I wrote a blog about faxing a few months ago and got an overwhelming response. Got some comments via email and to the blog, and these comments could basically be boiled down to one question: Why do people still fax? People pointed out that there are now replacements for the fax, like electronic document signing programs.
So let me put the “why,” as I see it, into a few big-bucket categories.
1. Fax is a built-in part of many business communications. It’s already in the process, so it’s easy to just keep it there and keep using it.
2. There’s no need for a fax machine anymore. Multi-function peripheral (MFP) devices – that is, copiers and printers – typically have fax built into them, which makes the continuity of fax technology much easier.
3. Fax is traceable and, unlike email, has assured delivery. That’s useful for important legally binding documents. There are assured receipt methods coming to electronic delivery, but they’re either not quite there yet or are being adopted slowly, so faxes still have a role to fill.
4. Fax is in the IP world, in the form of Fax over IP (FoIP). This inclusion has allowed cloud-type models to form, which enable elastic cloud usage – in other words, use it as you need it. That’s given the fax new life.
5. Finally, faxing is just sometimes the easiest option. Yes, you can scan a document and then email it, but that’s a two-step process. And when technology won’t cooperate, it might be a four- or five-step process. That happened to me recently, but I realized I knew how to fix the problem; I faxed it.