The digital transformation of businesses has accelerated with the increase in remote working. All your communication tools can now be online, including fax. Gartner’s report predicted a substantial rise in the demand for cloud fax services between 2018 and 2020. Subscribing the right online fax service is critical for your business to avoid any breakdown or non-compliance. With service providers offering similar features and different tiers, choosing an online fax service in Canada can be confusing for many.
In this guide and based on my 10 years of experience in the Faxing and Digital communications Industry, I’ve provided a descriptive checklist that may help you select an online fax service that’s scalable, highly available, ensures your regulatory compliance requirements are met, and costs less to access. So, let’s get started!
1. Integration and Convenience
Online fax service means the freedom to fax from anywhere, anytime conveniently. Most of the services provide a web-based platform to send-receive your fax documents, like your email service providers, eg. Gmail or Outlook. However, you should look for a provider that can tightly integrate with your web-based email service providers, as well as Microsoft Exchange (Outlook), Microsoft 365, Google’s G Suite, SAP, Oracle, and local multi-function machines, as per your unique business requirement. Also, our clients tell us they don’t need or want a dedicated mobile app to send-receive faxes.
Be wary of cheap free online faxing services. They‘re unreliable and will expose your communications with serious security vulnerabilities. Your business is better off working with a service provider that’s invested in security and reliability and caters to and provides an enterprise-grade faxing service. The hosted fax service should be fault-tolerant and highly available in a secured cloud platform like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), in Canada. Also, the architects, engineers and administrators of the service should be experienced and certified on the platform.
Security is on everyone’s mind these days. The service should be able to ensure that your transaction data is only accessible to authorized owners of the data and the service’s back-end application servers through an end-to-end encrypted communication channel from the data at rest until the customer’s browser. And, the server to fax telephony communication is secured by an end to end HTTPS-encrypted communication channel. Also, fax images at rest on the fax server are encrypted with an AES 256 symmetric algorithm so only the user the fax is assigned to have the key to decrypt and view the fax. The service provider should have a robust incident response plan and should conduct regular unannounced penetration testing.
4. Admin Access and Control
The online fax service provider should enable your IT admin team to access, configure and control the faxing service at ease. They should be able to manage the user ID lifecycle as well as add/remove DIDs (fax numbers) through an admin console.
5. Local Canadian Number
Your online fax service provider should be able to offer a local Canadian number (or toll-free number). It’ll enable you to send-receive faxes locally, if your business is running through a virtual office.
6. Service Quality
The quality of the online faxing service experience can only be judged with a trial. Check if your service provider offers a trial account for Proof-of-Concept (PoC). Also, you’ll be able to justify your proposal to your higher management with the results of the PoC.
7. Patching and Regular Maintenance
The operating systems should be updated and patched as they become available and should be tested by experts to ensure they don’t interrupt the server’s operation.
8. Pricing and Monthly Faxes
Choosing a monthly rate based on how many faxes you can send/receive each month can be tricky. Also, the service provider will be charging you overage charges for any faxes which are over your monthly limit. You must check this rate just like telephone bills, you don’t want to end up with large bills if your company sends more faxes in a month than your tier includes. A good service shall work on Pay-As-You-Go model and won’t obligate you in Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
9. Corporate Plans & Scalability
Your service provider should offer corporate plans that are easy to scale up or down based on your business needs. Check if special corporate rates apply to avail of this corporate element or feature. Also, your online fax service in Canada should be providing flat rates at least throughout North America. It will enable you to scale your business without incurring any further costs geographically.
Doing a little homework now can help you avoid unnecessary expenses over the long haul.
Connectis Group is a leading enterprise-focused on-premise and cloud-based Fax service provider that hits the mark as per this checklist. Also, we’re the exclusive provider of RightFax and FaxCore solutions in Canada. Major financial institutions, healthcare, corporate, and government organizations in Canada trust our FaxCloud.biz service with their critical faxing communications containing confidential and sensitive information.