Isn’t it funny how companies seem to be stuck in the 80’s? Even now companies want you to fax things to them.
My friend was told by his insurance to fax some paperwork to them. When he asked if he could just email it as an attachment that wasn’t available. Companies believe that if you fax something to them, there is less chance of illegal behavior. Isn’t that silly?
So I had to find a Kinkos to help him out. The self-serve fax at the Kinko’s was about $2. It was interesting that there is still a demand for this. Fax is a technology that should have died with the first email attachment.
It is strange isn’t it? People get stuck on certain technologies and don’t want to give them up. I think the main reason that people use fax is that their IT is too lazy to find better ways to move information. I don’t see any reason why any office needs to have paper anymore. I view paper and workflow as a failure of IT to give people the tools they need. Everyone can be more efficient by having the ability to automate information, and when it isn’t electronic that is the first hurdle. I have helped companies get rid of stacks of papers and documents and get them into a system that is organized. You have to do more than just maintain what people have, you must have the vision to find better ways to work.
RackSpace has great managed exchange email. They have been the most reliable email provider out of a dozens I have tried and worked with in business. Of course they are on the high end of cost, but the service is fantastic if there is a problem. My second choice for email would be Appriver. They have a great managed exchange email service as well, and are cheaper than RackSpace. Their spam filter is actually used by RackSpace and its very good. Office 365 and Google Apps for business are disappointing for email. They have both gone down and been unreliable, and those services come with a complexity that RackSpace/Appriver have addressed. They require a learning curve for the IT department, or for the person responsible for managing email. Qualified people cost money so ultimately using Office 365/Google Apps is far more expensive.
File storage is another issue. I would have said Box.net but now after using pCloud I think its a better choice. It is better because it is more intutive than Box and has less limitations. In fact I haven’t found a significant limitation in using it. I have been trying to stress it out to find its weak points, but even uploading 38GB of data didn’t cause any problems. It accepted it and was very quick about the upload. The other neat thing about pCloud is that it easily provisions/sets up an account by simply emailing someone. I love that all I had to do was put in their email message and a brief message if I wanted and then the person could click on to accept. Super easy. Then when that person logged in their account was active. In comparison Box requires you to setup an account manually and it takes a few minutes to do so. So the long term costs are far less with pCloud management than with Box management.