RightFax’s Role In Digital Transformation

Fax plays a pivotal role in digital transformation. This seemingly dated technology can make or break a bevy of IT trends, from cloud initiatives to remote work enablement.

We speak every single day with document-intensive businesses that are torn between a pressing need for digital transformation on the one hand, and a familiar but costly legacy fax environment on the other hand.

Below, we’ll highlight five key ways that RightFax brings secure, intuitive faxing into our age of digital, automated, cloud-first enterprise systems.

1. Remote work flexibility

Increasingly, remote work isn’t an option so much as a necessity. Whatever the reasons—accommodating staff preferences, minimizing office expenses, expanding aggressively—traditional fax machines get in the way.

Missing important faxes on a WFH day isn’t acceptable, but implementing home fax machines and dedicated lines for remote staff isn’t realistic. Not to mention sales or on-site teams that seldom spend two days in the same place!

RightFax removes these basic physical constraints. Whether at home, in the coffee shop around the corner, in a remote office, or in the airport between site visits, it’s all the same: RightFax provides a fully secure way to stay on top of critical communication.

2. Disaster recovery

Physical documents are precarious. They’re susceptible to a myriad of disasters, namely office fires (which likely number in the thousands annually) and floods.

They’re also easy to misplace.

Whatever the cause, catastrophic data loss is the result. Mitigation is possible but costly, since it revolves around physical copies, transportation, and even third-party storage.

RightFax makes it cheap, simple, and essentially instantaneous to back up faxes. That includes not only the faxes themselves, but valuable metadata like transmission info, workflow states, and even extracted text.

Calamities happen in minutes. With RightFax, so does recovery.

3. Cost-effectiveness

We’ve referred to cost several times already, but exactly which costs does RightFax reduce, and by how much?

Many direct analog fax costs vanish immediately and permanently. Think fax machines and accompanying hardware, outdated fax telephony, dedicated floorspace, document storage rooms, and consumables such as paper and toner.

Most of these costs simply fall away. As for telephony costs, estimation is more complex, and beyond the scope of this article. That said, there’s tremendous economy of scale when fax is onboarded to existing enterprise telephony. And even when dedicated RightFax telephony is still necessary, it serves many users simultaneously, so the marginal cost of any one user falls to virtually nothing.

Indirect analog fax costs tend to diminish with time and adoption. Staff time is the largest: even small teams can lose hours per day to collating paperwork, chasing down missing documents, waiting for confirmations, and inevitably addressing errors.

And that’s not to mention the costs of burdensome disaster recovery or geographical constraints, as discussed above.

These indirect costs are harder to measure but may be the largest source of savings in the long run—all the more so as labor expenses remain on the rise.

4. Overall efficiency enhancement

The point of digital transformation, by definition, is to replace manual and/or analog processes with more streamlined digital alternatives.

Paper document workflows impose massive costs, inconveniences, and risks. The examples we’ve covered above are just some of the most salient ones.

Digital workflows create efficiency both within processes (e.g., time and effort to complete) and around processes (e.g., tracking and monitoring interconnected workflows).

The key is to digitize as far upstream as possible. Ideally, that’s the moment a fax arrives. Instead of printing, physically distributing, filing, and so forth, RightFax enables immediate and auditable digital distribution. From receiving documents to triggering complex workflows, all processes become as hands-off as stakeholders desire.

5. Tracking, auditing & reporting

These days, compliance, security, and transparency are non-negotiable—and often carry huge risks in money and reputation alike.

The ability to track, audit, and report on every action is indispensable. As a centralized, enterprise-ready application, RightFax offers thorough logging, granular permissions, and comprehensive audit trails that are categorically impossible with paper-based systems.

Whether it’s for internal reviews, regulatory compliance, or simply to understand workflow patterns, RightFax provides invaluable depth and breadth of tracking.

Your next step in digital transformation

Gone are the days of faxing as a clunky, costly, paper process. With the maturity of tools like RightFax, it’s ripe for digital transformation.

Granted, different industries are collectively at different stages of fax modernization. However, odds are at least one of your competitors is currently using RightFax to transform fax from a money sink to a competitive advantage.

If digital fax transformation isn’t already table stakes in your industry, then it’s only a matter of time until it will be.

To see how RightFax or a managed Private Fax Cloud® solution can move you forward, please reach out today.

FCC Sunsets Copper Lines, Mandates “Alternative”

The days of analog, copper lines are numbered, according to FCC Order 19-72A1. The Commission’s August 2019 order not only releases carriers from their obligation to maintain antiquated lines, but also mandates the complete replacement of copper-based services with “alternative voice service arrangements” by August 2nd, 2022.

