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Fax Cloud Readiness Assessment

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Fax Cloud Readiness Assessment

Is your organization ready to move fax to the cloud? Consider our 5 step cloud fax readiness assessment.

Fax Workloads

Step 1) Do you have critical faxing requirements that demand high availability for your fax application and telco environment that demand dynamic and elastic scalability during peak operation periods? As part of our Assessment, Ingenium documents the flow of your critical fax workloads and the software systems that create or consume fax documents. We also develop a stated benefit objective for moving these critical fax processes to the cloud. Our customers benefit from cost savings, increased performance and a higher fax satisfaction experience for end users and customers alike.

Prioritizing Applications

Step 2) CIO’s and the lines of business they support prefer an “always available” faxing experience for their customers so they never hear a busy signal when faxing in purchase orders, insurance claims, patient records, referrals, per-authorizations and other critical fax documents. Ingenium’s Assessment provides a risk analysis or proof of concept plan for testing cloud faxing. Best practices dictate that you should consider testing a non critical business critical fax process before committing to a total cloud fax transformation. The expanded integration and subsequent improved user experience of the initial POC will likely make the case for the CIO to make the strategic decision to faxing for the remainder of your applications. Prioritize the business processes that begin or end with a fax, which are tied to a revenue stream. Ingenium helps identify and rank these revenue generating fax processes and will help you determine which business applications should be prioritized in order to achieve fax cloud enablement.

Creating Timelines

Step 3) Timing is everything. CIO’s must decide when the best opportunity to transition fax to the cloud will be for their organization. Many of our clients wait to the last minute to move fax to the cloud, often after a faxing process has been broken and the business realizes it is not receiving fax orders. Don’t let this happen to you. Since business application performance is critical in maintaining business revenue, develop a fax migration timeline before you upgrade your PBX or make network architecture changes that will have a negative impact on faxing. Our input helps CIO’s decide the when the best time for them to migrate fax to the cloud during a slower period of fax transmissions.

Application Dependencies

Step 4) CIO’s should identify which applications and processes are driving fax transmissions and should consider if these applications should also be moved to the cloud in order to containerize specific application pools that attribute to faxing. Ingenium helps to identify the potential financial savings for moving dependent applications that generate fax to the cloud – including the costs savings related to infrastructure and telco redundancy.

Fax Migration Strategy

Step 5) Fax migration to the cloud is considered “Lift and Shift” of the entire application. This includes but is not limited to the operating system, fax application, fax database, middle ware and other software driven processes. Within this particular approach, CIO’s expect the same functionality of their fax environment with a higher rate of fax application reliability. The other approach, described as “Big Bang” is much more accelerated where a both a migration to the cloud and upgrade in the fax application occurs together. For most of our customers, the “Big Bang” works better, reducing costs and provides scalable performance gains. A full cut over of faxing on the same go live date allows CIO’s to achieve the same goal on a shorter time period, this saving manpower and internal resources. Ingneium’s Cloud Fax Readiness Assessment will help you determine which migration path is optimal for your organization.

How to Get Started

If your organization is experiencing a high rate of fax failures and constant fax application issues that are negatively impacting your bottom line, you should consider moving your fax to the Ingenium Fax Cloud. With our all copper “always on” faxing network, organizations of all shapes and sizes are realizing higher fax success rates, less application issues and lower operating costs. Improve your inbound and outbound fax success rates significantly with our Secure Exchange Network, built with 100% guaranteed fax delivery. Send and receive large fax documents within seconds between your customers and business partners with full “end to end” encryption. Contact us today to schedule a no obligation, no cost cloud fax readiness assessment.

Fortune 500 still use fax

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It may come as a surprise with the ubiquity of the Internet that the Fortune 500 still rely on fax technology for mission critical applications. The nation’s largest retailers communicate between stores and distribution centers via fax technology, for example. Fax technology allows them to transmit sensitive data such as credit card (PCI) and ordering information securely between stores and distribution centers requiring without traversing the Internet or email. Other applications include HIPPA and EDI applications that the Fortune 500 relies on every day that have to be secure. Read the article on LinkedIn.
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Faxing from the Cloud

