Businessman using a cloud-based fax workflow

What is Cloud-Based Fax?

Summary

Find out why cloud faxing is replacing traditional fax.

Time: 3 minute read

What is cloud faxing?

For many, fax continues to be a trusted and cost-effective means to exchange hardcopy information with recipients outside the data network. It remains one of the easiest ways to capture signatures on important documents from across town or across the globe.

Despite all of their advantages, traditional fax machines have limitations, especially in light of the shift to hybrid and distributed workforces. Fixed document transmission and reception points restrict access to information by remote and mobile employees.

Plus, users must contend with busy signals, wrong numbers, paper jams, and maintaining hardware and supply inventories. Every fax sent over the public switched telephone network (PSTN) costs a few cents, and it can quickly add up. 

Need more bandwidth? Get another fax machine and lease another phone line, adding more overhead.

Cloud faxing – not to be confused LAN faxing – is an alternative document transmission method that offers the advantages of traditional faxing without the limitations and expenses of the PSTN. Transmissions are sent over existing network data lines, leveraging the power of the internet to send and receive faxes with the ease of an email. While LAN faxing is paperless, it uses the PSTN and does not provide the security and accountability of a full-service cloud faxing application.



How to implement cloud faxing in your business

Migrating to a cloud-based fax workflow is not difficult. Depending on the extent of your implementation, you may find you spend more time vetting a solution and training employees than implementing the solution itself.

The implementation itself will involve:

  • Assigning access to the appropriate individuals.
  • Confirming and finalizing configuration per your business’s needs.
  • Training end users on proper use to ensure secured communications and who to contact should support be needed.

Cloud faxing software like XM Fax is one of several solutions that enable users to securely send and receive faxes anywhere, on any device. It minimizes telephony charges, the need for dedicated fax hardware, and eliminates hours of tedious redundant hardcopy scanning.



The benefits of cloud-based faxing

Cloud faxing alleviates many burdens associated with traditional fax workflows and offers several unique advantages:

  • Agility. All that is required is an internet connection and a tablet, laptop, MFP, or smartphone to enable users to send and receive faxes from anywhere, maximizing productivity among remote workforces and field-based employees.
  • Security. Digital fax transmissions are typically encrypted when sent using cloud fax software. Further, documents are received peerlessly into a secured device which means no more inbound faxes lying unguarded in reception trays.
  • Cost efficiencies. Cloud faxing eliminates the need for analog phone lines, per-call charges, and dedicated fax hardware. It reduces paper and toner consumption across entire organizations and minimizes IT support.
  • Manual error elimination. You reduce the chance of ever sending confidential information to a wrong number or experiencing a busy signal again with automated recipient selection and confirmation.
  • Interoperability. Cloud faxing offers integrations, allowing for the sharing of information across multiple systems.
  • Scalability. Software-defined fax endpoints and new numbers can be added and subtracted to the network as needed without the cost of additional hardware or phone lines.
  • Compliance and control. Cloud faxing creates an audit trail of all communications for maximum transparency and accountability, increasing compliance with regulatory standards like HIPAA, GDPR, FERPA, and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and minimizing exposure to fines and violations.
  • Disaster Recovery. Cloud faxing solutions can safely store a copy of every transmission on a separate server for backup and disaster recovery purposes.
  • Analytics. Comprehensive cloud fax tool reporting can parse usage trends, statistics, and delivery information in ways that analog fax activity logs cannot.

 

Industry spotlight: Cloud fax is transforming healthcare

Did you know that in healthcare, 75% of all patient information is exchanged by facsimile, (i.e., a primary care physician referral to a specialist), accounting for 9 billion healthcare-related fax pages every year!1

The implications of sending test results to the wrong specialist, a prescription to the wrong patient, or an insurance claim to the wrong provider can be life threatening. And the sheer volume of paperwork in the typical medical practice makes the environment ripe for errors and omissions.

For healthcare admins, cloud faxing transforms repetitive, time-consuming manual fax processes into streamlined, cloud-based workflows complete with centralized record keeping, without compromising the integrity of patient data, while eliminating paper-based workflows.

Once tapped into the cloud fax workflow, healthcare providers can integrate other cloud-based fax services around it, such as our Patient Referral Solution. It shaves days off the referral process, eliminates administrative workloads and resulting backlogs, and enhances records compliance.

Our Payer Provider Payment Solution for insurance claims processing is another cloud-based fax application. It increases the speed of payment for services provided to eliminate paperwork bottlenecks, simplify correspondence, and boost cash flow.

You can read more about these solutions and the results they produced for one major U.S. medical center’s insurance correspondence process in this case study.

 

Want to see how XM Fax can help your organization? Speak with one of our technology experts.

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1https://directtrust.org/blog/how-healthcare-can-stop-faxing/​
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