RightFax offers the security and trustworthiness of fax with the scale and efficiency that modern workflows need.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why organizations use it, then discuss some highlights of its architecture and user experience.
What is RightFax?
OpenText RightFax is a server-based software application for centralized, paperless faxing. As of 2021, it supports virtual, physical, or hybrid fax architecture and integrates with all major line-of-business applications and devices (either natively or through our Paperless middleware). RightFax scales to support nearly unlimited fax document volume.
It has matured into a highly evolved product that suits a surprising breadth of use cases, making it the long-standing leader in the enterprise faxing market. This guide will walk through key features and considerations at a high level, with emphasis on what Paperless clients have found most helpful in the real world.
Fax is ubiquitous, especially in heavily regulated industries that rely on secure, point-to-point document transmission.
When properly implemented, it can streamline fax workflows while cutting costs and enhancing security.
It’s also more scalable and has greater telecom flexibility than analog faxing (or even most other fax servers).
That might come as a bit of a surprise. After all, experts have predicted the demise of fax since the internet came about—and even before. But when a method of communication has this degree of ubiquity, familiarity, and legal validity, it develops tremendous staying power.
How paperless faxing cuts costs
Despite our sleek tablets and our SaaS applications, fax is still mission-critical in many, even most, industries. That probably includes yours!
Unfortunately, the possibilities of faxing (think: paperless, virtualized, low-cost) rarely resemble its paper-cluttered and costly actualities. Dedicated POTS lines, device leases, ink and toner, and so forth all push costs upward while efficiency decreases.
As a fax server application, it wipes these inefficiencies out of the picture. Of course there’s no free lunch, but does it help most workflows, in most organizations, most of the time?
What’s more, operating cost reduction isn’t the whole story. It also frees up an immense amount of time—often equivalent to adding multiple FTEs to a team at no further cost. In fact, we frequently see implementations pay for themselves in 6-12 months.
How does RightFax work?
RightFax software runs on a server connected to the local network and/or to third-party cloud telephony. It manages faxes much like an email server manages email. It can communicate with other devices on the network, including MFPs/MFDs (multi-function printers/devices), personal laptops, and other application servers, all subject to network and individual security.
The fax server can in fact be several servers, and it/they can be on-premises, virtualized, or in a secure cloud fax architecture. Scale is unlimited, for all practical purposes.
Cloud faxing has existed for quite some time, but it has too often emphasized price and simplicity over security and feature-richness. RightFax, on the other hand, extends a full on-premises feature set to virtual and private cloud implementations.
In any configuration, the server(s) will interface with some combination of phone lines, a VoIP network, and/or cloud services. All of these telephony options can be implemented in a fully secure fashion.
Some organizations need the fax server’s capabilities but cannot or prefer not to manage it directly. As we’ll see later, there ways to strike this balance through cloud architecture or managed services, among other means.
Basic components of a RightFax implementation
Several processes or modules might be critical to your fax architecture. But for the purposes of this overview, three parts are universally necessary.
The server module is the core of the service. It coordinates and tracks faxes, manages system resources, handles users, mediates client access, and a lot more.
In years past, fax board handle the physical transmission of a fax signal over the analog or IP phone network. But in 2021, Dialogic’s fax-over-IP software serves the same purpose without the added hardware.
Finally, the DocTransport module manages communication between the server and the fax boards/software. It often lives on a dedicated, remote server to enhance resilience and scalability.
The outbound (sending) user experience
From a human user’s perspective, sending a fax is a lot like printing. In fact, any application that can print can treat it as just another “printer” on the network.
Outbound faxing from MFPs is actually one of the most common use cases. It’s also one of the quickest to set up and to return a positive ROI.
More sophisticated native connectors and custom integrations can abstract these steps away. Th fax server can even send transparently, in the background, based on all sorts of application or workflow triggers that end users don’t even need to be aware of–like a customized fax workflow robot!
The inbound (receiving) user experience
Fax receipt with RightFax can be a lot like receiving an email. In fact, it can even arrive directly in the inbox, which is a common configuration for Unified messaging fax integrations.
The difference is that fax recipients can manage the document and accompanying workflows from their browser alone. In fact, as of writing, it’s the only cloud fax platform with self-contained fax management, server administration, audit log analysis, and document archival all within the browser.
(Naturally, not all users have access to these potentially sensitive features. Administrators set granular permissions around which users can view certain documents and perform certain activities.)
One of its more distinctive features is the ability to route faxes automatically: not just to inboxes, but to personal or shared network folders, applications, document repositories, or just about anything else with network access.
MFPs can receive faxes from the server, too, although we shudder at the thought of printing another page!
Extensibility for enterprise faxing
As we’ve already alluded to several times, RightFax is extensible through custom integrations and workflows.
Beyond common line-of-business and communication tools, RightFax is notable for its integration with nearly every EMR/EHR in use today. This includes major players like Epic, NextGen, and Cerner, as well as dozens of more specialized platforms. As a result, healthcare organizations can minimize or even avoid slow, expensive custom development to integrate faxing with these remarkably complex applications.
Is RightFax secure?
