What's alternative to Symantec Winfax


O

OscarVogel

I work for a small company (35 employees). Several employees use Symantec
Winfax 10. The receptionist's Win2k Pro computer acts as the Fax Sharing
Host. All faxes are received through her modem. An incomming fax first
goes to the Host's main Message Store. From there the receptionist can copy
or move the received faxes to the appropriate user's personal message store.
Then the user can access his personal message store from the WinFax Client
software on his local PC. The problem is that Winfax's Fax Sharing is
unreliable. There's got to be something better. What are the most common
alternatives?

As I understand our SBS or a Windows 2003 server can act as a Fax Server.
But as I understand it, it can have only on e message store from which all
users access all the faxes.

The advantage to WinFax when it's working is that the receptionist can sort
the incoming faxes & move them to each user's own Message Store. I don't
think Windows 2003 can do that (at least without 3rd party software).

Anyway, does anybody have any suggetions?

Thanks
 
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S

SuperGumby [SBS MVP]

You can elect for received fax (SBS fax) to be emailed to reception, who
then flicks it to the intended recipient.
 
R

Russ - SBITS.Biz \(MCP SBS\)

Well if you have SBS2003
There are fax Abilities in it.

However Limited.
it will forward to a email (like a user or Distribution list.)
Forward to the CompanyWeb
Forward to a Shared Folder.

If you need Custom Faxing Capability
A lot of people use GFI FAXmaker
http://www.gfi.com/faxmaker/

Active Directory integration reduces administration
GFI FAXmaker for Exchange/SMTP was designed from the ground up to minimize
its administration. It integrates with Active Directory and therefore does
not require the administration of a separate fax user database. User-related
settings can be applied to Windows users or groups directly. View
screenshot.

Supports Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003/5.5
GFI FAXmaker integrates with Exchange Server 2000/2003 via a standard
Exchange SMTP connector. There are no schema updates to Active Directory.
This makes GFI FAXmaker scalable and indifferent to new Exchange service
packs and versions. Microsoft Exchange 5.5 is supported by creating a
routing rule on the Exchange 5.5 SMTP connector. GFI FAXmaker can be
installed on the Exchange server (if using 2000/2003), or on a separate
machine, in which case no software has to be installed on the Exchange
server itself! View screenshot.

NEW! - Fax over IP (FOIP) support
GFI FAXmaker offers Fax over IP (FOIP) functionality enabling you to send
faxes over the Internet whilst easily integrating with the existing IP
infrastructure, such as IP-enabled PABXs. GFI FAXmaker's FOIP may also be
used to implement Least Cost Routing (LCR); this results in
cost-effectiveness that is achieved through a reduction in international
calls dialed since calls are translated into a local call at the recipient's
country. FOIP may only be employed if the appropriate FOIP-enabled software
or devices are installed.

Supports Lotus Notes & SMTP/POP3 servers
GFI FAXmaker integrates via the SMTP/POP3 protocol with Lotus Notes and any
SMTP/POP3 server. It can be installed on the mail server itself or on a
separate machine. In the case of Lotus Notes, @FAX addressing is supported.

Automated fax delivery/inbound fax routing
GFI FAXmaker can automatically route incoming faxes to the user's mailbox or
to a particular printer based on a DID/DDI/DTMF number or the line on which
the fax was received. Faxes can also be forwarded to a public folder or
assigned to a network printer per installed fax port. More information about
inbound fax routing.

SMS/texting gateway allows users to send SMS/text messages from their
desktop
GFI FAXmaker's SMS gateway enables network users to send SMS messages from
their desktop; this allows them to easily contact business colleagues and
associates who are on the road or away from their desk. Using the SMS
gateway rather than a mobile phone is faster (no need to use the phone pad)
and saves users the cost of the SMS message. View screenshot.

SMS messages can either be sent via an Internet-based SMS service or through
a mobile phone or PCMCIA mobile card. The SMS gateway can also be used for
administrative alerts, for example, to notify an administrator of critical
system outages or application problems. Any email-enabled application can
send SMS messages via the GFI FAXmaker SMS gateway. A central log of SMS
messages permits the control of SMS use. Business uses and advantages of an
Exchange SMS gateway.