Although the deadline is fast approaching, it comes as no surprise to carriers or their customers. Since the late 2010s, telcos have rapidly increased rates to offset escalating maintenance costs and to push copper customers toward alternatives like fiber, LTE, or even 5G.

Newer, more cost-effective technologies—namely voice over IP (VoIP) and fax over IP (FoIP)—are well into their second decade of widespread corporate use, and adoption still seems to be picking up steam. Some industry analysts foresee IP PBX sales more than doubling in the next few years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 14% through 2027.

The digital future of enterprise faxing

Few firms still rely on the T1-based protocols (let alone POTS lines) that were once the backbone of enterprise faxing. Long before Order 19-72A put an expiration date on traditional telephony, the business case for digital faxing was clear.

As enterprise faxing consultants, we at Paperless Productivity® have had a front-row seat to the transition from copper to IP faxing. Every new implementation in the last several years—whether for a household name or a single office—has relied on IP telephony for cost-effective communication, along with security and uptime that meet or exceed analog standards.

An enterprise-grade digital fax solution (or managed service) like RightFax also makes it relatively simple to integrate faxing into everyday tools and processes, and even extend faxing to remote workers and mobile devices.

Odds are your own organization has already migrated to IP telephony—perhaps even several years ago. In doing so, you may have discovered that there is a world of difference between a serviceable IP fax environment and a resilient and efficient one.

And that is where our consultants enter the picture. From ROI and SLAs to user experience and regulatory compliance, we specialize in building (or optimizing) RightFax solutions that keep users productive, Finance delighted, and Legal satisfied.

If you’re contemplating an IP fax implementation, or looking to get more from an existing one, then contact us for a no-obligations chat with a solutions architect.

Digital “Fax Machines” For The Enterprise

You and your team might’ve spent quite a few hours battling fax machines.  

Slow transmission, ambiguous statuses, and frequent failures all eat up more time than anyone cares to remember. 

Paper itself is often the core problem, but there are also security and workflow complexities. The right choice of digital “fax machine” can address all these challenges. 

We’ll cover what digital faxing really entails, then look at the three types of platform that every fax-intensive enterprise needs to know about. 

Defining a digital fax machine 

A digital fax machine usually sends and receives faxes over the internet, rather than a line from the phone company. It’s typically a server or web application rather than a physical machine. It costs less than traditional faxing and offers more flexible security, configuration, integration, and UIs. However, not all digital fax platforms are appropriate for enterprises. 

Does it sound strange that a digital “fax machine” isn’t necessarily a machine at all? If so, remember that a traditional fax machine does just two things: 

  • Capture a paper document (if outbound)
  • Transmit the image of that document to a specific destination 

Functionally, it’s a scanner with a phone line attached. Both of those are easy to digitize today. 

In other words, fax is a transmission method, and standalone fax machines (or MFPs/MFDs) are just one way to interact with it. They’re cumbersome, but they have excellent digital alternatives. 

And by thinking beyond physical devices, we open up more efficient and more secure ways to fax in a modern enterprise. 

Digital fax at enterprise scale 

Digital faxing solutions are either cloud-based or server-based. As we’ll see later, there’s also a third approach that combines these two. 

These differ in upfront versus ongoing cost, admin workloads, integrations, and security. 

Approach 1: Digital fax services in the public cloud 

Electronic fax services are the most common and familiar platform for digital faxing. 

The simplest ones work like email attachments. Users upload a document to send via the fax service’s public cloud. Coming the other way, inbound faxes usually arrive in their email inbox. 

It’s a lightweight and flexible approach that takes minimal work to implement and almost none to manage. Pricing is generally per-page, on top of a baseline for monthly or annual service. There is no capital expense, nor any need for specialized professional services. 

However, this simplicity can make security a challenge in highly regulated industries (which are the heaviest fax users in the first place). Transmission itself is generally secure, but it’s not always advisable—or even legal—to handle sensitive data as an email attachment. 

It’s also difficult to track fax status or receive timely failure notifications. The document leaves the sender’s network upon clicking “Send,” so monitoring is up to the service provider alone. 

Most services provide an API for integration with other software and devices. This is a valuable tool for reducing paper, but it also requires custom development for nearly any integration. When you’re comparing the total cost of ownership, remember to account for building and maintaining custom connections. 

Approach 2: Digital faxing with a private fax solution

Private fax platforms are the standard for high fax volume and/or stringent security requirements.

The customer owns a digital fax solution, which can live either on premises or on a virtual machine (VM). The server uses some sort of telephony instead of transmitting directly over the internet. That may comprise be analog lines, digital lines, an IP network, or any combination thereof. Regardless, it’s inherently secure.

