Fax in the News: Back to the Future (of Fax)

Film fans out there might remember the fax scene in Back to the Future Part II. In that 1985 vision of 2015, the protagonist is notified through a flood of faxed pages that he has been fired. As this Gizmodo article explains, that use of fax now seems (charmingly) antiquated in light of the internet revolution.

With the advent of the Web, fax promptly gave way to email for much daily communication. On the one hand, today’s younger fax users may not even realize that fax was once a rather novel technology, and far more widely used than it is today. But on the other hand, today’s users may also view fax in much the same way as it’s presented in the film—with clunky, dedicated machines spewing out paper around the office.

Sometimes, especially when planning a new fax server deployment or major RightFax upgrade/virtualization project, customers are taken aback by just how much fax has changed. Thankfully, the enterprise fax solution of 2015 barely even resembles what Hollywood depicted back in 1985! These days, it’s both possible and cost-effective to:

But one thing hasn’t changed: the legal viability of faxed documents. And that’s for the better. In health care and financial firms, for instance, faxed hard copies are often legally mandated. But thanks to changes like those listed above, legal compliance in 2015 can be had for just a fraction of the cost of managing high-volume faxing in 1985.

To see whether a fax server could help bring your organization into the 21st century, or to learn more about RightFax support and fax consulting services, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Common RightFax Support Questions: What Is RightFax Express?

Readers who have come across the new RightFax Express solution may be curious to learn a bit more about the what, why, and how of this new offering from OpenText.

In brief, it’s a very convenient way for would-be RightFax customers to balance the control and sophistication of an all-out enterprise solution with something scaled and priced closer to the needs of a small or medium-sized business. It’s truly an SMB fax server, if you will.

The inner workings of RightFax Express are very similar to the existing RightFax software with which you may be accustomed.

  • Both are fax servers, as opposed to fax services (that point may sound a little pedantic, but it simply means administrative and technical control can remain with the customer, not with a third party)
  • Both offer all the security and reporting protocols you would expect, including an audit trail
  • Both are available in on-site, hosted, and hybrid configurations

However, unlike standard RightFax editions, a plug-and-play RightFax Express appliance is available directly from OpenText. This is a great compromise between local and hosted solutions; it’s generally best for SMBs that want/need full local control of faxing but lack the IT resources to deploy and manage new server software. Furthermore, since few SMBs need RighFax’s more sophisticated features or custom integrations, all of these configurations come at a very competitive price point

All in all, RightFax Express is an exciting option for a whole lot of smaller organizations. There’s some more thorough information on a new page we’ve assembled, and needless to say, we’re here to field your product question, RightFax support inquiry, and everything else. Just drop us a line via the Web or at 877 MY FAXING
(877 693-2946). Happy faxing!

Announcement: ABBYY USA Receives HIPAA & SOC 2 Certifications

This week, we wanted to take a break from our ongoing discussion of matters related to RightFax support and share some exciting news from one of our key partners.

ABBYY USA has successfully undergone both HIPAA and SOC 2 audits, and is now officially certified with regard to both standards. The successful audits, conducted by an independent CPA firm, demonstrate ABBYY’s ongoing commitment to combining efficient OCR data capture methods with the highest levels of data security and privacy. These rigorous and industry-standard assessments demonstrate full compliance with applicable portions of the HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules. They also attest to ABBYY’s development of suitable controls as a service organization, to ensure available and confidential data with full integrity.

So, a hearty “congrats” to our partner for this accomplishment!

ABBYY USA is a Milpitas, CA-based division of Moscow’s ABBYY Software. The company has established itself as one of the most innovative companies in the data capture space. Key enterprise OCR products, such as FlexiCapture and Recognition Server, remain our first choice for business-critical projects in a range of industries—whether healthcare, transportation / logistics, or any number of others.

Common RightFax Support Questions: Can You Give Me Some Actual Numbers?

We’re all out to maximize profits. That may or may not be the ultimate purpose of your organization, but it’s more or less necessary for its survival. And we are keenly aware that all fax server projects, RightFax support decisions, and even minor workflow changes are a means to this end. With that in mind, let’s look at some figures to see how that works in practice.

(For the record, some of these numbers come from our vendors’ research, and others come from our firsthand experience with clients. This is less about statistical precision than about presenting the financial role of fax servers in a more direct and tangible way. Still, every case is different, so please understand that your mileage may vary.)

One figure we often cite in our blog and websites (and to which our RightFax support clients can often attest) is that a typical ROI timeframe is under a year—and frequently under six months. That might sound a little audacious, so let’s break it down:

An average Fortune 500 company spends around $16 million per year on fax-specific phone service.

Much of this expense reflects dedicated fax lines for traditional fax machines and/or MFDs. Conservatively, let’s say 25% of these devices (a lower share than we often observe) are either a) in place for convenience rather than capacity or b) are MFDs used for faxing.

By replacing fax machines with desktop faxing, and facilitating network faxing from MFDs, a fax server obviates the need for these extra lines.

Thus, fax-related phone costs fall by roughly 25%, or $4 million per year in this hypothetical scenario.

It’s a pretty compelling number, even before accounting for improved workflow efficiency, the prevention of lost documents, and scheduling faxes to exploit off-peak rates. And let’s not forget industry-specific benefits, such as avoiding damages and penalties from stolen or mis-sent medical records.

Long story short, the data all add up to one fact: fax servers save money. If you’re ready to explore how RightFax can do the same for your organization, or would just like a casual chat with an expert, then feel free to drop us a line at your convenience. Happy holidays!

New Webinar Announcement: OCR for Data Capture Automation in Transportation & Logistics

The last few weeks, we’ve been working hard alongside our friends at ABBYY USA, makers of the extremely popular FlexiCapture OCR software, to produce a webinar on how OCR delivers great results for transportation and logistics firms.

For all who missed the live stream, here’s a quick overview of the key points.

(As a brief background note, ABBYY has been creating cutting-edge technology since 1989 from both its Moscow headquarters and over a dozen other offices worldwide—including Milpitas, CA. Simply put, ABBYY’s objective is to turn information into productivity, and that’s precisely what this webinar featured.)

ABBYY’s and our own experiences have consistently shown that paper slows down shipping workflows. Processes quite often require documents to be printed (or received on paper in the first place), passed around, and manually entered for customs, billing, and other purposes. This sort of workflow is error-prone, slow, and often plagued by duplication of efforts.

The goal of OCR data capture automation is to eliminate the paper. Substantial reductions are always possible, and in some cases, paper can be removed completely. However, as the webinar goes on to explain, the benefits go far beyond a faster and more accurate workflow. For instance, OCR facilitates remote scanning of key documents, so that centralized systems can be accessed and updated from all remote locations.

But it gets better. Once the data have been captured, clients can actually validate critical data against databases and/or customized business rules. For instance, many firms find this functionality helpful for assigning tariff codes, where even a slight error can mean the difference between an uneventful delivery and a severely delayed one. Finally, ABBYY’s data capture software allows data to be exported automatically, e.g., to the Automated Broker Interface or virtually any other electronic destination.

How does this all work in practice? Our friends at ABBYY assembled an excellent demonstration for this webinar, so be sure to visit our videos pages or YouTube channel and see for yourself!

If you’d like to discuss what we cover in the video, request a live demo, find out how to buy FlexiCapture for your organization, or learn more about our automation solutions portfolio, feel free to contact us at your convenience.