The Need for Fax Servers
A popular solution in recent years has been to use network fax servers as a replacement for the traditional fax machine. Fax servers comes in two main flavors – those that integrate with a company’s email systems, and those that don’t. While a fax server that doesn’t integrate with email may be a suitable choice for companies that don’t rely on (or use) email for business purposes, an integrated fax/email solution makes much more sense for companies today. In this article I’ll discuss the pros and cons of a fax server solution that integrates tightly with Exchange 2000, leveraging a company’s email infrastructure to support advanced faxing services. The product is GFI Software’s FAXmaker for Exchange. GFI FAXmaker for Exchange works with Exchange versions 5.5 and 2000 to provide fully integrated faxing capabilities to users from their desktop.
How it Works
Unlike many of the standalone fax server products on the market, GFI FAXmaker for Exchange provides a connector into the native Exchange environment, allowing you to leverage user’s existing familiarity with working from Microsoft Outlook. The basic principal of network faxing is not unlike using a desktop system with a dedicated fax modem to send and receive faxes. However, in the case of GFI FAXmaker for Exchange, the server acts as the centralized facility for the sending and receiving of faxes, while also handling message routing functions.
When fax messages are received by GFI FAXmaker for Exchange, it will route them to the correct user(s) according to the rules defined by the administrator. For example, messages can be forwarded to the mailbox of an individual user, to a common mailbox dedicated for faxes, or to an Exchange public folder. These routing features are part of what helps to make GFI FAXmaker for Exchange such a powerful product.