(No, not dollars in another government research project on some frog croaking program that we don’t know what is accomplished). As noted in a number of recent research studies and articles, this is the estimated number of pages sent last year via fax, and a very significant portion is accomplished using older, less secure fax devices, fax boards in copier/printer devices or fax servers over costly analog phone lines.
There has been a growing shift over the past few years to cloud, on-line fax service to meet the standards for secure and regulatory compliant document transfer but the world, in many vertical markets, just seems to want to stick to their old tried and true methods. So, many times in discussions regarding the continued use of fax, users think they could just use email to transfer documents and not have any fax service at all, but continued focus on security, audit trails, verification on delivery, etc., don’t meet industry requirements and restrictions: HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley, GDPR, etc. Industry studies in the past year indicate that as much as 89% of all businesses continue to use fax for some of their document handling and certainly within Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance and other industries, fax is a necessity. As well with the latest and best online, cloud based fax, user convenience is as good or better than email or any other transfer methods.
In recent conversations with business equipment companies and dealers, while the inclusion of fax boards in multi-functional devices was almost a standard option five or more years ago, general input is that 60% or more of MFP placements still include a fax board and analog phone service. Another recently published statistic related to this usage is that there are still an estimated 17 Million on premise fax devices still in use in the U.S. alone!
One managed services company that handles government and healthcare businesses with networking, cloud software and telecom solutions discovered that an “Oh By The Way” incident, where the prospect was looking at a range of solutions and vendor choices for networking, cloud and telecom upgrades, this MSP gained a big boost by just an off the cuff follow-up question on whether this small side issue was significant and should be included in the project. The response was that in the overall scope of a technology upgrade, the fax issue was a small piece BUT there were constant issues with contention for a limited number of phone lines handling a combination of incoming and outgoing traffic, recurring issues with service on the fax devices, and the very irritating cost of analog phone lines at a total of somewhere around $100 a month each; just simply a time consuming nuisance and constant pain point.
After winning the overall deal and receiving a follow-up from the customer on the overall success, the new customer mentioned that they really appreciated the vendor taking care of this one small piece by introducing cloud based fax service, in this instance with Upland InterFAX, a well-known and proven vendor based on reliability and exemplary support record: no phone lines or on premise equipment, especially facilitating multiple user concurrent access to outgoing fax and no more customer complaints on busy signals when trying to send a fax.
This MSP then implanted a new process for introductory sales opportunities and assessments. One of the first things they looked for and asked about, just again as Oh By the Way, was whether the prospect used fax and might want to consider that part of the deal. A 30 second conversation intended to be dealt with much later in the sales process but one that could be used as a differentiator and to relieve a lingering pain point.
How hard is it train reps to ask a question in every technology engagement and quickly move on to the bigger picture, but noting whether this is a topic for later discussion?
50 Billion Pages a year!
For a company like Upland InterFAX with a world-wide presence through end users, resellers and many API partners, a conservative growth plan targeting only 10% market share at 10 cents per page, then this is $500 Million a year … AND according to multiple industry research companies, expected to grow by at least 11% each year for the next five years.
Just a little back ground on this blog. John Hewitt and I both collaborated on producing this blog. John's a great guy and yes John does work for Upland. As our industry continues to evolve I feel as it's my job to let our members know about all of the opportunities available to them. If you'd like to reach out to John or connect with him please visit his Linkedin profile.