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RightFax & FoIP

Compared to email, fax communications are more tamper-resistant, more secure, and provide more reliable delivery and notification options
September 3, 2017
By: Advantage Technologies

RightFax & FoIP Overview

FoIP (Fax over Internet Protocol), is a software-based technology that changes the way a fax is transmitted, similarly to the way VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) changes how a phone call is transmitted. Instead of the fax being sent directly over the PSTN (public switch telephone network), the data is sent over the IP network, avoiding the long-distance phone lines of the PSTN. By initially bypassing the PSTN, the cost of transmission is often reduced and makes for a more efficient setup for businesses that already have access to the internet.

FoIP is the future of how people send and receive faxes because it can complement and leverage your IP network, eliminating the need for traditional fax boards. With FoIP, your organization can expect all the advantages, reliability, and security of a traditional fax server solution, but with added benefits, such as server consolidation through virtualization and a unified communications strategy that is inclusive of fax. And, with the proliferation of SIP Trunking (we recommend babyTEL), you can truly leverage FoIP by sending faxes over the internet.

Key Benefits of FoIP:

  • Leverages your existing VoIP network
  • Eliminates fax boards
  • Lowers fax telephony costs
  • Lowers hardware and energy costs through virtualization
  • Fits seamlessly into unified messaging and communication strategies, including SIP trunking
  • Simplifies redundancy and disaster recovery
  • Maximizes existing network resources and infrastructure

Overview of Fax Server Usage within an Organization

Faxes represent unalterable, legally binding documents that are essential for business processes, such as invoicing, purchasing, finance, legal, and supply chain management. Compared to email, fax communications are more tamper-resistant, more secure, and provide more reliable delivery and notification options.

To manage the high volume of inbound and outbound faxes that are part of normal business activities, organizations have relied on the horsepower of a client-server based network or enterprise fax server. Users anywhere on the network, whether local or remote, can access the fax server through a variety of thick or thin clients or via email and messaging applications, such as Microsoft® Outlook® or IBM® Notes®.

In addition, some fax servers are capable of extracting data from host or mainframe applications and automatically delivering thousands of invoices or purchase orders to individual recipients.
As a result, the network-based fax server is the hub of many document-centric business applications and is considered a mission-critical application for a variety of reasons including the ability to:

  • Provide proven, reliable, and secure electronic document delivery, receipt, tracking, and management
  • Reduce costs
  • Increase efficiency with smart process flows for creating, receiving, routing, reviewing, and approving documents
  • Integrate with essential business applications, such as CRM, document management, email, ERP, workflow, and host systems, as well as multifunction printer (MFP) devices
  • Centralize and distribute fax services across the enterprise, including remote locations
  • Support compliance and regulatory requirements by offering tamper-resistant document delivery and audit trail
  • Offer high-availability fax services, complete with redundancy and failover capabilities

 

Benefits of Fax Servers Using FoIP

Organizations adopting an IP telephony environment may further streamline their messaging infrastructure and enhance the benefits of their existing fax server by enabling it to support FoIP. Some of the benefits include:

Cost Savings

  • Eliminate fax machines and associate expenses (phone lines, paper, long distance charges, etc.)
  • Reduce maintenance costs by consolidating voice, fax, and data on a single network
  • Reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) savings due to network consolidation
  • Lower labor costs by automating labor intensive business processes that involve generating, sending and receiving invoices, purchase orders, loan applications, order confirma-tions, and other transactional documents
  • Lower energy costs using software-enabled FoIP in virtual environments
  • Support enterprise server virtualization initiatives with 100%software solutions enabled by appliance gateways

 

Efficiency

  • Increase efficiency with smart process flows for creating, receiv-ing, routing, reviewing, and approving documents
  • Bolster efficiencies associated with managing consolidated network equipment that supports VoIP and FoIP

 

Flexibility

  • Use software-only solutions, boarded, or combination FoIP solu-tions depending on an organization’s needs
  • Scale fax server with additional channels, capacity, and integra-tions to meet evolving document delivery needs

 

Interoperability & Compatibility

  • Push consistent fax solution throughout the entire network including remote locations
  • Strengthen investments made on IP equipment that interoperate with the fax server
  • Minimize downtimes

 

OpenText RightFax and FoIP

OpenText RightFax is the proven market leader in fax server and document delivery software. It delivers the most reliable and robust fax software solution to integrate and automate the flow of a full range of fax, paper, and electronic documents and data, enabling enterprises to achieve significant cost reductions. By using RightFax, companies can securely and efficiently deliver business information from virtually any application via fax, email, print devices, or over the Internet.

IP Faxing Methods Supported by RightFax

RightFax offers flexibility when it comes to deploying FoIP. Organizations can choose software, or a combination of hardware and software solutions depending on individual requirements, making it easy for companies to leverage their IP infrastructure.
Options include:

SOFTWARE-ONLY SOLUTION

T.38 – REAL-TIME FAXING OVER THE INTERNET

  • Uses Dialogic® Brooktrout® SR 140 software
  • For organizations requiring a software-only solution
  • Less time and money on hardware and related maintenance

COMBINED SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE SOLUTION

  • Combines hardware and software
  • Can be used when transitioning to IP environment or supporting legacy networks

Considerations of software and hardware FoIP solutions

When considering FoIP communications as part of an organization’s RightFax strategy, there are some important factors to be taken into account when weighing the tradeoffs between traditional deployments using PSTN or those using an IP solution. One of the challenges is navigating the variety of possible configurations and topologies that might exist to support a wide range of individual environments. Another challenge is to understand the amount of extra equipment that may be required. FoIP-enabled routers, media gateways, and switches need to be considered right alongside fax servers and intelligent fax boards.

