The forgotten implication of switching off the UK analogue telephone networks 

Fax over IP is potentially the biggest change for many organisations

 

London, UK, 14th June, 2018 As BT, like telco operators across Europe, continues to implement its plans to switch off the analogue, PSTN/ISDN telephone networks, it is actually the large number of fax users rather than voice customers that are likely to feel the most impact. While awareness of the switch off was pegged at a lowly 25% of UK businesses in a TalkTalk Business survey last year, what discussion there has been has often focused around the migration to Voice over IP. In reality, it is arguably the move from the traditional fax machine or multifunction devices equipped with fax cards that presents the prime opportunity or threat for many organisations.

“Any organisation still using fax extensively in 2018, probably has it deeply ingrained in its communications culture and business processes,” said Stéphane Vidal, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at XMedius. “Until now such entities have had two options ahead of the BT analogue switch-off scheduled for 2025. The first and simplest was to move, sooner rather than later, to a Fax over IP solution, that offers significant and immediate cost and efficiency savings. The alternative was to invest in reengineering the culture and redesigning the processes to incorporate new ways of working and communication. Now customers can implement both options in parallel.”

He continues, “The NHS, in particular, along with other public-sector organisations and industries such as banking, insurance and legal, are still heavy users of fax. Indeed, it has been widely reported, following research released from DeepMind Health, that the NHS is the largest buyer of traditional fax machines in the world. Fax has maintained a stronghold in these areas as a result of familiarity, convenience, ubiquity and the legal standing of the audit trail it provides. While seven years may seem a long time, BT will stop selling new lines in 2020, so any organisation relying on fax should be planning its next move now.”

Independent Industry Analyst Rob Bamforth has also identified that fax is a potentially a forgotten player in the transition and that the deadlines demand attention, when he recently said “As the analogue telco network switchover is looming, it would be wise to take another look at the fax sooner rather than later. Identify what use cases are required. Then consider a move to virtualise fax and shift from fax hardware and phone lines to fax software, networks and cloud services.”

Whichever route is chosen, multiple IP-based solutions are available that combine the ease of use and familiarity of fax, with best practice security and data protection principles.

By moving quickly to a Fax over IP (FoIP) solution such as XMediusFAX, users can maintain established working practices, become more environmentally sustainable, comply with ever-increasing security requirements and also benefit from a rapid financial return through savings from reduced telco charges, paper and toner costs.

If the conclusion is to take a broader perspective, enterprise-grade file transfer solutions, such as XMediusSENDSECURE, not only cater for digital files in any format and size including audio and video, but bring additional security benefits such as recipient authentication, double encryption, built-in virus protection and predetermined file deletion settings, none of which are available with standard email. An ability to send and receive via mobiles and tablets as well a full integration with Outlook means that SendSecure is intuitive and simple to use.

To make the transition from analogue even smoother for UK customers facing the switch-off, XMedius now offers a combined solution bundle that includes both IP-fax and secure file transfer, ensuring a seamless migration by implementing a joint strategy in parallel.

A blog by Rob Bamforth discussing these issues and the future of fax can be found here: http://bit.ly/2JHe7Gg

 

About XMedius

XMedius is a global leader in the field of enterprise communications solutions. Its suite of enterprise-grade on-premises and cloud communications solutions enable businesses to benefit from secure and unified communication, as well as to exchange sensitive and confidential data that meets and exceeds industry regulatory compliance requirements. Based in Montreal (Canada), with offices in Seattle (USA) and Paris (France), the company serves businesses, enterprises and service providers through a global team of customer focused employees.  Its solutions are deployed worldwide in over 17,500 locations, across a number of sectors, including education, finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and legal services. For more information about XMedius and its solutions, visit www.xmedius.com, and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.