. Investigate whether system capabilities offer adequate flexibility and control over sending and receiving faxes.
Individual members of your organization should be able to customize their own cloud fax experiences. Some examples are as simple as determining how a user’s signature is displayed on a sent fax, or as overarching as how a user can view incoming faxes and interact with them. End user customization is key to having a cloud fax platform that works for everyone, with an experience that is tailored by role.
Large organizations with many users need an internet fax system with a wide range of administrative options. Aligning user privileges with the organizational hierarchy is one way to help manage high user volume. Secure fax capabilities also need to be available, including authentication required for fax viewing, permissions for specific fax actions, and assigning team members to a shared fax inbox. Service continuity benefits and downtime is limited when administrators can make changes themselves without contacting the fax service provider. Operational agility is also strengthened when administrative functions like controlling the inventory of fax numbers and number porting initiation can be done in-house without contacting the vendor.
Tracking and Reporting
Comprehensive tracking and reporting are vital for a cloud fax service, regardless of industry. At a basic level, tracking and reporting must help your IT team track fax activity and how much the service costs to operate. Traffic reporting should offer insight on destination numbers with failed transmissions, numbers being sent to often, and usage by user and department. Organizations in industries that are highly regulated need even more advanced tracking reporting, to provide insight into fax-centric business processes and especially for an audit or risk management-related problem. Whatever a client’s requirements may be, the online fax vendor must be able to supply the reporting data-points.
Ultimately, a cloud fax service needs to offer a breadth of functionality that matches how organizations operate. At the same time the vendor must make the system flexible and accessible so that customizations and enhancements can be made quickly and easily, with as little impact on continuity as possible. Adding electronic fax needs to be a seamless extension of existing processes, with no discernible lag in operational success.
Start asking the right questions about your organization’s fax uses and needs, so you can find the right solution for the entire organization.