This provides two ways for users to send and receive faxes. 

The first is through a browser and/or desktop fax client. Either way, the client is securely connected to the fax software. It often looks and feels like an email client, but is a distinct  

The second is through an application or device integration. Unlike public cloud faxing, most private fax software has native integrations with common ERP, CRM, and EHR/EMR applications—among several other programs and devices.

At its simplest, it’s a print-to-fax function. At its most sophisticated, it’s a totally automated workflow. 

A digital fax solution is the default “fax machine” for firms that are subject to HIPAA, PCI DSS, or other comprehensive privacy standards. Encryption and transmission security are part of the reason, but audit trails and recipient validation are equally critical. 

As you might expect, digital faxing with a private server costs more up front. There’s the capital expense of the fax solution itself, plus professional services to configure this niche technology.  

But there’s always a volume threshold beyond which it’s cheaper to own a private fax platform than to subscribe to a public cloud fax service. Nearly all large organizations fall above this threshold, so prompt cost savings are likely. 

What’s more, your own security standards may necessitate a private server. 

Approach 2.5: Digital fax services in a private cloud 

Who wouldn’t like to reduce management burdens, decrease costs, and keep airtight security?  

That goal is driving many larger orgs to shift all communication services to a virtual private cloud (VPC). Today, fax is no exception. 

Beyond reducing hardware costs, it also enables fully managed and virtualized services for faxing. It may help to think of it as a “private fax solution-as-a-service.” 

This equates to the best of both worlds for fax-intensive organizations. 

  • The enterprise-ready security and integrations of a private fax environment, but without hardware or maintenance overhead (and typically at a much lower upfront cost). 
  • The quick implementation, flexibility, and easy management of a public cloud fax service, but without the inherent security or integration constraints.  

However, private cloud architecture requires more specific (and uncommon) technical expertise than other approaches. For instance, its reliability rests on fax-over-IP implementation, which requires proper provider selection and virtual server configuration.  

But when properly implemented, a virtualized, VPC fax platform is the most reliable and cost-effective way to manage large fax volumes and user bases. 

As of writing, our own Private Fax Cloud™ solution is the only relatively “off-the-shelf” example of this approach. It bundles more than two decades of fax and telephony virtualization experience, all in a package feels like a simple cloud service but works like a private fax environment—because, under the hood, it is. 

Solving the paper problem with enterprise digital faxing 

We’ve examined three digital fax machine alternatives that are viable for large organizations. 

  • Public cloud services are simple and essentially maintenance-free 
  • Private fax platforms are robust, secure, and extremely flexible 
  • Private cloud services are technically similar to private servers, but fully virtualized and managed like a web app 

At scale, all of them are vastly more manageable and cost-effective than traditional fax machines.

But greater volume, security requirements, or workflow complexity all tilt the balance in favor of private cloud faxing. 

If you’re looking for a more reliable or affordable way to fax, then contact us to set up a free consultation with a fax solution architect. There are no obligations whatsoever. It’s our pleasure to point you in the right direction, be it a solution we support or something else entirely. 

Your Guide to RightFax Modules

Fax workflow variety is nearly infinite. 

All involve a sender, a document, and a recipient, but the details in between are endless.  

Some involve nothing else at all, and others are sophisticated, one-of-a-kind workflows that interact with multiple back-end applications. 

This leads to wildly different demands upon the fax solution itself.  

For a small office that sends a few invoices from an MFP, it’s enough to use a handful of standard RightFax features. 

But for an enterprise that needs its software to trigger international faxes automatically, then interact with workflow management software, create centralized telecom log entries, arrive with user-based customized content, and are archived in cloud storage 

That’s another story. It revolves around sophisticated features that some orgs wouldn’t find helpful, but others cannot do without. 

For that reason, OpenText split RightFax’s more specialized features into several add-on modules. Customers simply purchase what is useful, save on what is not, and end up with a tailored (but expandable) faxing platform.  

Not a one-size-fits-nobody package, but a genuinely optimal solution. 

Expandable, modular features also make it easier to consolidate other fax systems—or multiple RightFax environments—into a single, enterprise service. This single deployment will generally serve more use cases than any one of the smaller systems it replaces. It often introduces new administration needs, too, as fax management moves from scattered teams/offices to more of a sharedservices model. 

Just what can RightFax modules equip you to do? Let’s dig in. 

Note: not all RightFax editions support all modules, and some editions already include certain modules. Contact us to make sure you’re appropriately licensed for the features you need. 

