Fax is an effective channel of communication for business; more often than not, it is usually part of a larger workflow. Received faxes need to be imported into some line-of-business application, say an EMR system or a document management application, to be processed. Quite often, matching a fax to the correct record in the application is a manual process, making the correlation of data expensive and prone to user error.
What’s the alternative? To automate this process, some might think that a customization of the import routine would be the way to go, requiring extensive custom developmentto implement your specific business rules. This can be expensive and rigid, requiring the rewriting of code should your line-of-business application need to be upgraded or your business rules changed. It would be preferable to do as little custom coding as possible, and use off the shelf modules and software to automate the process. Leveraging the add-on modules of RightFax will allow us to automate this process, while writing very little custom code.
Let’s say that it is necessary to provide an account number to your line-of-business application to be able to automatically match an imported fax to a specific account. Also, let’s suppose that there is a database that contains both the account number and the account’s related fax number. The simple solution would be to look up an account number based on the caller id for a received fax before it is imported into an application, and provide that account number to the import process.
Let’s see how.
First, we can use the RightFax XML Generator Module to write both the body of the fax and some metadata to a specific folder (call it the XML INBOX). The XML Generator allows us to customize the output of the metadata, choosing the information that we need. Let’s say we want the DID (the inbound fax number,) the ANI (caller ID) and image filename to be included in the metadata.
Second, we configure an input in the RightFax Integration Module to monitor the XML INBOX folder and perform an action on any XML file that it finds. Here’s is where we do some custom development. I would suggest writing a simple PowerShell script that performs the following steps:·
- Open the XML file
- Reads the ANI
- Runs a SQL query to lookup the related account number
- Writes the account number back into the XML file
- Moves the image file and the XML file to another folder for importing (call it the IMPORT INBOX)
Finally, a second input is created in the Integration Module to monitor the IMPORT INBOX folder and to run the command to import the fax into the line-of-business application, using the account number that has been added to the XML file.
All told, you are looking at about 50 lines of custom code. This mans there is little risk to automating this process. If the process needs to change, all that is necessary is to update your PowerShell script.
The previous example illustrates the power and flexibility of leveraging a few of the add-on modules to automate steps in your overall business process workflow, saving your usiness time and money. We enjoy working with our clients to understand how fix fits into their business as a communications channel, and provide suggestions on how we can help streamline their workflows, leveraging their existing RightFax investment to help them succeed.
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