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From Fax Servers to Cloud Fax: Understanding the Cost Comparison

Fax servers were once a viable, widely-used option for managing electronic faxes securely. But as that technology ages, it proves to be difficult to scale, time-consuming to manage, and increasingly costly to maintain. Cloud Fax is the modern answer to the need for highly-secure, reliable online fax technology⁠—without the headaches and expense of managing on-premise servers.

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Western Union Case Study

Server or Cloud: How to compare costs

In comparing the cost of operating an on-premise fax server versus Concord Cloud Fax, there are a range of variables throughout individual plans, models and usage patterns; there’s no standard equation that can be applied to every instance of implementation. However, Concord has performed this analysis for a huge variety of existing server configurations over the past two decades, and we have a deep understanding of the patterns that have emerged. By performing this analysis, we’ve enabled countless customers to save on resources and time, but also on real, measurable expense by switching to Cloud Fax.

Read on for an overview of how to compare costs, or download our Cost Comparison Guide for a more in-depth look, including almost 20 pages of real world cost assessment info.

Assessing operating costs

If your organization has been utilizing a fax server for some time, you’re probably acutely aware of the day-to-day operational expenses. But as you weigh the decision to move to a cloud fax solution, it’s helpful to know which of your existing operating costs will follow you to your new service. Here’s how Concord Cloud Fax compares against standard fax server operating costs.

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Support contracts

Leading fax server solution:  Typically, a traditional on-premise fax software vendor charges an annual fee for support and maintenance, and these fees are notoriously costly. Leading fax server vendors are known to charge as much 20% of the value of your software every year for basic, eight hours a day, five days a week support. For 24×7 support, this increases to as much as 25%. And if you want the attention of a technical support account manager, the cost is even higher.

Concord Cloud Fax: Concord’s Premium Support is always free, with standard 8×5 support as well as 24×7 after hours emergency support. Concord doesn’t charge any ongoing fees and maintenance costs; we also handle all of the infrastructure. The vast majority of platform maintenance takes place with absolutely no scheduled downtime for our users.

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“Leading fax server vendors are known to charge as much 20% of the value of your software every year for basic support.”

Call traffic and long-distance fees

Leading fax server solution: The price your organization pays for call traffic will vary; the majority of corporate customers pay for long-distance call chargeswhich amount to the vast majority of their traffic—and many “free call” plans restrict the area of those free calls and increase the trunk cost to compensate. For most organizations relying on fax servers, an easy way to figure out the total cost of call traffic is to total individual pages sent or received, assume a minute of call time on average for each, and multiply by an average trunk charge of 1.5 – 2.2c per minute. As you assess your call traffic costs, it’s important to take into account how they factor into the overall cost of your fax server solution.

Concord Cloud Fax: Unlike a server-based fax solution, Concord charges based on monthly usage. While your current call charges compare on the surface with Concord’s per-page usage charges, our price-per-page is more than a pure telecommunications cost per minute; our monthy usage charges cover the costs of Concord’s modern, reliable platform, maintaining security and compliance, support and more. This pricing structure enables us to greatly reduce your total cost of service, and provides flexibility to reduce your costs as your service volume increases.

Phone lines and fax numbers

Leading fax server solution: The overall cost of telephony can vary widely depending on the size of your operation. For example, many smaller fax servers utilize analog lines connected directly to the server (typically between $50 to $80 per month, per line) while larger fax servers often use one or more T1 trunks (typically $300 to $400 per month for a mid-size customer). Additionally, charges  for individual fax numbers can range anywhere from 20 cents up to $5 each. For an on-premise fax server setup, the primary pain point associated with fax lines is that regardless of the size of your server, you need to provision for peak fax bursts. As a result, the capacity and expense for these lines often goes unused.

Concord Cloud Fax: Concord eliminates the cost of telephony entirely, only charging inbound fax user (a user with their own dedicated fax number) or for each outbound fax user (someone who can send, but doesn’t have their own fax number). Most importantly for our users, the number of inbound or outbound users can be adjusted at any time to scale with evolving business needs.

Hardware maintenance

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“A typical fax server will require 10% of its value in annual maintenance, and last for an average of four years.”

Leading fax server solution: Evaluating the cost of maintenance and the obsolescence that comes along with any technology involves a certain degree of variability, but Concord conservatively estimates that a typical server will require 10% of its value in annual maintenance, and that the server will last for an average of four years. In some instances, more maintenance is required for hardware; with all of our server replacement projects, however, we’ve discovered that on-going hardware maintenance costs are always a factor.

Concord Cloud Fax: Concord doesn’t charge any annual hardware maintenance fees; we handle all the maintenance of the infrastructure and ensure that Cloud Fax is always online. No headaches. No surprises. No extra costs.

Facilities

Leading fax server solution: In helping businesses replace their fax servers, almost every IT executive we speak to has an active project to reduce the overall number of their servers in an effort to reduce operating costs. Those costs may include data center space, racks or power – they all add up. On top of this expense, many companies today are being forced into a migration from TDM to SIP as a result of datacenter consolidation or migration. This massively increases both the cost and the complexity of ongoing maintenance.

Concord Cloud Fax: With Concord Cloud Fax, there is no on-premise equipment for you to manage and maintain, which means no facilities costs for you to budget for or worry about. Your organization gets to enjoy the freedom and scalability that comes with industry-leading internet fax from Concord.

Other considerations: Time and talent

The vast majority of IT teams have countless critical projects to manage at once, and the added responsibility of fax servers, particularly as they age, places a huge burden on an already over-taxed team. Even more challenging, however, is the simple fact that fax server technology is becoming increasingly outdated and obsolete as the demand for online fax services grows. As a result, fax server experts are beginning to age out of the industry, without anyone to take their place. Fully-managed Cloud Fax mitigates this risk.

Download the Cost Comparison Guide to learn more

Want an even more in-depth look at how we calculated these cost comparisons? Our Cost Comparison Guide gives a deep dive on how we have worked with other organizations to scope server displacement costs, as well as analyses of some real world scenarios. Download our Cloud Fax versus Fax Server Cost Comparison Guide for a look at different pricing models and scenarios.

Start scoping your fax server displacement project today:

Deploying Cloud Fax

Learn more about how Cloud Fax is deployed throughout your organization. Concord makes it simple to replicate your existing day-to-day fax operations.

Cost Considerations

The decision to replace fax servers is one that isn’t made lightly. Explore a real cost savings analysis of moving to Cloud Fax from existing servers.

Western Union Case Study

Get an inside look at how Concord helped Western Union migrate from legacy fax servers to Cloud Fax, and how they feel about the results.

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