/>
X

The fax machine is not dead

Those who have declared the death of the humble fax machine are out of tune with the reality of modern enterprise communications.
zd-defaultauthor-renai-lemay.jpg
Written by Renai LeMay on
commentary Those who have declared the death of the humble fax machine are out of tune with the reality of modern enterprise communications.
Renai LeMay, ZDNet Australia
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 together.

"The world hasn't quite dispensed with faxes," Barrett said.

He told the audience of a sticky problem the AFP encountered when its massive rollout of Internet Protocol-based (IP) telephony hit its criminal records section.

"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 faxing speeds.

In other words, the fax world has moved on and the relay solution was already out of date.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 History has proven that even outdated technology will keep on advancing in incremental jumps.

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 renai.lemay@zdnet.com.au or post a comment below.

Related

Are you ready for the worst Economy Class airline seats in the world?
airline-seats.jpg

Are you ready for the worst Economy Class airline seats in the world?

Business
Microsoft Azure-certified roles are well-paid, and you can study for certification for $39
replace-this-image.jpg

Microsoft Azure-certified roles are well-paid, and you can study for certification for $39

Deals
Remote working vs back to the office: Benefits are clear, but there could be trouble ahead for some
A middle aged man in casual attire sat at his computer desk speaking to colleagues via a split-screen video chat application

Remote working vs back to the office: Benefits are clear, but there could be trouble ahead for some

Professional Development