If Marty McFly time traveled in the Back to the Future delorean from 1985 to our modern office, he would be disoriented, not from messing with the space time continuum, but from the many technological advancements made over 30 years. That is, until Marty sees a fax machine, then he would feel like he is right back in 1985.

Fax machines must have been designed with an extra chip that boosts staying power, because they have been around forever. A few institutions like banks and law offices, still only accept signatures printed from fax machines, which only feeds the fax machine’s ego. But the light from the Fax Empire is darkening as companies are finding alternative ways to send faxes. The final blow to the mighty fax will come from the extinction of the office landline. In a recent survey by Virgin Media Business, 65% of technology President’s interviewed predicted the office landline will disappear within five years.

The alternative is to send digital faxes over email. This is different than regular email in that it allows your inbox to communicate with its clunky predecessor. Making the switch to an electronic fax service will give you the freedom to chuck the old machine out the window and free up a spot on your desk. There are additional advantages to consider when making the switch; such as, saving paper, toner, having a digital copy on file, and freeing up maintenance time. We will break down this electronic fax solution in two parts, sending and receiving faxes.

Sending Faxes

Electronic faxing works as an online service; HelloFax and Faxzero are two popular services and there are many more online. Getting started is as easy as signing up for an account. To send a fax, it is as easy as uploading a document and filling out a cover sheet template. Most services are free to try, or even free to use if you don’t mind sending an advertisement with your cover sheet. If you use faxes regularly, then signing up for a service plan will be well worth it. Electronic fax services have different plans based on the amount of faxes you plan on sending, some even have an á la carte option. Don’t worry, The Server Group Integrated Technology can help you set this up too.

Receiving Faxes

The same electronic fax service you sign up for to send faxes, you also use to receive faxes. The service works by converting a paper fax someone sends you into a .pdf file to your inbox. There are no free trials available to receive faxes, this is primarily because it takes a designated fax number. You get your own number when you sign up for your own account. If your business is really serious about receiving faxes, you can even host your own centralized fax server which gives you tighter control over everything.

The need for a real signature might be the final lifeline keeping the fax machine alive. Ten years ago, digital signatures became accepted as legally binding in the US. Sending and receiving digital signatures comes standard with electronic fax services, adding a signature is as easy as following step-by-step directions.

Electronic faxing is a great way to add value to your business. Saving paper, ink toner, and electricity will make your office greener, digital signatures and storing files digitally will streamline communications, smashing your old fax machine with a ball bat, priceless. Give The Server Group Integrated Technology a call at 1-877-777-6514 and we can set you up with a fax service as well as explore all of your options to digitize your entire communication process.