Regardless of the challenge, each FoIP option comes with distinct advantages and benefits, each of which can fit an organization’s objectives for a smooth and successful deployment.

Setting up and deploying FoIP

RightFax uses transport service architecture (called DocTransport) to set up and deploy FoIP solutions. This DocTransport service can set up and configure software, or combination FoIP solutions. The licensing, setup, and configuration tools are built in to the DocTransport service, making FoIP easy to administer. For distributed environments, RightFax uses this transport architecture to set up either the hardware or software method to run remotely, whether a separate machine in the local data center or at a remote location. This can help serve redundancy schemes, load balancing, virtualization scenarios, or enable remote offices to send and receive faxes via IP. Scalability is available for both options too, with capacities ranging from two to 120 fax channels per server.

Virtualization—Implementing a software-only FoIP solution

Software driven FoIP solutions provide many advantages, especially for those companies with virtualization strategies or those that are standardizing on an all IP infrastructure. RightFax uses Dialogic Brooktrout SR140 software to translate fax data from the fax server into real-time fax packets. Because it is software-based, companies can take advantage of virtualization for their RightFax fax server, using less server machines and leveraging existing infrastructure.

In addition, because there are no fax boards, organizations can better serve “green” strategies for their data centers, since fewer physical resources are required.

Features and Benefits of Hardware, Software and Combination FoIP Solutions

Software
RIGHTFAX WITH DIALOGIC® SR140® FOIP SOFTWARE

  • Supports T.38 real time fax standards
  • Suited for companies standardizing on an “all-IP” framework
  • Suited for virtual environments
  • Eliminates the need for dedicated fax cards and slots inside of CPU machines
  • Encapsulates the reliable T.30 protocol
  • Provides the same features and advantages as fax boards, including error correction mode, V.34, support for DTMF, compression, and others
  • Demands less utilization and energy consumption from data center
  • Provides built-in tools to license, set up, and configure FoIP from within the OpenText RightFax DocTransport service

Combination
RIGHTFAX WITH DIALOGIC® SR140® FOIP SOFTWARE AND TR 1034® INTELLIGENT FAX BOARDS

  • Supports T.38 real time fax standards
  • Suited for organizations with mixed circuit-switched and IP systems today.
  • Suited for companies with legacy or mixed environments
  • Provides migration path for companies that need to support mixed TDM/PSTN and IP
  • Provides migration path for companies transitioning to a virtualized environment over time
  • Provides built-in tools to license, set up and configure FoIP from within the RightFax
  • DocTransport service

RightFax in an IP Environment

RightFax was designed as a flexible centralized document delivery hub, which can support FoIP, traditional PSTN or both. OpenText is committed to ongoing research and development, and has developed longstanding partnerships with leading hardware and software vendors to ensure the application provides the most reliable, robust and adaptable solution for companies transitioning to FoIP. Some of the unique advantages of RightFax fax servers within a FoIP environment include its proven ability to:

Integrate with a variety of mission-critical applications

OpenText provides extensive integration to office programs, document management, email, ERP, workflow, MFPs, and other applications used in ad hoc communications and business operations. It also partners with leading technology vendors including: IBM®, Microsoft®, Oracle®, SAP®, HP® Konica Minolta®, Xerox®, and more.

RightFax can securely send, receive, and manage thousands of faxes a day generated from business applications in a timely, reliable and cost-effective manner.

Provide reliable fax availability in a distributed environment

The capacity of RightFax fax servers can be multiplied by combining two or more servers to share a common RightFax database, no matter the location of the workers or offices.

Support for virtualization

RightFax has an open, multi-layered architecture that deploys into virtualization scenarios in which it can run on virtualized
machines, aiding in cost savings and streamlined management.

With virtualization and RightFax fax servers, organizations can gain numerous benefits and advantages including:

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction and levels of service due to higher availability, failover scenarios, backups and security
  • Reduced capital expenditures by eliminating the need for dedicated CPU hardware and fax boards
  • Lower operating costs as a result of reducing rack space allotments in the data center and reduced energy consumption and utilization costs
  • Increased IT administration efficiencies by centralizing management of all virtual applications.

Proven Fax Server Leader

OpenText is the No. 1 FoIP provider and the trusted market leader in fax server software and FoIP.

Summary

The enterprise fax server remains the cornerstone of any faxing environment because of its ability to integrate with business applications and provide a centralized hub to ensure documents are delivered, routed, and tracked in a secure, efficient, and reliable manner. As a transport mechanism, FoIP is a good option for organizations that want to compound the existing benefits of their fax server and maximize the payback from consolidating voice, fax, and data traffic on an IP network.

When it comes to implementing FoIP, the market leading RightFax fax server is the proven choice for providing flexible, scalable, and cost-effective FoIP solutions. Known for integrations, reliability, and manageability, OpenText RightFax provides built-in FoIP options, making it easy to deploy, set up, and manage software or combination FoIP solutions depending on an organization’s needs. Organizations looking to consolidate resources, reduce costs and reap all the benefits of using their IP infrastructure for faxing will benefit from scalability and flexibility of RightFax as their document delivery engine.

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This post is tagged as: Administrators | End Users | FoIP | HTML / PDF | RightFax

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