As an industry leader in phone-line sharing technology we obviously keep a close eye on market trends and consumer opinion regarding fax usage. After all, most of our products are installed with a fax, or fax modem, allowing full fax operation but without the cost of a monthly fax line. What’s interesting is that the line between those who avoid a fax (No-Faxers) and those who embrace it (Pro-Faxers) is becoming more distinct.
Considering that fax machines have been around in one form or another, e.g. Multi-Function Printers or All-in-One’s, for more than a century (courtesy of Alexander Bain in 1843) it comes as no surprise that detractors annually predict the ultimate demise of faxing as a useful technology.
A recent prediction has the fax machine dying off in 2010, along with the computer mouse I might add. Undeniably, on-line fax services, email, online conferencing, collaborative writing and editing, file sharing, and desktop sharing are all easily acquired, multi-platformed, and gaining in enthusiastic popularity.
So no need for a fax, right? Maybe, maybe not…
Even with dozens of document sharing applications available today, you would hard pressed to walk into any business, from a SOHO to Fortune 500, and not find a fax machine. There are approx. 130 million fax machines worldwide still in use, pumping out about 80 billion fax transmissions every year. Fax documents are still considered essential to a wide range of important business processes across all industries.
Why? Simplicity. Security. Familiarity. Some people still like to have that piece of paper in their hand.
Here are just a few commonly faxed documents: insurance claims, RFQ’s, PO’s, contracts, enrollment forms, NDF’s, W-9’s, invoices, resumes, tax filings, legal documents, expense reports, wire transfer confirmations, and so on. Perhaps even a family holiday recipe.
No doubt, faxes do come in handy. In a dramatic recent example, faxes were a critical fix for a router malfunction in the FAA’s computer system. Unbelievably, airlines were forced to use fax machines to send in flight plans that then had to be entered manually by controllers. If you were flying on Nov. 19th, you might want to redefine “useful technology” and thank the trusty fax.
So sound off —which camp are you in? Are a Pro-Faxer or No-Faxer? Here is a link to cast your vote: http://polls.linkedin.com/p/68046/gomjm Or you can fax me 859-885-6619