How Israel lets the internet do its faxing

Apr 24, 2017

How Israel lets the internet do its faxing

ISRAEL’S eco-system for start-ups has been widely documented. Its economy boasts a well-earned reputation for being technologically advanced.

But while the country was lauded as being a start-up haven, its bureaucracy was still clinging to the vintage method of faxing till last year.

If people had to send in documents to Israeli government departments, they had to fax them in using the old-fashioned physical fax machine. If the faxes did not reach the relevant department, people would have to physically attend the offices to submit the documents.

All that changed in January 2016. The office of Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel submitted a proposal as part of the ‘Digital Israel’ initiative to get the various departments into the electronic faxing era.

With this modernisation of the Israeli bureaucracy, people no longer have to manually fax documents into officials. Or visit the department if the fax does not get through. Even the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, lauded the move.

Imagine being a small business owner and having to manually fax pages and pages of documents over to a government department for clearances or permissions. That would be a time-consuming exercise as it is.

Imagine then if the documents don’t reach the department, and the small business owner or start-up founder would have to head to the department building and maybe stand in a queue to hand over the documents.

This would mean a not-very-productive day for the small business owner and perhaps having to stay late into the evening or night to finish work after business hours.

All that is a thing of the past with the Israeli government encouraging electronic or other digital means of faxing and emailing.

A business owner’s time can now be put to more productive use. Send the document via efax and get on with the job of running the business. The entrepreneur can schedule meetings – in the office or with clients, and can meet with clients outside the office.

One of the companies at the forefront of virtual faxing is eFax.

eFax offers a standout feature called the electronic signature. This enables an entrepreneur to sign documents even while out of the office. There are two ways of accomplishing this with the eFax Mobile App. One way is for an entrepreneur to add a stored photo of their signature and drop it onto the document.

eFax has introduced an additional feature called the Finger Signatures. This allows a user to trace their signature with their finger on the phone screen.

Another feature of eFax’s Mobile Apps enables a small business entrepreneur to take a photo of a document with a mobile device and ‘send’. An entrepreneur can also use their mobile to send documents that have been stored on that device or in the cloud.

The charge for their service is US$16.95 a month. The company offers a 30-day free trial.

eFax allows customers to send 150 pages for free and receive the same number for free during the trial period.

Another feature from eFax is the 24/7 support which is great for a small business for whom time is of the essence and where one person has to perform multiple tasks and need not have to hang around waiting for a repairman if something goes wrong.

With eFax’s PDF converter, files can be converted into PDFs with a few clicks. The converter feature also lets a user turn a file into a TIFF or JPEG.

Israel has an enormous broadband penetration – nearly 99 percent of all households are covered. Broadband is delivered via ADSL, cable and fibre optic platforms.

With broadband, efficient use of the cloud comes into play. eFax offers unlimited storage of faxes in the cloud. This means a small business owner can store every document that has been faxed to the business.

By storing in the cloud, the business can access any fax with a few clicks at any time, in any place. This gives the business accessibility to faxes that have come in a long time before. Also, this means that a fax will not be misplaced or lost or thrown by mistake into the rubbish bin. All fax documents can be stored and retrieved with a few steps.

Whether a fax is confidential or not, any business would be concerned about security. eFax offers to have faxes SSL-encrypted which can be stored in a secure web-based inbox using a 128-bit encryption.

Electronic faxes are emailed to a recipient. Fax to email means the fax will drop only into the recipient’s inbox. So confidentially is assured because a fax will not be sitting on a physical machine in an office, at the mercy of prying eyes.

Remember when huge documents that ran into many pages were faxed over, and some pages were missing? Again with electronic faxing that is a thing of the past because the fax arrives right into the receiver’s email inbox as a single document.

Also, file size is not an issue anymore because huge documents, presentations, videos and be sent and downloaded at speed thanks to fast broadband.

eFax allows a new user to get a new fax number or transfer their existing number for free. There are more than 300 local Israel fax numbers to choose from or more than 10,000 international numbers.