Business Fax Machine

Choosing a business fax machine can be more complicated than the average consumer might think. As with all areas of technology, the variety of options that are available with this particular office tool might be surprising. In general, simple machines that are meant for private consumer use are not suitable for the office environment. A piece of equipment that is designed for home use is not built to stand up to the rigors of the busy office. For this reason, purchasing a high volume fax machine means acquiring an office tool that is strong enough for the job at hand. The Bible talks about the strength that can be found in God. "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." (2 Timothy 4:17) While these machines do come with a higher price tag than standard home machines, they should last longer. When repair is needed, it is usually worth the expense unless the repair is extensive. An example of an extensive repair might be the replacement of a costly circuit board. Replacing one of these boards could cost as much as a new machine. Generally, these necessary business tools are designed to last for many years.

If the business fax machine is a first time purchase, there are several questions that a buyer should ask before buying. The size of the budget is of course a primary concern, and these machines can run from a few hundred to several hundred dollars. Another important question might be whether or not there is a phone line that is available for the device. If there are a high number of documents that are expected to be delivered via this equipment, one telephone line should be dedicated to its use. Potential buyers should also ask about the machine's expectations and about how much data the device will be expected to deal with at one time. Some machines come with special features such as automatic switch over from telephone to facsimile, auto redial, auto speed dial, faxing from more than one location, and compatibility with the phone line's caller identification feature. Other questions could include: What kind of printing technology does the machine have? What is the modem speed on the device? What does the dealer offer in the way of tech support? If the machine breaks down, can the dealer provide repair service? Other concerns might include the machine's memory and paper feeding capacity. Price tag alone does not necessarily designate the quality of a high volume fax machine, so the wise consumer will compare features and ask appropriate questions before making a decision.

In addition to these considerations, there are a number of things to consider in the area of printing technology. The most basic of these is ribbon transfer technology. While machines using ribbon transfer technology are generally less expensive and very easy to use, they are not suitable for anything other than light volumes. Inkjet printing technology can work well in a small business fax machine and usually carries a relatively moderate price tag. These machines use a four cartridge ink delivery system and can print in either color or monochrome. They generally run more slowly that their laser print counterparts. Laser print machines offer the highest quality print-outs and can even print photos. Their speed and quality make them suitable for the busy office, but they generally carry a higher price tag. However, since inking is done through the use of a combination of high yield toners and drums, the cost per printed page is less than that of other machines.

When in the market for a high volume fax machine, modem speed is an important consideration. These devices usually come in speeds that vary 9600 bps which translates to approximately 15 seconds per page, 14.4 bps, which equals approximately 6 to 9 seconds per page, or 33.6 bps, which can transmit at a speed of approximately 2 to 3 seconds per page. Obviously, the higher the expected volume, the higher the page speed desired. The speed of the transmitting or receiving device on the other end is also an issue. When the speeds of the two machines differ, transmission can be slowed. Some models come with answering machines or message centers that are built into the device. These answering machines can receive both fax and voice mail. Other features could include a cordless handset or the ability to use the device as a standard phone as well as a business fax machine.

Paper capacity is another important feature in a high volume fax machine. If a high number of transmissions are expected, the ability to store and feed a large amount of paper is important. Without this capability, the device will be in constant need of refilling, creating unnecessary and tedious work for office staff and increasing the risk of a failed transmission if the device continually runs out of paper. Many commercial models come with secondary feeding trays that will help keep the transmissions running smoothly. The ability to handle a variety of paper sizes can also be a convenient feature. A large fax memory is an important consideration. Generally speaking, for machines that will see a lot of use, the larger the memory capacity, the better. Memories that can hold information even when the device runs out of paper, or can scan documents at the same time that it is sending or receiving, can be very helpful in a busy office environment.

