Author:
Steve Chong

What To Look For in a Cloud Fax Solution as a Reseller

Though fax may seem like a relic of a bygone era, there are certain industries that still heavily rely on fax as a secure means of sending messages. The healthcare, financial services, legal, real estate, government, and education industries rely heavily on fax, especially cloud fax solutions, for secure document delivery.  

If you are a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) provider, an MSP (Managed Service Provider), a VAR (Value Added Reseller) for the industries listed above providing secure faxing technology to your clients is vital.

As much as 75% of cross-provider communication in healthcare still happens through fax. This is despite the $30B Obama-era investment in digitizing the internal operations of medical providers with electronic health records. You can bet that if you’re not offering fax as one of the services you provide, your clients are finding a fax provider on their own.

Modern Fax Services

Sending a fax in 2024 is far from the clunky, analog fax machine spitting out curls of barely legible thermal paper onto the floor of your office that you remember from the 1990s. Fax services can be fully integrated into your modern TCP/IP infrastructure, electronic record keeping systems, document storage repositories, and email and messaging services…provided you choose the right cloud fax software provider. Choosing the right, cloud-native fax provider will ensure that providing reliable, fast, and profitable service is as easy as creating a new email address.

What to Look for in a Cloud Fax Solution

We have several good articles already on what to look for from a cloud fax solution, including a recent Cloud Fax Buyer’s Guide written by Documo’s own CEO, Denis Whelan.  In this article we’ll get more specific on what you should be looking for as a UCaaS provider, an MSP, a VAR, or a software developer or integrator when choosing a cloud fax solution. 

Product

Most importantly, you’ll want a product that provides a functional, fast, and reliable cloud fax platform that is easy for the end user to use and integrate with. 

Look for a cloud fax solution that is natively browser-based with a modern, easily-learned, and efficient user interface if your clients will be interacting with the product directly. 

On the other hand, if your clients are looking to use the underlying fax infrastructure and build their own interface or integrate with their own product, look for a product that also has a modern, complete, and well-documented API (Application Programming Interface). 

Ideally, this API should be based on modern, easily accessible technologies and protocols like REST and JSON as these have largely become the standard mechanisms to provide interconnectivity between systems.

Zero Footprint Deployment

You’ll want to also look for a cloud fax solution that offers a cloud-native, zero-footprint deployment that doesn’t require you to provision hardware, release software, deploy networks, or monitor systems to implement the solution.

While this may not seem daunting to a tech-savvy audience, it does become a hindrance to ongoing scalability as your customer base and usage expands.

White Label Customization

This may be critical for some organizations and less important for others, but for those businesses that want to present a single, unified brand to their customers, white labeled fax service is key. Customizing the product’s user interface, logos, icons, and domain names can help reinforce an organization’s brand identity and ownership over a fully integrated solution.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

Whether or not a browser-based, white labeled cloud fax service is important to your business, it’s important that the proper hooks and interfaces exist to allow the solution to sit seamlessly within your and your clients’ technical infrastructure. 

No matter how your end users are deploying their cloud fax products and services, an API integration is likely the most optimal solution for maintaining a consistent and reliable user onboarding workflow experience.

This can be the difference between being able to deploy a scalable and profitable service and one that takes an inordinate amount of labor to maintain and administer. 

One other aspect of integration is connecting with existing, on-site fax machines that scan, transmit, and print. Look for partners that also have the hardware, software, and expertise to bridge dedicated fax machines into their cloud fax service to connect these “old-school” devices to the internet. 

Analytics

Experienced providers understand that if you cannot measure the business, you cannot effectively manage it. Look for a cloud fax solution that understands that running an efficient, scalable, and profitable business is about more than just the technology. Talk with the partner to understand how effectively and efficiently they run their business, dig into what they measure, and make sure that the metrics they use are also easily available to you to manage your own client base. 

Service providers who understand their role as business partners and collaborators in best practices are far more valuable than those that are fine with ending their remit at being a commodity technology purveyor. 

Enablement and Support

Additionally, take a look at your potential partner’s ability to help you integrate fax into your product or product portfolio, educate your team on how to position and sell the service, and provide the assets necessary to effectively sell and support the offering. This includes everything from sales assets, training, and enablement sessions to responsive, knowledgeable support and solid documentation. Even basic elements like complete, accurate, and accessible documentation should not be overlooked when evaluating potential partners.

Time to Revenue

Initial time to revenue can encapsulate how difficult the process is of vetting the partner, negotiating a contract, implementing and integrating the solution, and training your staff on the solution. This gets multiplied on an ongoing basis with the challenges of securing new clients (for resellers) or promoting adoption (for integrators). An experienced cloud fax partner can leverage their past experiences and provide both the tools and the guidance on how to accelerate this as quickly as possible to minimize time to revenue.

Margin

Finally, whether you’re looking to resell an existing online fax solution as a part of your product portfolio or to integrate it into a larger product you’ve built, you’ll want to be confident that you’re able to do that with reasonable margins on a long-term basis.

While minimizing the price you negotiate up front is a part of making reasonable profit, bear in mind that it’s only one aspect of long-term gross margin. If a fax vendor is only reselling someone else’s service, they are of course expecting to make some margin for themselves.

An online fax service who builds and manages their own network and infrastructure may have more room for negotiation and development of custom pricing plans. More importantly, this sort of partner has much more control over future cost structures and over the long-term performance, stability, and capabilities of their system.

Choosing Your Cloud Fax Service

When it comes to refining your strategy around cloud fax, whether you are a UCaaS provider, an MSP, a VAR, or a software developer or integrator, your choice should come down to more than just how much the service costs. While that is an important consideration, oftentimes other aspects can have a much larger impact on the success of your business than just price per page. Consider the following when choosing your online fax partner:

  • PRODUCT - does the partner have a product that delivers the capabilities that your end users need in an efficient, intuitive UI or with a robust, modern API? 
  • DEPLOYMENT - does the product allow for scalable, zero-footprint deployment that keeps you from the headache of managing the underlying infrastructure?
  • CUSTOMIZATION - does the product have white labeled fax services that allows you to present a unified, integrated brand identity to your end users?
  • INTEGRATION - will the product sit comfortably within the physical and technical infrastructure your company and your clients’ companies need?
  • ANALYTICS - does the product provide the information you need to run an efficient business and will the partner be able to provide the expertise to help you with that endeavor? 
  • ENABLEMENT AND SUPPORT - does the partner think of themselves as a true partner or just a commodity technology provider?
  • TIME TO REVENUE - will the combination of the partner and the product enable you to implement and ramp quickly enough to start generating revenue with minimal investment?
  • MARGIN - does the offering allow you to make reasonable gross margins, not just at the start, but on a long-term basis?

Whether you are new to the concept of cloud fax solutions or have lots of experience using them, hopefully this guide provides you with some perspectives on what to look for, not just in the product itself, but in the partner that stands behind the product. 

If you’re interested in a deeper discussion about how reselling or integrating an online cloud fax service can benefit your business and your customers, reach out to our industry-leading implementation and support experts

For some additional perspectives on how other UCaaS providers, MSPs, VARs, and software developers and integrators have approached this decision, take a look at the following case studies:

Case Studies:

Automated Telecom: https://www.mfax.io/case-studies/automated-telecom

Skyetel: www.mfax.io/case-studies/skyetel

Cytracom: www.mfax.io/case-studies/cytracom

RedRoverIT: www.mfax.io/case-studies/redroverit

SolvedIT: www.mfax.io/case-studies/solvedit

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