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What's Old is New: Fax Has Adapted to the Times

June 06, 2014

 By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Analog just doesn’t stand a chance against digital.

While analog phones and recordings have served us well for decades, it is clear that the future is digital and any technology that relies upon analog will be expiring soon—or changing over to digital.

One technology that’s made the change successfully has been the fax. While the move from analog to digital calling has been well-documented, and many people are using voice-over-IP these days, fax-over-IP (FoIP) has gone a little less heralded. But it has, nonetheless, become a success story.

Despite being an old technology, fax is still used by many companies due to its role in existing workflows and its ease of use. For anyone needing to get a signed document across town in less than 10 minutes, the solution is clear: Use a fax, even in 2014.

The advantages of FoIP include reduced cost, increased security, ease of use and added functionality such as optical character recognition and automatic document routing, among other advantages.

These advantages have led many firms to move from analog fax to FoIP, and it has meant profits for service providers that help them make the jump.

Virtutone, for instance, just announced record revenues of $14.9 million for May, a 30 percent growth over April revenue. The firm sells both VoIP and FoIP solutions, as well as hosted PBX (News - Alert) and T1 data circuits.

FaxSIPit also has profited from the move from analog to digital, helping businesses move to FoIP even if they are in no mood to invest in new fax hardware.

As I noted in an article earlier this week, FaxSIPit offers businesses a way to connect their existing fax machines and multifunction printers to the Internet for FoIP transmission. A technology called fax ATA, developed by AudioCodes (News - Alert), enables any fax machine to send and receive documents over the Internet. The adapter is easy to install, and lets firms use the FaxSIPit service easily.

So while analog is being crushed by digital, the same cannot be said for every technology or company that has historically relied upon it.

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