Internet Fax Solutions

Lightning fast Internet fax solutions are part of a growing arsenal of electronic communications packages that help small and large businesses compete in a global economy. Businesses caught in the jungle of increasingly higher rates for commercial landline phone service are opting for low-cost online VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Internet fax email, and instant messaging. Acquiring and implementing new web-based communication products makes operating a business more efficient and cost-effective. While the technology is still relatively new and the bugs have to be worked out, businesses are braving new frontiers and realizing greater profits by streamlining cyberspace telecommunications. Rather than pay exorbitant rates charged by major phone companies, Internet telephony offers low-cost options for B2B communications, such as desktop faxing, three-way conference calling, voice mail, and email.

Cyberspace technology is rapidly changing the way we do business. Antiquated and outmoded ways of communicating, from across the hallway to around the world, are costly and ineffective. Dial-up Internet, landline phones, and snail mail have all gone the way of the dinosaur; and innovations that were top of the line just ten years ago are fast becoming extinct. In order to compete in a global marketplace, individual entrepreneurs and conglomerates must adapt innovative corporate communications methods to increase productivity, improve employee relations, and realize greater profitability. As we adapt to new modes of communication in the secular business world, so must we be open to change spiritually and receive the new life which can only be found in Christ Jesus. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given unto us the ministry of reconciliation;" (II Corinthians 5:17-18).

Today's web-based solutions enable businesses to transmit data to overseas and long distance domestic partners without spending exorbitant fees. Rates for overseas calls can quickly add up; and if a business has offshore holdings or foreign partners, the cost may be prohibitive. Unlike conventional faxing, which involves transmitting data over landline phones, web-based faxing uses a customer's existing email account to transmit data over cyberspace to specially configured fax servers. These servers are located across the globe, similar to the strategic placement of mobile phone towers. An account holder uses a password and code to direct data to its destination via transmittal through several servers. Data travels from server to server until reaching a destination near the sender's intended location, where conventional telephone lines then pick up the fax and send transmittals to their final destination. The cost of sending an Internet fax email is negligible in comparison to landline transmissions.

Companies considering making the switch from conventional to Internet fax solutions should take a closer look at some of the providers vying for corporate accounts. Some providers offer free software downloads to enable businesses to transmit facsimiles nearly anywhere in the world. Companies may also register for an online account using an existing email service provider. In addition to using the web, businesses can send facsimiles from Microsoft Office, other email accounts, or via electronic mail broadcast. Email messages must first be configured and optimized to "talk" to fax servers. Instead of addressing messages to a specific individual in the address field, senders type in a phone number, including country and area codes, followed by the service providers' URL, or domain name. This process is necessary to begin routing the facsimile through online servers. In the subject line, users can type in the recipient's name, usually followed by a password and a code, both which are issued by the service provider. Similar to any other email transmission, additional documents can be accessed from the sender's hard drive or other storage device and attached to the Internet fax email.

Sounds simple? Sure, but the advantages are tremendous savings in time and money. Faxing over a landline phone from most copy centers can run as much as $3 to $4 for the first page and $1.50 and up for additional pages. Fledgling entrepreneurs with limited resources would soon go bankrupt trying to transmit stacks of documents. But Internet fax email providers offer affordable rates for sending and receiving facsimiles; and companies can establish corporate accounts to further help defray expenses. In addition to sending attachments, companies such as architectural firms, drafting and graphic arts studios, real estate agencies, building contractors, developers, and retail merchants can all send multiple page documents using Internet fax solutions without worrying about the cost, speed, or most importantly, the lack of security so prevalent with conventional transmission methods.

Individuals or small and large businesses seeking the services of an Internet fax solutions provider should browse the web. Many providers offer free trial offers and an opportunity to "test drive" web-based email faxing before committing to a contract. Providers will also offer free and low-cost downloads to enable users to access the latest features of web, email, and broadcast programs. A reputable provider will offer service after the sale, including tech support, and a menu of custom services to streamline or enhance operations. Users should look for providers which bundle fax solutions with other electronic communications packages, such as VoiP (Voice over Internet Protocol), instant messaging, and Internet telephony. If e-commerce is rapidly changing the way we do business; Internet fax email is just one more way businesses can compete for a place in the millennial marketplace.

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