Old traditions die hard. In business, they die even harder, especially when you consider workers and companies have a set method of carrying out their tasks and getting the job done. Nothing is more true than when it comes to a company or business adapting a new technology, one which both the employee and employer are unsure of using in the office environment.
A perfect example of this dilemma would be online fax or using an online fax service for the first time. Workers and companies are so familiar with the conventional fax machine in the office, suggesting any other means of sending a fax sounds downright sacrilegious. People get used to a certain routine and breaking it can be very hard to do.
However, the saving grace in all of this, businesses are always looking for new ways to cut operating costs in order to make their company or business more competitive in the marketplace. Online faxing is cheaper, easier and completely mobile… if companies want to stay competitive, they will at least have to consider the benefits of using online or email fax – especially if their business depends upon faxing to bring in sales, contacting clients and communicating with its workers.
This relatively new technology is changing how individuals and companies send their faxes. Simply get an online fax account with one of the major fax providers and you can receive all your faxes through your email system, as a Tiff or Pdf file. One can even “port” your old fax number into this system without any loss of business. You can also log into your account and do all your faxing chores from your account and since it’s web based, you can access it anywhere and from any device connected to the web. You can even send and receive multiple faxes at once and there are no more missed faxes because of a busy signal or paper jam.
Despite all these benefits or advantages, online fax still has to jump some hurdles before it becomes truly accepted in the work place. It might be worthwhile to closely examine these obstacles and dismiss some of the fears associated with using an online fax service.
1. New Technology – Old Traditions
As mentioned above, old traditions die hard, especially when it comes to new technology. Most people adapt very quickly, but there are certain individuals and companies, which like to keep the old methods of doing things. However, if you asked these parties if they could run their current business without email, you might get some puzzled looks. Most companies now use email as a daily part of doing business, not using it would sound ridiculous.
Once you fully explain that online fax is simply taking advantage of your email system to do your faxing, old barriers may be easier to break down. Email is fast and simple. Online fax is fast and simple. Taken from this viewpoint, the traditional fax machine is outdated and somewhat obsolete. Companies simply have to accept there is a new, more modern way to send their faxes.
2. Hard Copy Please
Another major hurdle for many people, they need the actual fax in their hand – a hard or paper copy of their message. How can I work with or even file all these email faxes? This one is easy to overcome – most companies and offices have a printer, simply print out your email fax to get a hard copy.
As for filing your messages, nothing can be more easier than accessing all your email messages. They can be stored on your computer or in your online account, although it should be noted most providers have a limit to how long you can store your messages online. With this method, you can easily find all your faxes, no matter if you received them yesterday or six months ago.
Privacy is another major concern, do I really want sensitive faxes transmitted over the Internet? Actually, online faxing can be totally private since you can encrypt your messages and ONLY the intended recipient or person receives the fax. You can even get notification that your fax has been received. It can be sent directly to the person’s email account and only they can view the fax. Just compare this to the traditional method, where anyone passing by the office machine, may see a sensitive company fax or message.
4. Trusting The Internet
This obstacle is related to the one above, how well do we trust the Internet? We have read so many horror stories of sites being hacked and vital information being stolen – most people simply don’t trust doing business on the web. Those barriers and fears, are slowly being eliminated, as more security measures are taken and put into place.
As we have seen with online shopping, the general public have come to accept doing business or carrying out transactions on the web. Just takes some time before that trust is fully built up and this will eventually happen as people become more familiar with the web and how stuff is done on the Internet. Online banking is another example where web users have come to trust the Internet and how things are now done.
5. Understanding How Online Fax Works
Many issues of trust can be overcome when individuals or companies fully understand how this new way of faxing actually works. The best way to explain the whole process is to compare it with email. Internet fax uses your email system and a third party online provider or server to handle all your messages or faxes. In return for a small monthly fee (on average around $8 to $10 per month), this provider will act on your behalf to handle/process/store all your messages.
You have your own fax number and you usually have 5 to 10 email addresses attached to each number, depending on the provider you choose. When a fax is received, it is sent to each email address in the form of a Tiff or Pdf attachment – you can also log into your online account to read your fax. Any mobile device such as a smart phone, netbook or laptop can be used as your fax machine. This is so much more convenient because neither you nor your workers are tied down to the office location or environment.
6. Adjusting To The Changes
Lastly, like any new way of doing something, it simply takes time for many individuals and companies to adjust to the changes. The same goes for using an online fax service, people will simply adjust to these changes but it will take some time. In many situations, and online faxing is no exception, the early adapters usually reap the most rewards. Those businesses and companies which have quickly switched their methods, now have a much more faster and cheaper way to send and receive all their faxes. One that can be truly portable and much more convenient to use and implement.
It can also make their company much more competitive in these very harsh economic times where any edge or even a slight advantage can make a difference. Companies must adjust to this new technology or new way of sending their messages or lose out. They must get over any hurdles, real or imagined, and at least consider using an online fax service, but like all business decisions, it’s your call.