Supports multiple mail servers & clustering
Because of its flexible infrastructure, GFI FAXmaker can send and receive
faxes for users on different mail servers. It can also support a mix of
Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000/2003 servers or even SMTP/POP3 servers. Active
and passive clustering is fully supported because GFI FAXmaker does not
require any software to be installed on the mail server itself; simply
configure both mail servers in the cluster to be able to send and receive
faxes via GFI FAXmaker.

Robust & scalable multi-line fax server
GFI FAXmaker includes a robust fax server, which can scale up to 32 lines
per fax server using fax boards or active ISDN cards. For smaller
installations, Fax modems can be used as well. GFI FAXmaker also supports
the use of the Windows 2000/XP/2003 fax drivers for wider hardware support.
List of supported devices.

Native ISDN support
GFI FAXmaker natively supports ISDN, allowing you to use inexpensive active
ISDN cards and get multi-line faxing and inbound routing at a fraction of
the price of using multi-line fax boards. More information about GFI
FAXmaker & ISDN.

Archive faxes to GFI MailArchiver, to SQL, or other archiving solution
GFI FAXmaker allows you to archive all faxes to GFI MailArchiver, a SQL
database or to an email address. GFI MailArchiver is an email archiving
solution that stores all mails in a SQL database and allows users to easily
search for past emails and faxes. GFI FAXmaker can be configured to forward
all faxes to GFI MailArchiver, allowing users to search for past faxes in
the same way as emails. With the OCR module, faxes can also be searched
based on what text they contained. More information about GFI MailArchiver.

Optional OCR reading & routing module
The optional OCR module can be used to convert all incoming faxes to a
readable text format using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology
and then route the fax to the correct user by finding keywords related to a
recipient, for example his first name, last name or job function. If GFI
FAXmaker cannot match a recipient, it will route the fax to the default
recipient/router. This feature is also especially handy if you plan to
archive all faxes, since it makes searching for a particular fax much
easier.

Junk fax filter
GFI FAXmaker includes a 'junk fax filter' that can auto-delete spam faxes on
the basis of sender number. View screenshot.

Send faxes from any application
To send a fax, users print from their word processor to the GFI FAXmaker
printer, or create a new message in their email client (e.g., Outlook or
Outlook Web Access). The user then selects the recipient(s) of the fax from
the Outlook Contacts list (address book) or enters the fax number directly.
After clicking on the "Send" button, the fax is sent and the user receives a
transmission report in his/her inbox. View screenshot.

Receive faxes in your email client - in fax or PDF format
GFI FAXmaker delivers faxes to the user's inbox in TIF - fax - format or
Adobe PDF format. This enables users to check faxes from anywhere in the
world, using either a normal desktop email client (for example, Outlook) or
a web-based email client (for example, Outlook Web Access). Receiving faxes
in PDF format means the fax can be forwarded to anybody, and it also allows
for easy integration with document archiving systems or workflow
software/procedures. View screenshot.

Allows you to send/receive faxes via your handheld or mobile
Via GFI FAXmaker's Email2Fax Gateway, the email clients of handhelds like
the Blackberry and Pocket PC (2003 upwards) can be used to send faxes. The
Blackberry and Pocket PC email clients can also receive faxes and fax
reports as emails. The Blackberry devices have built-in PDF viewer that
seamlessly integrate with GFI FAXmaker's PDF capabilities; most Pocket PC
2003 also ship with built-in PDF viewers. As long as they have image-viewing
capabilities to view received faxes, GPRS mobile (cell) phones that are
email-compliant can use GFI FAXmaker in the same way as handhelds. Download
the Pocket PC viewer here!

Supports Outlook Contacts
There is no need to keep a separate fax address book - just select the
recipient's "Business Fax" entry from the Outlook Contacts list or the
Global Address Book: No need to duplicate address entries. View screenshot.

