Fax Machines Refuse To Die, So These Companies Bridge The Gap

Image courtesy of (Yortw)

The owner of your local pizzeria might have zero interest in using the Internet, yet you can place an order from them with your smartphone. The techno-wizardry that makes that happen comes from a small but important industry of companies that translate between fax machines and the Internet.

This takes multiple forms: it could be an online order from a food delivery aggregator generating a fax with your order ticket to a restaurant. It could also be test results sent over a secure connection from a lab to a locked virtual inbox at a doctor’s office. FastCompany discussed the persistence of the fax machine with OrderSnapp, a company that collects online food orders and sends them to restaurants. About a third of their clients prefer to receive customer orders by fax because they lack Internet access or aren’t comfortable integrating a tablet in their kitchen workflow. “[The fax] doesn’t cost them anything extra,” OrderSnapp’s president explained. Restaurants usually already have a fax machine. “It’s still a very good success rate with it, as far as them going through.”

While there are ways to send and sign important documents solely on a computer, banks and government agencies have been slow to adopt them. While electronic medical records are now the law, information is still transmitted by fax in medicine mostly because you can assume that most doctor’s offices have a fax machine.

I have a night job at a library, where college students often wander in with official documents that the recipient will only accept by fax. We can send faxes, but as far as some students are concerned, we might as well be sending in their student loan forms via telegram. It’s an unfamiliar technology that they’ve never needed to use before. Faxes are slow, unwieldy, and blurry, but they’re also secure, reliable, and easy to use if you’re not comfortable with computers.

WHY FAX WON’T DIE [FastCompany]