Friday, January 21, 2011

Is the Fax Machine DEAD?

The blogging community has a tendency to say things are 'dead' before their time. Often creating an either-or scenario where one doesn't exist, or calling one product the 'killer' of the other, and so forth. But Lisa Salazar at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog may just have a point when she says "People! It is 2011. The Fax Machine is DEAD".

So is it dead? or just dying slowly? Oh, and to be clear, she did say the fax machine. If we're to quibble on that word, machine, then really -- any business that still pays for an extra phone line for faxing purposes, continues to buy paper, and has a physical machine printing every incoming fax is ... well ... not managing their expenses very wisely.

The more palatable alternative is to use a fax-to-pdf service, which we do, and for the low low cost of around $150/yr. Is it still worth it? Should I kill it? Probably, but it's a tougher decision than one expects.

On one hand, I've been begging for a reason to cancel the service since the day I signed up. Over the course of any given year, I can count on one hand the number of times I've had a functional use for it.

However, I can also count a 5-10 times over the past three years where there was literally no other option to send a document to a company other than to fax it. ADP payroll was one of my worst offenders, where I was told the company limited external email for its employees because of "security reasons". That laughable notion aside, it's companies like this that will prolong the life of fax technology.

Unfortunate as it may be, I will (likely) continue spend the token amount it takes to have an operational fax number for at least another two years. And yes, I wish I could come to any other conclusion.


Blogger Omar Ha-Redeye said...

Based on what I've seen of litigation in Ontario, we have some ways to go before faxing is dead. Many of the older generation lawyers still like to paper their files, either with received or sent correspondences, and faxing is the method they are most accustomed to accomplishing this goal.

6:20 PM  

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