VoIP with its numerous benefits has turned into a mainstream solution for enterprise communications. However, while focusing on VoIP migration intensely, enterprises leave behind alternative communication methods which in reality will benefit much from the IP infrastructure. One such commonly ignored communication mode is the fax.

Before you take the plunge by investing in the fax board and other related products, read on to find out some key basics about the implementation of Fax over IP (FoIP).

How is fax transported through the IP infrastructure?

To transport fax over IP, enterprises may adopt one of the three methods, Pass-through, Relay or Store and Forward fax. The first two methods are real-time (communication between endpoints is instant) and in the third method, the fax machines communicate with the voice gateways as the information is converted to email format to be conducted over the IP network. Pass-through is considered the simplest of all methods and is applied using the relevant codecs.

What best design practices can be followed while implementing FoIP?

The first decision to be made while choosing FoIP solutions for the enterprise is picking out the most suitable transportation method. The faxing needs and the available network is not the same for two organizations, and the choice of the method depends on entirely the preference of the company. While some enterprises may want the instant confirmation of fax success, some may be allured towards the facility of sending and receiving messages using the email format. Enterprises may also look into other parameters like fallback mechanisms, SRTP support, redundancy, and bandwidth before making a perfect choice.

The use of fax servers in the implementation of FoIP

Many enterprises opt for the installation of IP-based fax servers to efficiently handle their faxing needs. These servers use the T.38 transport method and can also be accessed through some other sources like Multi-Functional Peripherals (which combines several functions like scanning, faxing, emailing, copying and so on). In short, an IP-enabled fax server is the ultimate solution to combine the benefits of T.37 as well as T.38 while integrating into the IP infrastructure.

Investing in the fax boards and training employees to use them effectively is a substantial effort. Organizations must master the fundamentals of the implementation to leverage the investment substantially.