Friday, October 26, 2007

Green faxing

Here’s another good reason for managing fax traffic—the ecology. According to business consultant Heather Clancy, the best thing would be for everyone to convert to scan-to-email. But many small businesses, in particular, still have customers and business partners that are still very much wedded to the fax age. But traditional fax machines, as Clancy points out,“are notorious paper wasters and energy drainers to boot.” U.S. government stats show that “paper production is second only to petroleum in terms of energy used by U.S. industries.” And if your fax machines are like ours, sometimes they print almost as many ads for replacement toner, software bargains, and deli menus as they do real faxes. Even more wasteful is the cost of just sitting there waiting, according to Clancy: “Energy Star rates fax machines among the most energy-intensive types of business machines out there because most of the time they sit around turned on, basically doing nothing.” She points to an Energy Star Web page with a linked calculator that can help you determine the hidden costs of faxing here. The solutions are more scan-to-email and high-end network fax software that can intercept faxes, digitize them, store them in a secure environment, and perhaps reroute them by email. Being green may not be a priority of your business, but when being green means saving money and increasing security, it makes sense. Network fax software is available, for example, from MyFax, Equisys (Zetafax), and Captaris (RightFax) among others.

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