Amidst the din of social media, security and cell phones, the use of fax is on the rise, so says Mike Pugh, vice president, marketing at J2 Global, owners of eFax.
In this Q&A Mike helps us understand why fax is so important, even in the year 2010 and what its future prospects loo like.
Is fax dead, compared to what it might have been 10 – 15 years ago?
Fax is alive and well! While some communication—general correspondence, for example—appropriately has transitioned to email, fax continues to be a vital method of transmitting mission-critical business and government documents. Examples include contracts, orders, applications, and certificates. Fax also is an important tool for doing business internationally, where it serves as a standard across languages and customs.
Fax is not just alive, it is evolving to take advantage of new technologies and meet changing customer needs. Stand-alone fax machines are giving way to MFPs (multi-functional printers) and online fax services like eFax. Gartner and Davidson have both published market analyses that support the growth we’re seeing in these areas.
With the rise of not only email, but social media, it seems that the days of fax are even more numbered?
It’s important to remember that fax is a core component of the transactional business processes of most organizations. Email plays an important but different role, typically for common back-and-forth communication. Social media, as a way for people to connect and converse, may cannibalize or complement some uses of email, but it doesn’t have much overlap with the primary business applications of fax, which are here to stay.
Is fax use rising in certain industries?
Fax is used most heavily in industries that focus on transactional or regulatory activities, such as finance, law, real estate, insurance, travel, and medicine. In parallel, fax is also heavily used by the people within almost any industry or company that deal with those functions, such as management, lawyers, accountants, buyers, order processors, pharmacists, doctors and salespeople. Anywhere there is lots of paper, fax will be there as well.
I know traditionally construction and real estate and law have been heavy users of fax – can you speak to the use of fax in these industries in particular?
Fax continues to be prevalent in those businesses. In construction, fax is critical to trafficking the bidding, planning, insurance, and safety documents required to coordinate a project. In real estate, fax provides a ubiquitous, immediate, agreed-upon process for managing offers, purchases, and other support documentation needed to buy and sell properties.
Many of us are spammed through our eFax numbers, why?
Fax spammers are always looking for fax numbers, and as the leader in the space, eFax can be a target. To address this, we actively encourage our customers to report fax spam and we are aggressive in pursuing spammers in court. You can visit http://www.efax.com/privacy?tab=reportSpam for more information.
Some people hold onto their traditional faxes, can they comfortably let them go, in place of eFax?
Many people do and never look back. Others hold onto them and plug them in when they have a hard copy to send; a fax machine is the best way to move a piece of paper quickly and easily.