Organizations across all industry seek to efficiently and cost effectively streamline their workflows. If your organization relies on a fax server solution, you may have considered moving to a cloud-based fax service. Cloud-based fax service could be a great alternative to an on-premise fax system. We have outlined the top 5 things to consider before migrating to a cloud based fax service:
1. Fax Image Retention – Where are your fax images stored?
Since most cloud-based fax service providers leverage “store and forward” messaging systems, customers need to determine if their data and images can rest on the service provider’s network for any period of time. Corporate security teams will typically work with Advantage in collaboration with a fax service provider to understand the cloud providers network resiliency measures, encryption standards, and security capabilities.
Additionally, customers need to make sure they address and understand security and/or encryption between the two networks – customer and provider; our fax service providers offer a number of solutions, including Enforced TLS encryption.
2. Inbound Fax Number (DID) Portability – Can I keep my existing fax numbers?
One of the first steps in our process is to gather a list of all existing inbound fax numbers to verify if every number is portable. If any of the existing fax numbers are not portable, we then determine if any “non-portable” fax numbers can be changed to an alternative, suitable inbound fax number that the fax service provider can assign. If the numbers are not portable and cannot be changed; this may hamper your ability to leverage a cloud-based fax service. We are acutely aware that for many of our customers, inbound faxing is critical to their existing workflow and cannot be easily modified. This is typically not an issue for customers migrating from an on-premise fax server solution utilizing outbound fax only.
It is important to note that not all cloud fax service providers are created equal. Many fax service providers will retain ownership of your fax number, even if you decide to cancel their service. When you work with Advantage, you retain ownership of the number, even if you decide to cancel.
In rare cases when a number cannot be ported, call forwarding can be implemented from the phone system, or a Market Expansion Line (MEL) directly from the telephony provider. Please note that call forwarding is always an option, but may negate some of the benefits of the cloud solution.
3. On-Premise vs Cloud-Based Feature Set – Are all faxing features currently available in the cloud-based solution?
Cloud faxing has evolved considerably since its inception, and will only continue to become a more powerful and robust solution. Whether the cloud feature set/workflow will work for your organization all depends on what you are trying to accomplish with a fax solution.
We work closely with our customers to conduct a detailed, side-by-side, comparison when looking to convert from on-premise fax systems to a cloud-based fax service solution. This allows your users to compare the differences between the two solutions and related workflow. This will help you determine which solution is the best fit, and also to set expectations should you decide to move to the cloud. Advantage Technologies can provide you with a demo account to evaluate the service.
In our experience, organizations already using their email client to send, receive, manage, and archive their inbound and outbound faxes are likely to have a seamless transition to a cloud-based fax solution. Our cloud fax service providers generally allow users to send and receive faxes using any on-premise, hosted, or cloud-based email system.
Finally, customers that want the best of both worlds – on-premise fax server software features and functionality and the ability to bypass on-premise phone systems and services can take advantage of our “hybrid” fax solution. Hybrid fax solutions leverages your existing on-premise fax system with a cloud-based fax service provider for fax telephony resources.
4. Third-party Application Integration – Can my existing third-party applications integrate with a cloud-based solution?
In most cases, yes, but some evaluation may be necessary to determine which workflows you have in place and whether any changes may need to be applied to your fax integrations and/or workflows. Advantage Technologies will perform an assessment of your current working environment to help determine whether your applications can integrate with a cloud-based fax solution.
All of our fax service partners provide a number of integration options for customers. Advantage Technologies can leverage available API’s in order to integrate your application with the cloud-based fax solution.
5. MFP Device Connection – Can I continue to use my MFP device as I do with my on-premise server today?
MFP integration with on-premise fax systems provides walk-up faxing for users without the need for local fax lines and fax boards on the device itself. This helps reduce the cost of ownership and gives users a single fax repository – their fax or email inbox to track, view, and manage faxes. In many cases, our cloud-based fax service providers can integrate with your existing MFPs by connecting devices securely over the Internet or via VPN. However, the existing workflow and/or two-way communication between your on-premise fax server and the MFP may not be replicated exactly by the cloud-based fax service provider.
No matter what you decide, Advantage Technologies is with you every step of the way. Leverage our expertise in deciding on whether a cloud-based fax service solution is a good fit for your organization.
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