Comparing Fax Servers to Outsourced Messaging Services. April 28, 2005

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1 Comparing Fax Servers to Outsourced Messaging Services April 28, 2005

2 Comparing Fax Servers to Outsourced Messaging Services Abstract Faxes are embedded into the workflow of many business processes: in call centers, marketing programs, purchasing, invoicing and application processing. Corporations struggle to reduce costs and effectively manage their fax infrastructure. Fax servers (network accessible fax machines) promised easier administration and cheaper faxing but most deployments fail to meet their goals because of unexpected, ongoing costs and unpredictable capacity needs. Outsourced messaging services eliminate administration and maintenance costs and offer pay-per-use pricing. Fax Servers Fax servers are centralized, network-accessible platforms that extend fax machine utility to the desktop, thereby automating the process of sending faxes. Fax servers reduce the need for individual fax machines. Fax servers include the following components: An underlying hardware platform Embedded fax modems or cards Telephone lines Client software Administration software Application development tools With fax servers, users send and receive faxes directly from their workstations, eliminating the inefficiencies related to manually sending and receiving faxes. IDC analyst Peter Davidson estimates the labor cost of manually sending a fax with a fax machine to be $3.20 (USD). As centralized, managed resources, fax servers eliminate the proliferation of analog phone lines and significantly reduce the labor costs associated with fax machines. While realizing reduced labor costs, deploying a fax server requires other significant initial capital investment and places a costly burden on IT resources. For example: Initial inventory assessments on fax phone line capacity requirements Ensuring system compatibility and integration Ongoing software and hardware upgrades Ongoing telecom costs Significant maintenance and long-term capacity management Maintaining system uptime Protus IP Solutions White Paper 2 of 8

3 Projects to deploy fax servers typically take 8-10 weeks, involving the coordination between the IT department, the telecom provider and the fax server vendor. Top Three Reasons Fax Servers Fail Demands high initial capital and deployment costs, ongoing monthly fees for fax lines and DID and regular costs associated with software and hardware maintenance. Demands ongoing peak and average telecom capacity management. Demands in-depth redundancy and disaster recovery planning. Outsourced Fax Services Outsourced faxing solutions leverage existing technology deployments such as and the Internet to send and receive faxes. Like fax servers, outsourced fax services provide simple client access allowing faxes to be sent and received from . Outsourced solutions enable web access, which is important for mobile workers. Additionally, XML interfaces allow for fax delivery automation via existing investments, such as CRM and ERP. Outsourced services require no hardware or software, and can be used immediately, allowing organizations to allocate IT resources to core systems. Critically, the only costs incurred with this type of service are usage costs. There are no hidden costs for maintenance, upgrades, capacity expansion or redundancy. The fax market has evolved much the same way computers have. Computer usage began with mainframes, which evolved into client servers and most recently, has progressed into web-based applications. Similarly, the fax market has evolved from fax machines to fax servers, and now, outsourced fax services. The outsourced fax service market has realized significant growth over the last six years: Worldwide Outsourced Fax Service Revenues, CAGR Revenues (M) $90 $133 $210 $380 $700 $1,100 65% Annual Growth Source: International Data Corp. Protus IP Solutions White Paper 3 of 8

4 Virtual Fax: An Outsourced Fax Solution Virtual Fax is an Internet-based fax solution from Protus ip solutions that lets you send and receive faxes using existing infrastructure and the Web. Easy to administer, Virtual Fax leverages your existing /internet infrastructure, providing a cost-effective fax solution that allows users to send and receive faxes directly from their workstations. No additional hardware or software required. As easy to use as . Automatically track, file and forward incoming and outgoing faxes from . No lost or misplaced faxes. Automated confirmations ensure delivery and receipt of all information communicated by fax % uptime, available 24/7: never busy. Save 40% of fax operating costs in year 1 by eliminating fax machine maintenance and expensive fax line costs. Account management tools enable real-time account modifications and generation of usage reports according to agent/workstation, client, or campaign/project. Fax delivery procedures can be automated through SMTP and XML APIs. Integrates with CRM and ERP software. Sending a fax with Virtual Fax. 1. Attach document to and send it to fax.com Protus converts your message and/or document(s) to a fax document. Protus delivers your fax to the appropriate destination(s). Protus sends you a confirmation . Protus IP Solutions White Paper 4 of 8

5 Comparing Virtual Fax to Fax Servers Virtual Fax from Protus IP Solutions Fax Servers Capital Investment None Hardware Software Telecom setup Telecom Needs None Capacity for Peak Usage Redundant access required Telecom Fees None Monthly fees for fax lines and DID numbers Long Distance None High Setup Time None 8-10 weeks IT Knowledge Required None High requires expertise in fax server software, fax hardware, and telecom facilities. Maintenance None Client and server software upgrades needed for file compatibility and features. Hardware upgrades needs. Reliability 99.5% availability. Redundant servers 7x24 monitoring tools Generally no redundancy or continuous monitoring. Capacity On-demand Strictly limited by capital and telecom choices. Increasing capacity requires new hardware, new facilities and weeks. Cost per transaction Fixed cost per transaction Long distance cost per minute for long distance traffic. Monthly cost Low monthly fee per active fax number Annual software maintenance. Monthly fees for each fax number Administration and Reporting Feature rich online administration, and tracking. Good Physical security World-class security infrastructure. Servers are located in the customer office Document security PGP, HTTPS, VPN, SFTP secure communications Web access Standard offering None Document is not secure but is located within the customer office Protus IP Solutions White Paper 5 of 8

6 Realize Significant Cost Savings With Virtual Fax Total One-Time Costs $14,000 $12,000 $10,000 $8,000 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000 $0 $13,708 4-line fax server $1,995 Virtual Fax Figure 1: Save 85% on upfront, one-time costs with Virtual Fax. Total Monthly Costs $1,400 $1,200 $1,000 $800 $600 $400 $200 $0 $1,372 4-line fax server $900 Virtual Fax Figure 2: Save 34% on monthly costs with Virtual Fax. Year 1 Costs $35,000 $30,000 $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 $10,000 $5,000 $0 $34,976 4-line fax server $21,135 Virtual Fax Figure 3: Save 40% in year 1 with Virtual Fax. Protus IP Solutions White Paper 6 of 8

7 Three-year Total Cost of Ownership $80,000 $60,000 $40,000 $20,000 $77,512 $59,415 $0 4-line fax server Virtual Fax Figure 4: Save 23% over three years with Virtual Fax. See Appendix for a detailed cost comparison between Virtual Fax and Fax Servers. Conclusion Outsourced fax services, like Virtual Fax, eliminate the time, effort and cost issues associated with fax servers, but retain all of the same functionality. Contact Protus IP Solutions to find out more about Virtual Fax. Ask for a zero-cost consultation that will help identify your fax service needs, including a return on investment analysis. Protus IP Solutions White Paper 7 of 8

8 About Protus Protus IP Solutions a high-growth application service provider offers value-added voice, and fax messaging services to businesses around the world. Our customers are involved in every industry sector, including finance, insurance, real estate, pharmaceuticals and retail. Whether they use our services across the company or for key operational requirements, our customers rely on Protus to simplify their voice, and fax communications. We help them reach customers more effectively, process documents more efficiently, and access information with greater speed. Protus solutions are sold both directly and through a network of worldwide partners, including major service providers. Toll-free: (613) Protus IP Solutions. All rights reserved. Protus and Virtual Fax are trademarks of Protus IP Solutions. Other trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. Customers are solely responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance. Protus IP Solutions White Paper 8 of 8

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