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RightFax CloudAs organizations continue to find ways to cut costs, improve the customer experience and reduce risk, we are talking with customers a lot about strategies to move their fax server to the cloud. If you are using an on premise RightFax server, chances are that your organization has written code from your back office applications to RightFax that enables seamless faxing. In this case, moving RightFax to Ingenium’s FaxColo would allow you to maintain the integration you built while leveraging cloud infrastructure to power and process faxes for you. The benefit is you still have control over you data but don’t have to deal with the computing or Telco infrastructure required to provide your fax services. In a situation where you want to keep your fax server on site, we offer cloud based Telco that connects securely to RightFax thru a software based connector. As faxes are sent and received, they are encrypted and delivered over the PSTN. In this scenario, you are basically trading up from your in house Telco provider to a highly scalable, highly secure cloud based Telco network. Many of our satisfied cloud customers have reported to us that they have increased fax sending rates up to 100%. Some of our clients are using a fax server as a point solution to send and receive desktop based fax and want to go with an all cloud fax experience. In this case, we offer Fax2Mail, the largest business to business fax network on the planet. With Fax2Mail, companies can stop upgrading their fax server and paying for annual maintenance. With Fax2Mail, you pay a monthly usage fee, based on how many fax users, fax numbers and fax pages that you send. All of our cloud fax solutions are HIPAA and PCI compliant. For a free, no obligation analysis of how much you could be saving by leveraging our proven cloud technology, please contact us.

How to Report a Spam Fax

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Not many things are more frustrating to me than to be waiting on a real important fax and to end up with a fabulous vacation offer with airfare for only 99.00. Yes, I’m talking about Spam Fax or Junk Fax. But how did you end up on this list to begin with? How do you make them stop sending these unwanted faxes to you? Well, one might say lets queue up about 100,000 faxes and blast the spam faxer away for a couple days. I know, that sounds like a lot of fun but its really not a practical solution. Your best bet is to check the bottom of the fax for removal instructions and follow them. Another formal alternative would be to file an official complaint with the FCC. The formal Junk Fax Complaint process is really easy and you can do it all online by starting with the complaint from on the FCC website located here.

Everthing You Need To Know About Cloud Computing

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Technology seems to move almost as fast as the speed of electrons.  Just a short while ago clouds were a term used to describe atmospheric conditions that you learned about in 7th grade science class.  Now it’s synonymous with large scale enterprise class computing environment.  Still trying to make the transition?  Check out this webinar on Thursday!

Join us this Thursday, Dec. 19th, 2013 at 1:00 PM EST When Fred Tanzella CEO of Cirracore will lead a discussion on “Why Cloud Computing is Important”.  Fred is a veteran technology executive with roots in many security and software development fields.  His roles include high ranking positions at EAS, Critical Logic, i2Go, Air2Web, BEA Systems and AirDefense.

Join us to learn more about what Enterprise Cloud Computing can do for your organization.

  • Selecting the Right Cloud
  • Cloud Infrastructure and D/R
  • Running your Business Applications in the Cloud
  • Top Trends in Cloud Computing for the future

Registration is limited to the first 20 registrants so register NOW to secure your attendance.

Follow the link to register.   Register Now!  

Increasing reliability between RightFax and a Brother MFC.

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Many small businesses and satellite offices find that using Brother multi-function devices (MFC) are a great way to combine printing, copying, scanning, and faxing into one easy-to-use and cost-effective device. But with the proliferation of Fax over IP (FoIP) RightFax administrators have found their error rates increasing when communicating with the Brother MFC’s.

There’s a simple answer to why this error rate has been increasing over the last few years.  The most common problem that we see here at Ingenium software with communicating between enterprise FoIP solutions like RightFax and Brother MFC’s is the telephony connection between the Brother device and the telephone company. The issue is the interface between the Brother device and a Voice over IP (VoIP).

One of the faxing gurus at Brother had this to say on how to increase reliability for Brother devices connected to a VoIP phone system: “What people keep forgetting is that fax technology is based on a circuit-switched connection model, not a packet-switched model.  It [fax] can work in a packet-switched environment but there may be some issues.  This is what the compatibility mode is for [on Brother devices].  If the customer is using a VoIP system, they should set the compatibility mode to ‘Basic’ for the most reliable performance.

Hopefully this information will help you, the RightFax administrator assist your end customers getting the highest reliability from their Brother devices when sending and receiving faxes to your RightFax environment.

TDM vs T.38. Challenges With Fax In An IP Network

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People often ask me if T.38 fax is as reliable in an IP network compared to traditional analog or PRI faxing. My answer is “Yes and No”. This question seems simple enough yet there are so many variables that need to be examined and understood.

