LAN Fax solutions are a server-based technology that allows users to send and receive faxes directly from their network workstations. In fact, it is as easy to fax a document from the desktop as it is to print one. The components of this solution are a PC running Microsoft Windows NT, an intelligent fax board (which plugs into the ISA or PCI slot of the server), and LAN fax software. Bit By Bit's recommended solution utilizes Dialogic® Brooktrout® Fax Products Fax Boards and RightFAX's award-winning LAN Fax software.

Bit by Bit is available to consult you to ascertain your needs, provide you with the necessary hardware and software, integrate the system with your existing network, and support the solution once it is installed.

Benefits
LAN Based faxing offers many advantages over traditional hand-fed faxing. Some of the benefits derived by automating the process of faxing are:

  • Return On Investment—The process of sending a fax manually usually takes from of 10 minutes to transmit. A fax sent from RightFAX takes one minute. Use RightFAX's cost calculator to see how much money you can save.

  • Better Utilization of Manpower—Once a fax has been sent from the desktop to the server, it is automatically queued for transmission, allowing the user to move on to another task. The time and money saved by this automation is particularly noticeable in the case of larger faxes, which no longer require "babysitting" by the sender.

  • Increased Productivity—Receiving documents at the desktop eliminates faxes that get lost in a sea of paper at the fax machine.

  • Leverage your investment in existing systems—By empowering users to fax from existing email clients, or by fax-enabling ERP systems, you can make the most out of your existing infrastructure

  • Scalability—RightFAX's Modular Architecture makes it easy to add capacity and functionality quickly and easily


Features

  • Integration with Email—RightFAX supports all SMTP mail systems including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell Groupwise and more allowing faxes to be sent and received from these popular email applications.

  • Reporting—Built in reports allow you to track fax activity by user, group, billing code, destination, channel, type of fax, and more

  • Broadcast Capability—A single fax can be sent to one, or one thousand users with the click of a button

  • Remote Administration—Both desktop faxing and server administration can be executed from any PC on the LAN. In an enterprise Scenario, Administrators can monitor and configure any server on the network.

  • Extensive security control—Administrators can assign user and system rights and controls, on an individual-by individual or global basis

  • Customization—RightFAX allows for custom cover Sheets and Overlays

  • Prioritization—You have the ability to prioritize faxing by user or by fax.

  • Archiving of Documents—Faxes can be maintained on the serve, saved to file, or set to be deleted at pre-determined intervals.

  • Departmental charge-back—RightFAX provides departmental charge-back and billing features, including, Information can be provided in a form to upload to pre-existing billing system.

  • Advanced Functionality—Using RightFAX's optional Modules, users can perform advanced functions such as accessing their inbox from the a touch-tone phone or the web, OCR Documents, and utilize fax on demand capabilities.


Routing Options
There are several options for routing faxes to individual users:

  1. Manual Routing of Faxes
    Smaller fax installations utilize standard analog loopstart (or POTs) phone lines. These lines plug into an RJ-45 slot in the fax board. In this scenario, faxes are received at the server and sent to an "Administrator Mailbox". A Network Fax Administrator will electronically route the fax to the appropriate mailbox.

  2. Direct Routing of Faxes to the Desktop via Analog DID Phone lines
    In the case of a larger installation, or one in which direct routing to the desktop without human intervention is desired, many people choose to use DID phone lines to facilitate direct routing of faxes to the desktop. In this scenario, users each have their own fax number. The fax board recognizes the digits of the dialed number and routes the document tot he appropriate mailbox.

    A DID phone line is often referred to as a "trunk" because it is a single physical line that supports multiple phone numbers. When purchasing DID line service, the phone company assigns a group of phone numbers in numerical order to one or more DID trunks. A DID trunk line is very different from a standard analog loop-start line. With DID trunk lines, the battery (or power) to the line is supplied by the fax board . With a standard loop-start line the power is supplied by the central office. In addition, DID fax boards support inbound calls, only. For that reason, fax servers utilizing DID trunk lines for inbound routing also utilize loop-start lines for outbound fax transmission..

  3. Direct Routing of Faxes to the desktop via Digital T1 Channels
    Like DID, Digital T1 allows each user to have his or her own fax number and faxes are routed directly to their desktop without the need for human intervention. With T1 you get up to 24 virtual phone lines or "channels" on a single physical line made up of two pairs of twisted copper wires. This is possible because T1 lines utilize digital signals instead of analog signals utilized by the common loop start line. Digital signals are multiplexed over time slots, allowing multiple channels to share the same physical line.

    There are three clear advantages to using a T1 line over analog loop start or DID lines: cost, inbound routing flexibility, and the ability to leverage existing resources:

    • Cost—For the purposes of Direct routing of faxes, T1 generally becomes more cost effective than multiple analog DID lines for servers that are 8 channels or more. A T1 line can support less than 24 channels, which means you don't pay for all 24 channels if you need less. This is referred to as "fractional T1." Your local phone company or your long distance provider can help you determine the cost effectiveness of T1 for your fax requirements.

    • Routing Flexibility—With a T1 implementation, channels can be dynamically allocated for inbound or outbound. This is not the case for an analog solution where routing to the desktop requires dedicated inbound channels and separate DID trunks sourced from the phone company. This has a tremendous impact on the efficient use of the system. In the event of a large broadcast for example, the majority of the channels can be dedicated to outbound, leaving just a few for inbound. The configuration can then be switched back to the standard allocation of channels upon completion.

    • Ability to leverage additional Resources—DID lines are also expensive and difficult to support through corporate PBX systems, which means that DID lines used for inbound faxing typically circumvent the PBX and its goal of centralized telecommunications management. In contrast T1 is supported through most of today's large PBX systems.


Bit by Bit Service Offerings
Bit by Bit has been involved with LAN fax since its infancy and has extensive experience with large, sophisticated enterprise Fax implementations. We also enjoy longstanding relationships with RightFAX and DialogicŪ BrooktroutŪ Fax Products. We are available to serve as integrators, providing a turnkey solution, or merely act as a value added reseller.

Our service offerings include:

  • Needs Analysis
  • Price Quotes
  • Free Software Demonstrations
  • Integration and Installation
  • Training - User and/or Administrator training is available
  • Support