SA company launches fax over IP service

Von Samantha Perry

T-Systems SA and new company Faxster SA have launched a fax over IP solution, called Faxster. Developed by Faxster SA, in conjunction with RightFax distributor Amvia, the solution acts as a pure fax router, as opposed to the more common ?store and forward? fax delivery models currently available.

The solution will be exclusively marketed and sold by T-Systems throughout the SADC region, while Faxster SA retains development responsibility for the product.

Initially, says T-Systems business manager: telecommunications services, Heinie Witte, the company will be marketing the product to its existing customer base. Thereafter it will be making use of the existing RightFax reseller network to market the product more broadly.

While the entire country has been focusing on the possibilities offered by Voice over IP (VoIP), Faxster SA appears to be the first to market with a solution for fax over IP.

Sending faxes over T-Systems? MPLS VPN, the companies say, will deliver cost savings of 15 percent on national and international fax distribution. ?We aim to develop a community around the solution,? Witte says, ?and as such will be offering discounts of up to 30 percent to companies sending faxes to other community members -- peer to peer faxing in other words.?

?Faxster runs on the RightFax platform, and offers, amongst other features, a full management and reporting capability,? says Faxster SA business development manager, Lance Levitas. ?Companies will be able to get down to the minute reports on what faxes are going where.?

?The solution is also totally secure,? Witte says. ?The secured connection from a customer?s faxing environment is established through the exchange of secure tokens and encryption techniques accepted by financial institutions,? he adds.

There is no initial cost to companies joining the community, users are billed on a monthly basis or alternatively on a per fax or per page basis, Witte says. There is also no requirement for long-term contracts.

?The solution requires no user behavior change whatsoever,? Levitas adds, ?T-Systems provides the software and the installation is remarkably easy.?

T-Systems last year announced the aggressive expansion of its local telecommunications services arm, where traditionally the company has only offered outsourced IT services. Witte says that once the division had been established locally, it began to look for additional product to offer its clients, and came upon Faxster in mid-2004, via its relationship with Amvia.

T-Systems will, in the future, be offering bundled VoIP and fax over IP solutions, Witte says, and the company will be announcing its moves into the VoIP space by the end of Q1 this year.