Decoding the Codec:

T38 vs G711; Which codec is better? Most of the time we suggest T.38 for fax but there are customer and carrier network environments that lack certain IP transport capabilities within the gateways they are using so G.711 ends up working better. I can’t tell you how important Error Correction is in fax. ECM is part of the fax communication process between two fax devices. ECM does all kinds of cool stuff like deciding how to compress the transmission and which lines in the fax transmission need to be resent to the receiving device to complete the fax, and so on.

Some media gateways and PBX manufactures such as Avaya do not support ECM at all. So you may be faced with the decision of doing the best with what you have and choosing T.38 with no ECM or G.711 with ECM. In an Avaya environment we always suggest a dedicated fax gateway such as the Dialogic or OpenText Fax Gateways. These gateways are designed especially for fax traffic and do an excellent job of converting analog or PRI into SIP.

FoIP and the Public Switched Telephone Network:

One of the most common issues we see here at Ingenium with fax in an IP enviornment is right after a company switches their telephone provider from analog or PRI to a VoIP carrier and completely overlooks the need for fax support; specifically T.38. Not all carriers are equal.

Just because your carrier can support voice over VoIP does not mean they can support Fax. Many local carriers have been moving their backbones to SIP wholesalers so they can get cheaper rates. When fax traffic hits these SIP backbones, we see all kind of issues like delay, lost packets and altered data.

Take for instance AT&T, who has one of the largest telephone networks in the United States. AT&T has so many local POPs, it would be financially impossible for them to replace all of the legacy TDM gateways and switches they have in the field to support T.38. So they do crazy things like pushing SIP services from behind MPLS connections that do not offer QOS or error logging for T.38/SIP invites. So, they can’t troubleshoot their own network when a customer complains about failed calls, disconnect errors and false positive fax transmissions.

In our experience, Verizon also has issues with providing T.38 over H.323 inside their network in some local markets. Verizon recently started upgrading their voice gateways in the south east to Avaya. But remember, Avaya does not support ECM.

Our favorite carrier for supporting T.38 is Global Crossing, who was recently acquired by Level 3. These guys have a superior IPv6 network from the ground up. I have been in the belly of this global network and have personally seen the core switching environment which, by immaculate design, converts all transports and signaling into SIP on the fly, and back to TDM or whatever transport the call route ends up being delivered to. They also monitor every single SIP session and can analyze all SIP conversations to scientifically and undisputedly peel back the twisted pairs and tell you exactly why the call failed or who’s network is not speaking the right codec. I have been totally impressed with their technical capabilities and support execution. We have a 99% fax success rate with Level 3. That’s better than most TDM networks.

Setting Customer Expectations:

Many of our clients have sucessfully virtualized their RightFax servers and are using SIP/T.38 for faxing. In order to be successful, you have to inspect what you expect. We suggest trying out this technology first before you make a buying commitment. Ingenium offers trial RightFax 10 software with the Dialogic T.38 codec option for validating your network and carrier compatibility with FoIP.

Our expert systems engineers can remotely install and configure the trial system in less than a day, in most cases. Our engineers will work with your IT department to help fine tune and validate your network for supporting fax over ip. For high volume users, we can also stress test the system to ensure network performance under a live fax load. By testing before the customer buys the software, everyone involved has an opportunity to see how fax over ip will work within their specific network.

Ingenium Achieves PCI DSS Compliance for Fax Server Hosting

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Ingenium adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS 2.0) and is reguarly audited by an approved PCI QSA. Ingenium has also completed the SAQ D for Service Providers. Ingenium fax hosting service customers don’t have to worry about thier buyer’s payment card security or about compliance with PCI DSS for managing fax data for their business.

Ingenium’s PCI Fax Hosting Service provides secure and auditable faxed reception of credit card order forms that are securely presented to our service customers for payment processing. Document retention policies can also be specified to permanently destroy fax documents after a specific date.

What is PCI compliance?
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) are network security and business practice guidelines adopted and enforced by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and JCB to establish a minimum security standard to protect customer’s payment card
information. PCI DSS is a requirement for all credit card merchants that store, transmit, or process payment card information.

How does my business become PCI compliant for fax payments?
You can either use Ingenium’s PCI Fax Hosting Services or if you are storing, transmitting, or processing payment card information, your organization must meet the following requirements:

  • Build and maintain a secure network to protect payment card information
  • Maintain a vulnerability management program
  • Implement strong access control measures
  • Regularly monitor and test networks
  • Pass quarterly remote vulnerability scans
  • Use a firewall and virus software on all computers and servers
  • Maintain a patch management process
  • Encrypt data at rest
  • And much more