RightFax is highly secure thanks to both technical and admin/operational features. Technically, fax images can be protected by military-grade 256-bit AES encryption. Administratively, RightFax automates error-prone processes (like fax number entry and cover sheet generation) and subjects all users to role-based access control.
Not only do these tools support compliance with standards like HIPAA, but they enable audit trails to demonstrate compliance in the event of an audit or investigation.
With proper fax security implementation, users can expect:
- Confidence that only intended viewers can see inbound data
- Impenetrable encryption of sensitive faxes
- Accurate outbound fax numbers and fully compliant cover sheet data
Let’s take a closer look at the product features and implementation practices that bring peace of mind to enterprise RightFax customers.
Technical security measures
The Encryption Module
Fax transmission is inherently secure and point-to-point. What happens before and after transmission may be another story.
The chance of exposing restricted faxes to the wrong eyes—if only by accident—poses a major legal risk.
RightFax’s Encryption Module is a cost-effective way to prevent accidental exposure as well as the cyberattacks that plague regulated industries. It lets authorized users see fax images only through the RightFax client, and prevents unauthorized users from accessing them in the first place.
Behind the scenes, the module applies industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption (which is approved by the NSA for Top Secret information) to the entire fax image directory. Encrypted images are only “unlocked” with a key associated with the fax server itself. The key is predefined and unchangeable, making it impossible for malicious parties to hijack. All nodes in an installation share a single image directory, so encryption scales easily and at basically no cost.
This also facilitates a comprehensive and immaculate audit trail. It’s only possible to view a fax via the RightFax environment, so every single view creates an audit record on the fax server. Unrecorded external views are simply impossible as long as the Encryption Module is active.
Admin & operational security measures
Roles & permissions
We’ve seen how the Encryption Module restricts fax viewing to one RightFax environment. But just because someone is connected to that environment doesn’t mean they should see everything. There needs to be a systematic way to decide who can unlock and view fax images.
To that end, each user gets a set of predefined fax permissions, an approach known as role-based accessed control.
Permissions are just the minimum necessary for one’s job. That may be full admin privileges, no access whatsoever, or somewhere in between. Determining those minimal privileges is one of the most important parts of the consulting and project planning phases before go-live.
Many customers choose to automate access control by linking fax server roles to Active Directory (or another identity provider). It can also extend to other fax-enabled devices, like MFPs/MFDs, via single sign-on.
Number validation & cover sheet automation
As we’ve shared before, it’s critical to confirm the receiving fax number. Likewise, the cover sheet must not display anything sensitive, since the receiving party won’t necessarily handle faxes as securely as your own organization.
Many HIPAA violations come from neglecting these two mandates. And where compliance is concerned, a well-meaning violation is often a punishable violation nonetheless.
RightFax takes the guesswork and typos out of outbound faxing. Populating numbers directly from a known source, like an EHR or customer database, keeps fat-finger errors from causing outsized compliance issues.
Likewise, cover sheet automation is an important compliance measure. Rather than leaving potentially visible information to users’ discretion, the fax server can automatically generate cover sheets containing only what your legal/compliance teams consider safe to expose.
Additional features for HIPAA compliance
RightFax includes several security features beyond what we’ve discussed above. All of them are helpful to orgs subject to HIPAA.
For instance, the fax server’s direct EMR integrations—including a new, Epic-certified connector—helps keep all communication within a single, secure, and easily audited fax platform.
Likewise, near-real-time status updates reveal everything from one-off errors to patterns of suspicious activity.
Tools like routing and workflow automation can further reduce privacy violation risks. These are highly customer-specific, of course, so designing for HIPAA compliance is one of the highest priorities in our implementation process. Our consultants work with your technical, business, and legal experts to remove or mitigate risk at every step of every fax workflow.
RightFax support & version history
OpenText has typically issued a major update (“release”) every few years, with a minor release (“Enhancement Pack”) more or less annually.
Most releases get several years of active support before going into sustaining maintenance. Sustaining maintenance means the RightFax software continues to work, but support is on a best-effort basis. Updates, patches, and hot-fixes are not available under sustaining maintenance.
If your fax server is an operationally critical part of your business, then we strongly recommend an up-to-date product version and support agreement.
It may also be worth upgrading to an actively supported release to gain access to new features. These most often include all-new connectors and incremental UI enhancements, but visit this article or simply contact us for more information.
|RightFax Version||Support Status||Sustaining Maintenance Date||Action|
|21 EP2 (21.2)||Active||TBD||None; you’re up to date!|
|20 EP2 (20.2)||Active||April 2025||None required, but consider upgrading for new features|
|16 EP6 (16.6)||Active||May 2024||None required, but consider upgrading for new features|
|16 EP4 (16.4)||Active||May 2023||None required, but consider upgrading for new features
|16 EP2 (16.2)||Active||May 2022||Start planning an upgrade
(contact us for assistance)
|10.6 and previous
(10.5, 10.0, 9.4, 9.3, 9.0, 8.7, 8.5, 8.0, 7.0, 6.0)
|Ended||November 2018 or earlier||Upgrade as soon as possible
(contact us for assistance)