Everytime I thought the fax machine would die off, it would come back again to solve a current problem.

Today, I still occasionally send a facsimile to a colleague or business associate when emailing a scanned image will not work. In my day job, we have move entire business processes from paying employees to fax mountains of paper, to automated processes that create and send PDFs as facsimiles via a new community of fax web application programming interfaces “APIs”.

Take for example, Pete Keen’s article of using Phaxio fax api. He runs a shell script that make API calls so he doesn’t have to purchase or mess with a physical fax machine when he send faxes to his state government.

I have personally worked with two (2) companies that provide fax web calls, which has help streamlined numerous business processes. With the help of Interfax, we converted a manual outbound fax process to a completely automate process. The only time employees get involved is to handle any sending failures.

In the second case, we outsourced all of our inbound fax lines to FaxLogic. In addition to providing HIPAA compliance, they can store copies of your inbound and outbound faxes. We can make API calls to pull and store local copies of all our inbound faxes. We’ve setup internal scripts for a few departments to mimic a fax machine by auto-printing a paper copy of an inbound fax to a local printer. FaxLogic can also provide fax adapters, which allow you to connect a physical fax machine to your network without having to mess with POTS telephone line.

If you haven’t taken a look yet a fax APIs, now is the time. Happy hacking.

–Chris