RightFax Connect

RightFax Connect replaces fax telephony with a hybrid model: on-premises services routed through cloud telephony. This means secure and highly scalable faxing and less administrative overhead, all without changing the familiar end-user experience. 

RightFax SMS Service

The RightFax SMS Service allows for automated SMS notifications around business processes/events, as well as admin alerts. As a user base expands with growth or system consolidation, this is one of the most efficient ways to communicate with fax users. 

RightFax Capture

RightFax Capture is a direct link to OpenText’s Cloud Capture OCR service. It automatically extracts content from inbound faxes (for export to other systems) and facilitates bar code-based routing. This integrates RightFax more tightly into the end-to-end document lifecycle. RightFax Connect is required. 

eBusiness License

A RightFax eBusiness license lets customers share RightFax use with their business partners. In effect, it turns RightFax into a multi-tenant service compatible with both standard telephony and RightFax Connect. Privacy rules, of course, are fully customizable for each associated user. 

RightFax Analytics

RightFax Analytics provides nearly real-time tracking of fax usage and performance. It provides a single pane of glass to answer essential questions like “Do we have the right fax capacity?” or “Who/what experiences bottlenecks?”. This module is indispensable for planning and for managing larger-scale RightFax implementations. 

PDF Module

The PDF Module streamlines one of the most common fax use cases: sending a PDF document. The module transforms PDFs (and any level-1 or -2 PostScript file) into RightFax’s TIF specification, which lets users send PDFs with no additional steps. It also brings more advanced capabilities, such as support for the Send To menu and for print-to-fax drivers. 

Searchable PDF Module

The Searchable PDF Module (as distinct from the PDF Module mentioned above) uses OCR technology to extract text from fax image and place it in a searchable PDF file, just as the name implies. Users can search the text of documents that RightFax sends and receives. This module can be valuable in implementation of any scale, but we recommend it most strongly when fax volume and/or user base are growing rapidly. 

Barcode Routing Module

With the Barcode Routing Module, RightFax can read recipient information from barcodes and automatically route the document accordingly. This is a far faster and less expensive solution than standard routing techniques like individual phone lines/extensions, let alone manual distribution. 


SecureDocs streamlines security and compliance while taking advantage of the convenience of email. It uploads faxed documents to a fully secure web server, then gives the recipient a link at which they must log in before viewing the fax. Many additional tracking, confirmation, and auditing features make SecureDocs a natural fit for teams that distribute large volumes of confidential or regulated information. 

Shared Services Module

The Shared Services Module allows two to four RightFax system (wherever they’re located) to cooperate by sharing one database. This is a common approach for large organizations with particularly high performance and load-balancing demands across regions. It also facilitates high-availability architecture that can maintain service even if an entire server (or locale) should go down. 

XML Generator

The XML Generator writes fax metadata to an XML file with the fax image. It is a powerful integration tool (generally in place of the RightFax API) and comes bundled with several templates, wizards, and packaged workflows. In many casesamong EMR/EHR users, for instance—XML-based integration is often the quickest and most reliable way to fax-enable a legacy application. 

Integration Module

However, the Integration Module remains the best option when XML data exchange doesn’t suffice. Sophisticated back-end integrations, like with ERP and CRM systems, are possible through Facsimile Command Language (FCL), several RightFax APIs, as well as a more robust XML interface. 

Business Integration Module

The Business Integration Module is a lighter version of the Integration Module. It’s ideal for organizations that do need custom integrations, but only with a) a couple of inputs and b) fax and/or print outputs. All told, we implement this one less frequently than the “full” Integration Module, but it’s a smart way to minimize license costs for particular use cases. 

Encryption Module

The Encryption Module keeps sensitive faxes secure at rest from external and internal threats alike. These can be as malicious as targeted hacks or as innocuous as users accidentally opening the wrong file.

The Encryption Module handles this in two ways: firstly, it applies AES 256-bit encryption to fax images—a common measure for compliance with HIPAA and PCI DSS, among other standards. Secondly, it preserves the audit trail by exposing encrypted fax images only through the RightFax client. 

RightFax Vault

The RightFax Vault works in conjunction with OpenText’s Alchemy document server. Compared to out-of-the-box features, it gives more granular and systematic control of what information is stored, where and for how long. Naturally, the Vault’s value increases along with the variety (and regulatory stakes) of archiving requirements. 

RightFax Image High Availability

RightFax Image High Availability lets RightFax store fax images in a SQL Server database rather than its usual Windows file store. Many organizations already have high-availability SQL Server architecture, but may not have implement fileserver failover (a fairly complex architecture). If so, the SQL Server approach can save significant time and money, and still works natively with the Encryption Module, as well. 

