When you think of faxing, you may imagine the classic fax machine scene from the movie “Office Space.” You may envision the old multifunction printer your grandfather had in his home office. When we hear the word “fax,” we tend to think of things that are out fashioned; an interesting comparison considering the prevalence of fax today. Regardless of how seemingly irrelevant the fax may seem, research indicates that, on average, the world sends as many as 100 billion faxes per year.
Of course, business owners know this all too well; however, in today’s smart, digital world, enterprises have collectively shifted to a more convenient and eco-friendly way of faxing: fax over IP, or FoIP. Chances are, you’ve seen the research on FoIP. Overall, the global VoIP services market—driven by specific VoIP services like FoIP—is expected to peak at about $140 billion by 2021, representing a CAGR of about 9 percent between 2016 and 2021.
Fax over IP is exactly what you think it is: sending a fax over an IP network. Similar to how we can conduct VoIP calls, we can connect to an IP network to seamlessly send faxes. Depending on your situation and resources, however, the way you’ll send a fax over IP can differ. For instance, you can use a fax gateway through a T.38 protocol; you can fax-to-email through the T.37 protocol; or you can simply send the fax over a VoIP channel. You can even use a VoIP gateway to connect your traditional fax system for sending VoIP faxes. In the case of FoIP, faxes are not sent to and from phone numbers as traditional faxes are. Instead, they’re sent to and from IP addresses.
FoIP is a great option for businesses looking to improve sustainability (just consider that the average American consumes 700 pounds of paper each year). It’s also faster and more convenient; faxes can be sent anywhere, anytime using any device (a huge perk, considering that almost 80 percent of Americans now own a smartphone). You may face some common downfalls of VoIP service—the occasional spotty bandwidth, power dependency and security—but considering the rapid pace of technological advancement today, FoIP is a sound investment for simplifying and streamlining operations.
FoIP proves that it’s not the fax that’s become irrelevant, but rather the technology that fax traditionally relied on for so long.
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