commentary Those who have declared the death of the humble fax machine are
out of tune with the reality of modern enterprise communications.
These analogue dinosaurs are still around and kicking, often
buried in a disused part of the office and connected to a phone
line that even Telstra probably doesn't know about any more.
This fact was driven home last week by Mark Barrett, a network
engineer with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Barrett is considered a leading expert on enterprise comms
Down Under and technically doesn't have to work for money any
more ... he just builds networks for fun these days.
Speaking at an Avaya convergence conference in Sydney, the
engineer advised his audience of comms managers not to forget
about fax machines when tying voice and data networks
"The world hasn't quite dispensed with faxes," Barrett
"Those guys know how to fax," he said, outlining the
division's bulk-faxing habits to the flabbergasted audience.
Barrett said the AFP had tried to implement a fax relay
service which would use the organisation's converged IP network.
However, he said, this solution was designed to be "where the
analogue world was a few years ago".
The criminal records section had already started sending
documents using the "Super G3" standard which allows higher
In other words, the fax world has moved on and the relay
solution was already out of date.
This news came as no surprise to your writer. History has
proven that even outdated technology will keep on advancing in
Not everyone was happy when e-mail stepped in and made the fax
system almost irrelevant. And we all know someone who's still
using their Windows 3.1 PC which makes everyone else shudder.
Does your office still have a fax machine tucked
away in a corner? Or are you willing to pronounce the technology
dead? E-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.