Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Death of the Fax Machine "Finally"

I borrowed a line from Greg Walters from The Death of the Copier here.

It's my firm belief that the fax machine as we know it will cease to exist. Now, if you would have asked me three months ago, I would have told you never, ever, fax will always be here.

What's changed my mind? A few things, one I'm gonna keep to myself because I'm not sure if the person I spoke wants me to release that information to the public at this time. The other item would be emergence of "smart" MFP’s (multi functional product) that are capable of communicating to the "cloud".

In my way of selling and I'm always thinking about how to reduce a clients cost and how to get an immediate ROI so a decision can be made in a timely manner.

Here's my thinking with faxing when it comes to existing MFP's. Let's say I'm on an appointment for a new SMB (small to medium business) account, one of their requirements is that they need a fax option on the MFP. Depending on the cost of the MFP would also dictate the cost of the fax option. Most faxes for me are in between $995 & $1,375. We’ll take the middle of the road at $1,200; putting this on a 36 month lease we’d have a payment of $35.52 plus tax for a total of $38 even.

Since most fax lines in SMB accounts are dedicated and not VOIP (Voice over IP), typically the cost of the line, dialing plan, Federal Excise Tax, State Tax and other BS fees. An average fax line can cost $45-$78 (Verizon came in a $78 with unlimited local and long distance) per month. Here’s an interesting fact I found out when researching the “additional charges”, the Federal Excise Tax was passed in 1898 to fund the Spanish American War, and it’s not gone away. World War I saw the establishment of the Long Distance Tax and World War II saw in an increase in both Taxes and they’ve never gone away!!!

So, if you’re going to add a fax option to an MFP you have the monthly cost of the fax module at $38 and let’s call the monthly fee to have the line with $55.00. I think I’m being fair in calculating a total cost of $93 per month.

Let’s move onto a “smart” MFP, which is any MFP that can communicate through its browser with Cloud Services. The one that I have in mind is Fenestrae UDOCX Fax application. I’m mentioning them because I’m more familiar with that product than any other and at this time I don’t know of any other Cloud based Fax Solution.

The cost to buy the UDOCX fax application is $30 per month. For the $30 per month you don’t need the fax module for the MFP and you can do away with the fax line, thus a savings of $68 per month! Plus there’s a heck of a lot of additional features that are offered that can help improve any companies efficiencies. If you’re the Big Brother type and you want to see all inbound and outbound faxes, or send faxes and have notifications in your mailbox, then you’re in luck.

The main point I’m trying to make is that in today’s economy more clients want simple cost saving solutions. If you’re on the cutting edge of selling solutions, you can take this information and solution to bank. You won’t have to discount your hardware because you’re already $2,400 or so less the competition with a “smart” MFP Fax based Cloud Solution. So, I ask you who’s gonna get the sale, the rep with pick axe or the rep with the jackhammer?

There was a post on the Print4Pay Hotel forums many years ago, in the thread was this statement “Peter Drucker says, "Every business needs to prepare for the total abandonment of everything that it does."

Lastly, I had a conversation with someone today who spoke with a manufacturers rep and something to this effect was said “Why would we do this, we’ll lose all of our fax module revenue”. Pretty dumb huh?

Sell cost savings solutions, find ways to give a client and immediate ROI without sacrificing service, or productivity and increase their efficiencies, it’s a no brainer!!!

-=Good Selling=-

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