June 5, 2006
Years ago Robert Hashemian, who currently employs the position of Webmaster at TMCnet wrote an article "Fax is Dead." This of course didn't sit well with Maury Kaufman who at the time made his living as a fax analyst. Maury sent TMC a scalding letter which we ran titled Hashemian is Wrong
which we ran in one of TMC's publications -- I just can' recall which.
Well whether Hashemian was right or wrong is debatable but a number of years after Hashemian wrote his articles Kaufman gave up being a fax analyst. So when Maury jumped ship I figured Hashemian was right.
But you know what, after meeting with MultiTech Systems this morning and Paul Kraska in particular I learned that the company thinks fax is alive. I thought -- wait till I tell Robert. Boy is he going to be upset.
So since fax is alive I asked Paul what they are doing about it and they told me that since customers are clamoring for fax solutions they decided to launch fax servers in the 4 and 8 port flavor. These are standalone boxes -- no cards required. Customers they say are thrilled with these announcements and fax keeps chugging along. Interestingly I recently heard the same thing from Commetrex.
But MultiTech isn't betting the company on fax they have also debuted a stripped down (or as they call it more economical -- or more effective) 2, 4 and 8 port SIP gateways for the SMB/remote office space.
MultiTech rode the modem boom and bust and they see the commoditization that applied to modems coming to SIP gateways. They see the value approach to SIP gateways being a smart move and where the market is going.
This could be a smart move because the low cost Asian modem market that used the host processor really ate into the domestic modem manufacturers.
So MultiTech is alive and kicking and fax could turn out to be a big part of their business. The question is what will Hashemian and Kaufman think about all this?