Concord Technologies, a leading online fax service provider, took advantage of new, robust features in Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010, such as database availability groups and personal archiving, to provide an enhanced online fax solution. Concord Fax Online for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 offers customers cost savings, greater availability, and easier usability.
Concord Technologies provides hosted fax solutions for businesses of every size. The company offers customers the benefits of feature-rich fax communications without the cost, effort, and maintenance issues associated with conventional fax systems and alternative fax technologies.
“We provide a level of service that is not physically possible for a regular company to achieve with in-house fax equipment,” says Ralph Musgrove, Executive Vice President of Market Development at Concord. “Our service is completely in the cloud, so our customers have the benefit of virtually unlimited capacity. Plus, our fax network is geographically independent, so if there is a catastrophic event in one region, a different Concord data center takes over and the service can continue uninterrupted.” The company also provides communications safeguards that meet the most stringent corporate and industry standards for security.
A Microsoft® Certified Partner, Concord has used Microsoft Exchange Server technologies to create hosted, integrated fax solutions since 2003. The company is committed to providing the best solutions for its customers and staying competitive. To do this, Concord works closely with Microsoft on new software that can enhance or expand its line of Concord Fax Online solution offerings and help customers increase efficiencies in fax communications.
The company worked with Microsoft to integrate Exchange Server 2010 with the Concord Fax Online platform and create a new solution—Concord Fax Online for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. When a call is routed to Exchange Server 2010, it detects whether the transmission is a voice call or fax call. If it is a voice call, Exchange Server 2010 routes the voice mail to the recipient’s inbox using its Unified Messaging feature. If it is a fax call, Exchange Server 2010 routes the call over an IP network to a Concord Fax Online data center. The Concord data center then converts the call into a fax document and sends it back through Exchange Server 2010 as an e-mail attachment to the intended recipient.
The company introduced the new solution at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July 2009. The integration provides a full set of features for both sending and receiving faxes through Exchange Server 2010, and it complies with the requirements of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
The solution supports faxing through media gateways or IP phone systems at the customer premises and directly through fax numbers on the Concord global fax network. It also supports routing calls to Exchange Server 2010 through Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 using the G.711 standard. Concord Fax Online works with e-mail clients including the Microsoft Outlook® 2010, Microsoft Outlook Web App, and Microsoft Outlook Mobile 2010 messaging and collaboration clients.
By integrating Concord Fax Online with Exchange Server 2010, Concord was able to create an online fax solution that offers customers greater cost savings, increased uptime, and easier usability.
Greater cost savings. Musgrove anticipates that Concord Fax Online for Exchange Server 2010 will provide significant cost savings for customers that are migrating from Exchange Server 2007. “According to input from customers and our experience, cost savings could be an average of 15–25 percent with the new solution and could be significantly more if fax machines are eliminated,” he says. Customers will have the advantage of online faxing without the cost of third-party software or the equipment to run it. They won’t need maintenance agreements either, which also will save money. Concord runs and operates the entire system. Customers don’t have to worry about upgrade costs, IT maintenance, or service contracts.
Increased uptime. Another key advantage of the new Concord solution, Musgrove notes, is less downtime. “Fax tends to be a mission-critical technology for companies,” he says. “An exciting improvement in Exchange Server 2010 is the focus on high availability.” Exchange Server 2010 offers new features, such as database availability groups, that make it easier to extend data replication between data centers to achieve automatic failover. So with Concord Fax Online for Exchange Server 2010, customers gain the benefit of a combined solution that increases uptime. “Concord Fax Online for Exchange Server 2010 nicely ties together a high-availability unified messaging system with a high-availability online fax solution,” says Musgrove.
Easier usability. The integration with Exchange Server 2010 allows Concord to offer customers a feature set that the company doesn’t provide with any other e-mail server. Exchange Server 2010 includes a new archiving feature that makes it possible for users to archive e-mail messages, including faxes, on the e-mail server for corporate and legal compliance. Additionally, with Exchange Server 2010, Concord is able to adapt dynamically to whatever equipment a customer is using, select the optimal settings, and route in a way that delivers faxes as reliably and efficiently as possible.
Another advantage of Concord Fax Online for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 is that Concord customers can use the solution to share a phone number or extension for voice mail and for the fax feature. “With other solutions, customers have fax numbers and voice numbers,” says Musgrove. “Now they can have a single number that can be used for both voice and fax at the same time.”