Attach Office documents, PDF, HTML and other files
Users can attach Microsoft Office, PDF, HTML and other files to their fax.
These are rendered to fax format on the fax server. The 'Send to Mail
Recipient' command, available in Microsoft Office and other applications,
can therefore also be used to quickly send a document as a fax.

Automatic application integration & mail merges with NetPrintQueue2FAX
GFI FAXmaker's NetPrintQueue2FAX feature allows you to embed a fax number in
a document and 'print to fax' from almost any application, from anywhere in
the network - without having to enter the fax number separately. This
feature is especially handy for accounting applications; an invoice can be
faxed simply by embedding the fax number in the document. No application
integration or development is required. View screenshot.

Fax broadcasting using Microsoft Office mail merge
Using the mail merge facility of Microsoft Word/Office, you can send
personalized fax broadcasts. Because Microsoft Office supports ODBC, the
recipient list can be retrieved from any data source, including Microsoft
SQL Server, Microsoft Access and many more.

Support for Citrix
The GFI FAXmaker client can run on a Citrix terminal server. That way Citrix
users can send faxes when logged on Citrix.

Other features:

a.. Real time fax over IP using Brooktrout TR1034 cards
b.. HP Digital Sender support: Easily fax paper documents via GFI FAXmaker
c.. Fax annotation
d.. Automatically print transmission reports including miniatures of the
fax
e.. Preview a fax
f.. Text API allows for easy application integration
g.. Supports rendering of HTML format messages
h.. No schema updates
i.. Auto-print faxes on different network printers based on routing rules
j.. Call accounting: Analyze fax costs using Microsoft Excel
k.. Routing of faxes to other FAXmaker server for least cost routing (LCR)
by means of SMTP
l.. Support for Windows 2000/XP/2003 fax drivers
m.. Design coversheets in HTML or in RTF (Microsoft Word) format
n.. Remote fax server monitoring.



--
Russell Grover
SBITS.Biz
Microsoft Certified Small Business Specialist.
MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, (MCP-SBS)
support @ SBITS.Biz
Remote SBS2003 Support
http://www.SBITS.Biz
 
L

Les Connor [SBS MVP]

As mentioned, SBS fax allows the designation of a 'fax receptionist', whom
all faxes are forwarded to. The receptionist may view only the first page of
the fax, and can then forward it on to the recipient via email. Works pretty
well :).

I'm surprised you're still using winfax sharing, though. It wasn't ever
reliable, and it was probably largely abandoned by Delrina what, 10 years
ago? They had a Winfax 4 Networks product, but it died quickly.

What never ceases to amaze me though, is how those folks that use the Winfax
client don't want to give it up. It's actually still a very very good fax
client, and many users have built quite a work flow around it. It integrates
well with Outlook, that's probably another of the reasons it's still around.

Fortunately, there's an excellent network fax application that works with
the Winfax client, should the users not want to switch ;-).

http://www.faxback.com/products/smallbusiness/index.aspx

I'm not sure Winfax will make the transition to Vista, but if it does then
it'll probably still be around for another OS generation ;-).
 
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L

Leythos

I work for a small company (35 employees). Several employees use Symantec
Winfax 10. The receptionist's Win2k Pro computer acts as the Fax Sharing
Host. All faxes are received through her modem. An incomming fax first
goes to the Host's main Message Store. From there the receptionist can copy
or move the received faxes to the appropriate user's personal message store.
Then the user can access his personal message store from the WinFax Client
software on his local PC. The problem is that Winfax's Fax Sharing is
unreliable. There's got to be something better. What are the most common
alternatives?

As I understand our SBS or a Windows 2003 server can act as a Fax Server.
But as I understand it, it can have only on e message store from which all
users access all the faxes.

The advantage to WinFax when it's working is that the receptionist can sort
the incoming faxes & move them to each user's own Message Store. I don't
think Windows 2003 can do that (at least without 3rd party software).

Anyway, does anybody have any suggetions?

GFI Fax Maker would be the solution to look for:

http://www.gfi.com/faxmaker/

You can even try it free for 30 days.

I have several clients that have up to 16 modems attached to their
exchange server using GFI - taking in more than 2000 faxes per day.
 

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