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Fax Server

Posted on 2015-02-11
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Last Modified: 2015-03-16
Hi Guys,

We send out a large volumes of faxes everyday using 8 fax lines. It looks like our current fax machines cannot handle the load and we are looking for a more powerful solution that gives us confirmation on completion as well.

Do you recommend a good solution for a health care facility?
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Question by:Cobra25
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20 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40603954
It looks like an e-mail to fax service would work well for you. Check out http://www.faxaway.com/
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40603969
I would like to continue to use my analog lines unless you think its not worth it for some reason?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40603977
I thought the 8 analog lines were the bottleneck. Please give me a better description of the problem.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40603985
"We send out a large volumes of faxes everyday using 8 fax lines. It looks like our current fax machines cannot handle the load "

We send like 40-50 faxes in a row sometimes
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40604005
So why can't they handle the load? I have to assume it's because faxing over analog lines is slow.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40604276
Either add more fax lines to handle the load or use email2fax solutions.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40604300
I think it's the scanner machine itself, it freezes....
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40604324
Then buy new fax machines.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40604330
OK..why is that better than a fax server?
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40604333
Because you're the one who said you wanted to use your analog lines.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40604426
can i use a server with analog lines? The printers seems t o hang when sending so many, not the lines.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:R. Toby Richards
ID: 40604456
You could. You'd have to buy an add-in card with 8 modem ports on it. E-mail to Fax would eliminate the cost of those lines and be much faster.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40609277
i have the lines as part of a contract. i have to use them. buying a card is fine, i just want something to handle the volume.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40613157
Is there an unlimited email to fax option i can present? I see most charge a rate per fax..
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40613273
any clue of how many pages per month?
Ring Central is highly recommended http://www.ringcentral.com/plansandpricing/ringcentralfax.html
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
R. Toby Richards earned 500 total points
ID: 40613277
I think you have discovered a downside to eFaxing: bandwidth costs money because it is shared. Your analog lines are not shared. You own the full bandwidth that they can provide. It is up to you to figure out--based on how many faces you send--which technology has a higher total cost of ownership (TCO).

In other words, you could purchase a server with many fax modems built in for, let's say $2,000, and you can send as many faxes as those analog lines can support for free. But here is the catch: that server won't last forever. Figure into your cost that you have to spend another $2,000 to replace it every three years. You can extend that to five years if you pay extra every five years for an extended (from 3 years to 5 years) warranty.

Now, depending on the cost per fax multiplied by the number of faxes you send every 3 (or 5) years, the cost to pay a per-fax fee might be less over time than the cost of replacing a fax server regularly. Then again, it might be more.

That is for you to figure out, and then impress your superiors with a very well thought out Power Point (or executive summary document) about why--based on your research about TCO (act like it is obvious that everyone here knows what TCO stands for--do not make any attempt to explain it unless someone explicitly asks), that one solution is more cost effective than the other.

Lastly, have you thought about where the material that you are faxing comes from? If it is a digital file that gets printed so that it can be put into a fax machine, then using a fax server is no problem: have your employee(s) copy from the Word document into the fax software. If you pay a premium for fax software then it may accept raw Word documents and/or PDF's as input.

If the originals that get faxed are on paper, and you don't have them in a digital format, then you will require one or more scanners to scan the documents for faxing. For this, I recommend a sheet fed scanner... Not a flatbed. Decent sheet fed scanners start at about $100. For about $700, you can get one that can scan about 40 pages per minute; you just tell the scanner whether or not to scan both sides.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40613310
if you look at ring central $50/month plan and fit into the 2500 pages/month (125 pages / workday) you're looking at 600 /year or their unlimited $40/month/user plan

Server solution with 10 fax lines -
Server $2000 / 3 years ($667/year + (10 lines @ $20/month) = 2400/year = $3067 / year.. not counting electricity AND routine maintenance tasks.

Your faxing probably comes in large batches i.e. several hours of no activity then a hour or so of intense faxing.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Cobra25
ID: 40617870
I will test out RingCentral.

Any other options for physical?
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 40669538
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 125 points for David Johnson, CD (IT-Expert-Pro MVP)'s comment #a40613273
Assisted answer: 125 points for David Johnson, CD (IT-Expert-Pro MVP)'s comment #a40613310
Assisted answer: 125 points for R. Toby Richards's comment #a40613277
Assisted answer: 125 points for R. Toby Richards's comment #a40603954

for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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