If you still use a fax machine, chances are that you’ve heard about fax-over-IP (FoIP).
FoIP is the fax machine gone digital, much like phone service is rapidly transitioning to voice-over-IP (VoIP). With FoIP, faxes are sent and received using the Internet instead of analog telephone wires. This cuts costs and introduces a host of new capabilities to the fax, including optical character recognition to allow faxes to be searchable by computer.
But how does a business go about moving to a FoIP solution? Here are seven steps that every business should consider when adopting FoIP.
Identify business and user needs. Start by identifying how the fax machine is currently used, and by which employees. This can help in determining which features are most needed, and that can help with deployment. To understand user needs, conduct interviews with key players in the business to discover what really matters.
Understand how FoIP works. When planning a FoIP rollout, it is good to actually understand the nuts and bolts of the technology. This will help you select the right solution for your business. Make sure to not only understand packetization and what the “IP” stands for in FoIP, but also things like security.
Assess your network situation to make sure that it doesn’t hinder FoIP. You’re only as strong as your Internet access.
Identify the right partners and providers. Not all providers are created equal, and not all FoIP providers offer the same services. For a good starting point, check out a company such as FaxSIPit.
Decide between the cloud and on-premise solutions. FoIP can be managed in the cloud by a FoIP provider, or a business can have an on-premise solution. Each offers its advantages, and knowing which is best for your business will go a long way toward selecting the right FoIP solution.
Install and test the system. Contrary to what you may think, the best way to test the system is to schedule a cutover during the day to see how things perform in a real-world environment.
Plan for the future. FoIP is well-established at this point, but no technology stands still. So it is good to stay one step ahead by already having an upgrade path for where your business will go with fax five years from now.Put these seven steps into practice and moving to FoIP becomes easy.