Remote DocTransport Server

A RightFax Remote DocTransport Server lets remote locations use a single, central RightFax instance or collective. Instead of maintaining their own digital fax solution and telephony, branch offices can use one consolidated environment as if it were their own. Not only does this minimize licensing and admin overhead, but it can also circumvent pricey local telephony for international offices. 

Native Application Connectors

Several native application connectors inbound and outbound fax capabilities with applications including Microsoft Exchange, IBM Notes/Domino, SAP ERP, IBM FileNet, OpenText eDOCS, and Microsoft SharePoint. Each application requires a distinct connect with product-specific features, but all connectors make faxing look and feel like any other built-in feature. This generally extends to workflow features, archival policies, and more. 

MFP Connectors

MFP Connectors come in two basic types.

The universal options—SMTP and XMLlet virtually any device send and receive faxes via RightFax. These allow immediate reductions in paper usage, and may be the most cost-effective choices when MFP fleets comprise several manufacturers.

The other option is a native MFP Connector. Native connectors have more specific model and firmware requirements, and their capabilities vary based on vendor SDK features (among other factors). However, in exchange for less universality, they also support complex workflows that are not possible through SMTP/XML. 

Several of these modules open up game-changing workflow possibilities. Some are even more powerful in combination, bringing new features at scale that can change the way an entire enterprise faxes 

As mentioned above, most modules either depend on or are included with certain RightFax editions. Whether you’re evaluating RightFax for the first time or looking to expand or consolidate an existing environment, contact us to ensure a fully compatible and efficiently licensed platform from the beginning. 

Work-from-Home Faxing & HIPAA Compliance

Nearly everyone who can work from home is doing so. That’s true essentially nationwide, and nowhere more than here in Seattle. 

As we all settle into this new normal, it’s no surprise that paper-intensive firms have felt a substantial impact. 

Amid the turmoil, many are seeing fax workflow problems—and opportunities—in a new light. 

Can Work-from-Home Be HIPAA-compliant? 

If you’re part of a healthcare payer or provider, like most of our clients, then HIPAA applies to nearly every piece of information you handle. 

For orgs that already use an electronic fax solution, HIPAA-compliant faxing is possible while working from home. Of course, this assumes the fax application is a HIPAA-friendly product with a web client, such as RightFax. 

If so, then WFH staff may need nothing more than a website log-in to fax securely, wherever they are. With no fax machines to monitor and no paper to shuffle, the team’s physical location no longer matters. 

Done right, HIPAA-compliant faxing feels a lot like email. 

However, many teams still rely on legacy fax machines/MFDs, which are not straightforward to keep in compliance. And, more apropos right now, they just aren’t accessible off the premises. 

Unfortunately, that makes working from home impossible, or at least unproductive. 

As the entire health system scrambles to meet unprecedented demand while keeping back-office employees off-site, remote productivity has never been more important. 

WFH-Friendly Faxing for Healthcare Teams

Even aside from today’s public health crisis, the trend toward remote work makes electronic faxing a wise investment. In terms of organizational resilience, it’s often necessary. 

And that’s without accounting for digital fax ROI under normal conditions. 

RightFax led the market long before working from home was a trend, let alone an imperative. But since then, it has evolved to: 

  • Support both on-premises and cloud telephony 
  • Automatically enforce critical HIPAA faxing rules, such as recipient number look-ups, metadata restrictions, and cover sheet policies 
  • Encrypt all fax images while providing a comprehensive audit trail 
  • Integrate (often natively) with every major EHR vendor and most line-of-business applications 

Better still, the latest RightFax version (as of writing) even extended its web client to mobile devices. 

For work-from-home fax users, this adds up to a night-and-day difference between modern RightFax and legacy faxing. 

Where to Begin with HIPAA Faxing from Home

We’re keenly aware that it’s hard to do anything new right now.  

Most teams, especially in healthcare, are struggling just to keep their heads above water while navigating new work patterns and general chaos. 

If that rings true, then we recommend two things that are usually feasible remotely: 

  1. If your org already has RightFax, then now is the time to understand and scale out its WFH-friendly features. Universal access to the web client is a quick win. Or, with more time upfront, greater workflow automation can alleviate current bottlenecks and pay dividends for years to come. 
  1. If your org does not have RightFax, it’s worth feeling out the architecture, level of effort, and time frame to get WFH employees productive again. Different architectures require more or fewer resources on site for implementation, so now is the time to determine what’s realistic for your own team. 

We’re here to help navigate the document workflow aspects of this tough period, while creating efficiencies for the future. Please drop us a line any time. 

Meanwhile, we wish you all the best dealing with today’s unforeseen challenges—and, above all, we wish you good health. 

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