How do I Send an Electronic Fax from Outlook?

If your organization works in the fields of healthcare, finance, or legal services, you most likely use fax in your day-to-day tasks. The reason? Compliance of course.

We all know why fax meets compliance standards — it is infinitely more secure than email. Physically sending and receiving faxes is, however, a detriment to employee productivity, especially when employees are working remotely.

Many of the organizations we work with have suffered the loss of precious time as employees are forced to drive to their office, send a fax, wait for a response to be sent to them, and then return to their home to continue their remote work. Depending on the time it takes to commute, this can add multiple hours of downtime to an employee’s schedule in a single day.

With electronic fax software, however, your employees can both send and receive faxes via Microsoft Outlook.

HOW ELECTRONIC FAX SOFTWARE WORKS

Simply put, electronic fax software is designed to integrate with your email client — and while these integrations are not universal, the most common compatible email client is Outlook.

There are plenty of electronic fax software platforms on the market today:

  • - Etherfax
  • - eFax
  • - Sfax
  • - Fax.Plus
  • - MetroFax
  • - MyFax
  • - And many, many more

As a business that has worked with electronic fax software for over 17 years, we generally recommend Etherfax, produced by FaxCore. There are benefits and detriments to each software listed above, but Etherfax provides a robust system for a relatively low price.

Also, Etherfax integrates perfectly with Outlook. But before we cover how to send a fax through Outlook, we first need to understand how and why electronic faxes work. Throughout the rest of this blog, we will use the backend technology of FaxCore’s Etherfax as an example.

Electronic fax software runs on a fax server. This sever acts as a hub for your faxes, integrating with Microsoft Exchange, Outlook, most models of copiers, and CRMs such as SAP and Microsoft Dynamics.

This allows every computer on your organization’s LAN (Local Access Network) to both send and receive faxes through Outlook. It also works with traditional faxes; any copier enabled with Etherfax can scan hardcopy documents, and send it to the receiving end via the fax server.

This provides your organization with three major benefits:

  1. Reduces waste — your only print what you need
  2. Never lose a fax — since all your faxes are stored on your server, it is impossible to lose them
  3. Send and receive faxes on the go — your employees will never be tied down by a fax machine again

Most importantly, Etherfax completely negates the need for traditional fax lines. Rather than paying a monthly bill for your POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) line, your organization can purchase a pre-calibrated fax server, and a software license fee to gain access to Etherfax’s services.

POTS lines can cost your organization $50 per line — and some of our business partners own five or more POTS lines. An Etherfax server is a one-time purchase of about $2,000, and the software itself is relatively cheap. This means by purchasing Etherfax, your organization will break even much faster than you would expect.

HOW TO SEND A FAX THROUGH OUTLOOK WITH ETHERFAX

Now, all of this sounds complicated, but for your employees, after the fax server is set up, sending an electronic fax is as simple as sending an email.

There are two ways you can send an electronic fax through Outlook:

  1. Add a fax contact to your contact list, and then send an email to that contact
  2. Or, enter [Fax:Example_Name@11238675309] in the “To” field

*The information provided in the second option is an example.

And that’s all there is too it — really! Sending an electronic fax is truly as simple as sending an email, all while still meeting compliance requirements necessary for healthcare, financial, and legal services.

If you want to learn more about creating a compliant office, check out our blog, Can My Copier Make My Office HIPAA Compliant?