In 2013, Bankers Insurance switched to a new agency management system to handle its operations. But the fax offering through this new line-of-business system was limited. The previous application had a fax server that the company used primarily for outbound faxing. Since faxing continues to be an important part of operations at Bankers Insurance, Fogarty saw an opportunity to ease the IT burden, improve employee efficiencies and reduce costs by moving to an email-based faxing solution.
Cloud-based fax messaging—secure, reliable and easy to use
Bankers Insurance had several requirements for a new fax solution, beginning with the cloud. Fogarty saw a cloud-based solution as a way to address several major concerns, one of which was disaster recovery. “The existing solution wasn’t very recoverable because it was a physical line going to a physical server,” he explained.
By taking the fax service to the cloud and avoiding the installation and maintenance of software, Bankers Insurance could also free up valuable IT time and money. Moreover, Fogarty hoped to solve a problem that arose when the company switched the main lineof-business application. Bankers Insurance was using a cloudbased customer self-service portal for insurance certificates.
“The existing solution was expensive. We had to pay for the physical fax lines, as well as maintenance for the server equipment. We also wanted our new fax solution to be able to function with our customer portal solution,” explained Fogarty.
Security was also at the top of the list of requirements. “If we were going to use email to fax, we needed the necessary encryption. We needed to know that whatever we were faxing was protected just like a normal fax would be, when it comes to any HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] or BII [Business Identifiable Information] guidelines,” added Fogarty.
Not to be overlooked were other key solution requirements such as management and usability. From an IT perspective, Fogarty wanted a product that would allow them to have central administration of users and, from a user perspective, the solution needed to help improve staff productivity.
Fogarty described the process of finding a solution to meet their requirements: “We went out and searched and it was a difficult process for us to find the right vendor. We went through a lot of vendors.” Bankers Insurance ultimately chose the OpenText Cloud desktop fax service, OpenText Fax2Mail. Fax2Mail is a cloud emailbased faxing service that allows companies to receive and send faxes as electronic messages directly from their email accounts.
Greater security, reliability and availability via cloud computing
Fogarty checked off the reasons for choosing OpenText: secure, cloud-based, disaster recovery. “Getting the right kind of security documentation from vendors was difficult, but OpenText was able to provide us with the necessary kind of support on encryption and data center security.” Fax2Mail uses industry-standard encryption, redundant systems and components that are in place for security and backup service. The solution is supported by a network of multiple geographically diverse data centers that provide service availability 365 days a year. The cloud-based solution will safeguard the company’s fax services in the event of a disaster, ensuring uninterrupted service anywhere at any time.
Since the product is email-based, the company did not need to install software on the user machines. “We love the simplicity of Fax2Mail. Not having to install software and manage and deploy upgrades was a big driver for us,” noted Fogarty.
Also important was that Fax2Mail could work with their insurance certificate portal application. “That was another big sell for us,” said Fogarty. “It makes that process a lot cheaper because we have staff that will still utilize that cloud-based application to send certificates to clients. They log on to that portal when a client needs a certificate of insurance and they can use the Fax2Mail solution.”