Before email became the way to send messages, fax transmissions were the only way to deliver and send written communication electronically. They can send printouts in a small interval of time over thousands of miles. Since email came into use, few companies completely abandoned fax machines. However, the transition has been quite a journey when it comes to fax and email.

While fax transmissions use paper, email doesn’t need it. Problem with the fax machine is that it requires a physical medium to transmit messages, which is a disadvantage. Like printers, fax machines also experience issues like paper jams. The receiving machine can also run out of paper and user might end up not realizing that the paper is gone for quite some time. This delay can cause time-sensitive communications to remain unanswered for few hours or even days. Email took over the fax machine with instant delivery of messages without the need for paper. It replaced the necessity of both machines operating simultaneously as email can be opened at any time. The email also changed the way the messages were sent as it took away the need for consistent transmission of information from one point to another, unlike fax machines.

One of the biggest advantages of fax transmission is dealing with a signed document or a document which only exists in hard copy. If any person wishes to send the document through via email, they are required to send the image through the scanner or multifunction printer. The user then has to edit the scanned image before they choose the spot on the hard drive of the computer to save that particular scanned document. Whenever a person is sending an email, the scanned file must be attached to the email. In contrast, a person who is using a fax machine just has to place the document in the machine and press few keys to send it to the receiving end. However, the email soon replaced the fax machine since a large number of scanned documents can be sent immediately via the email while the fax machine is quite slow in this process.

Documents which are sent by email can also be edited by any user whereas the documents which are sent by fax cannot be edited. In this situation where there are two parties which are collaborating on a given project, the inherent ability to edit the documents allow them to collaborate and give both of the users ease to make the changes as quickly as possible. If the two parties are involved in an adversarial relationship, then fax transmission may be considered as an attractive option. The hard-copy fax document’s nature makes the altering of the document to defame or manipulate the other party quite difficult. The email made the transmission of necessary documents for collaboration easier. It also took away the chances of manipulating the document as there is a track record of the documents that are being sent.

A lot of computers, as well as printers, can now send both email and faxes. This essentially means that the digital files can easily be sent from one computer to any fax machine where it is duly delivered as a hard copy document. These types of computers and printers are also capable to receive fax transmissions from other fax machines which provide them with the advantages of both fax and email.

But the journey doesn’t end here. The introduction of new means of communication along with sharing documents, images, links etc. came into existence with one of the most popular apps called WhatsApp. It is quite appealing, and it has millions of users worldwide. The users can easily switch between the tasks as well as chats, and even arrange group voice calls at convenient times which are mutually agreed upon, in order to conduct valuable as well as high bandwidth communication.

This app is used for essential discussions regarding meetings, strategy as well as a group created to rally support for various policy positions. If you are not on WhatsApp, then you are possibly missing out a lot and will eventually fall behind. This way WhatsApp is replacing the email and fax and remains to be the next evolutionary step.

A lot of government organizations, as well as enterprises, often struggle to keep up with the technology and so the employees try to find and also use their own alternatives. This also leads to more fragmentation as well as complexity along with security and regulatory risk which for instance, makes communications untraceable as well as unaccountable. Fax and email can be tracked down or managed by these agencies as they are now quite knowledgeable about these technologies whereas WhatsApp is new to them and they are not able to get quite hold of it.  

This particular infrastructure of internet and applications is now powering the upcoming generation of technology which is now using applications like WhatsApp for communication, since the workers can easily communicate from within a particular application which can easily be accessed from any of the device or website or any connected object, without the requirement of any plugin. It is potentially a game changer in the business. It allows rich interactions among the users which allow them to communicate seamlessly with others through an application without having to context switch to any particular application like WhatsApp or a phone call.

These news apps like WhatsApp deliver beautifully designed interaction which absolutely meets the requirement of the users on the smartphones they choose to interact. This also gives rise to contextual communication. The apps are based on an open-source project which allows the standard browsers to be used for audio, video and even data files. WhatsApp has launched web version which allows the user to send the data through the computer. It is among the best applications which allow the user to send media files, documents in PDF form, images, location etc. to another person. It’s the best contextual application which meshes together all the required information needed to be effectively exchanged and also enhances the real time as well as non-real-time communication flows which are quite appropriate to any phase of the task. It’s a new opportunity for the different businesses to simplify as well as enhance their communications by reaping the benefits from inherent improved productivity as well as efficiency to streamline their business processes.

WhatsApp also benefits the communication with external stakeholders by offering a much more efficient as well as engaging customer experience. If one can understand why a customer is contacting the business in advance, then the business is better equipped to deal with their queries and requirements in an effective and intelligent manner.

The journey of transmission of data through the various means has been quite a bumpy one. The fax allowed the sending of documents especially the hard copies with quite an ease, but it did come with some restriction. The email replaced fax as it was much faster means to send the document and other attachments. However, in case of documents, they have to be scanned first. In case of WhatsApp, the documents, just like email, can be transmitted to another user without any hassle. There has been a gradual shift among users from fax to email and then drastic shift to WhatsApp which make this journey quite an interesting one.  

Posted by Outside Contributor

From time to time, we are glad to feature outside authors who contribute to BizzMarkBlog with their insights and experience. This is one of those features.