Back to the days when the majority of millennials were kids, they had fun staring at the fax waiting for a connection, listening to those strange sounds that seemed to come from who knows where when they were visiting their parents in their office workplaces.
Everything has changed in fifteen to twenty years – the concept of office space and the work places. A lot of essential office equipment went outdated, but fax machines are one of the items that survived. At least partially, as the full-scale fax equipment was transformed into online faxing services. How is it possible? How did it happen that such obsolete technology managed to pass the 21st century exam?
Bureaucracy and security are two other reasons why fax still survives across the continent, especially in Japan.
E-mail can be faster, and cloud-based word processing systems, such as Google Docs, may lend themselves more to use in collaborative processes, but faxing – an abbreviated form of facsimile – survives.
But, why does the fax survive? According to a survey conducted by the research firm IDC, the advantages offered by this technology to companies that continue to see a future for faxing include that it is economical and relatively easy to use. It is also considered more secure than an email when it is used for the transmission of confidential data, such as medical records.
But technology, which was invented in 1842, is still relatively common in Japan, where it began to become popular in the 1970s.
Thanks to the importance of handwriting in Japan (the Japanese alphabet has thousands of different characters); fax machines are still seen as a very convenient way to send personalized notes.
And, of course, legal documents and certificates can also be sent by fax.
In fact, some companies demand it in order to guarantee its authenticity.
Despite the advance of technology, faxing continues to be a very important medium for business communications. Know the reasons why you should not throw it away yet.
Faxing is a technology that never reached the levels of the humble telephone device, but never disappeared completely.
The telecommunications sector was greatly affected by the use of faxes, especially in the mid-twentieth century; virtually all companies had a fax machine in their offices.
Today, it is difficult to imagine how important this service was for the vast majority of companies, it is even likely that many young people today do not know the usefulness of this service or have never used one of these machines.
“The fax is a communication system that allows sending and receiving graphics information through the telephone line.”
Fax is not over; there are still various situations where you need sending a Fax.
Why do companies still use fax?
Although fax technology may seem obsolete to many, the truth is that faxing is still one of the most secure methods for exchanging files in a business environment – especially in the legal, educational, governmental and telecommunication sectors, among others.
Documents sent by fax are considered legally binding, especially if they are signed with a digital or physical signature. Emails, on the other hand, are not legally accepted as binding.
Because messages are transmitted over the phone when a fax is sent, the hacker has to know the exact moment when a fax is sent so it can be interrupted. For this reason, the authenticity of the fax is almost never questioned.
Unexpected Situations when you need to send a Fax
Disaster Management Situation
When the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant began to melt in 2011, operators tried to send a fax to alert authorities in the nearby city of Namie.
Fax messages were also sent to officials in Tokyo to notify them of the disaster in progress – is a reminder of the tenacity of obviously outdated technology.
Cyber Attack Situation
It is also impossible to add a virus to a file sent by this method, an advantage compared to email. In this respect, several employees of Sony Pictures ‘ film subsidiary in Hollywood, reported that they went to the fax after the cyber attack that the company was victimized in 2014 by North Korea.
Civil War Situation
In 1989, when students were protesting against the Chinese government, expatriates evaded the censorship policies by faxing news of and responses to the protests back to home country readers.
Though the situations listed above are pretty much unusual and extreme, fax services are still on the stage, so don’t be surprised when some governmental or medical organisation will ask you to send a document via fax. And don’t panic – there are a lot of free online faxing services that will help you to solve the problem quickly.