South African companies may be compromising the integrity of their information by allowing uncontrolled and unmonitored use of personal fax numbers, warns fax specialist Vox Amvia.
“Fax policy in many companies is uneven and inconsistent,” explains Vox Amvia’s Boudje Giljam. “Fax for critical processes like FICA documentation or credit applications is well controlled through fax servers, but in the rest of the organisation there is often little or no control at all.
Giljam says there is a strong trend for corporate employees to create their own personal 086 fax-to-email numbers. “There are lots of advantages for employees in this,” he says. “They know they will get their faxes wherever they are, it’s easy to search through old faxes in their e-mail records, and there’s never a problem with a fax machine being out of paper or engaged.”
For employers, however, this proliferation of unofficial fax numbers holds a number of dangers. “Essentially the fax number is the personal property of the employee, not the company,” he says. “When the employee moves or leaves the company, they take the number – and the customers who use that number – with them.”
At best, says Giljam, this can compromise customer service. “Say you have a bank manager who uses a personal fax number to ensure that his customers can get hold of him reliably and that nothing gets lost in the office,” he says. “If the manager moves to a new branch, suddenly his old customers may lose their best method of contacting their branch manager. This can only lead to frustrated customers.”
The problem is much worse if members of the sales team use unofficial personal fax numbers, says Giljam. “We all know that sales staff tend to move around a lot. If their customers only have a personal fax number as contact, they’ll take those customers with them when they leave.”
He adds that a solution like Vox Amvia's new Xtenda product for RightFax is designed to plug the gap.