The concept of faxing may seem antiquated, but market experts anticipate 2020 will continue a trend of growth in the cloud faxing industry that's expected to last into 2025. Reports also suggest the global online fax market will grow to over $2.4 billion by 2022.
According to researchers at Advance Market Analytics, the global cloud fax market is anticipated to grow by 9.16% by 2024. They largely attribute this increase to the influx of small and midsize enterprises consistently adopting the technology because of its "cost-effective faxing solution and technological advancement." As more companies expand into international markets, faxing over the internet is even more appealing, since large faxes can be sent much more quickly online than through traditional machines.
In addition to continued market growth, the online faxing industry will likely continue to be the subject of legislative scrutiny as governmental bodies around the world regulate and secure various facets of the internet. Existing regulations, such as those in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), have long impacted the industry and its need to securely transmit sensitive data. In the coming years, more regulations aiming to protect personal data will cause companies like J2 Global to continue pushing for higher data security and privacy standards to meet regulations and potentially head legislators off at the pass.
April 2020: As the coronavirus continues to disrupt small businesses, some online fax companies have opted to share their services for a heavily discounted rate or for free. These offers are generally available for the duration of the pandemic, though some companies are providing their services for a set number of months. For example, Fax.Plus is offering a free month of its Enterprise annual plans through the end of April.
Similarly, RingCentral is providing the RingCentral Office plan for free to impacted healthcare providers, schools, community colleges, news and media publishers, public sector companies, and nonprofit organizations that sign up as new customers. Along with online fax capabilities, RingCentral Office includes VoIP phone service, a team messaging platform and online video meetings with up to 200 people. Existing Office Essential and Standard customers also benefit from the promotion's increased meeting participant limit.
In addition to offering free access to services, some companies have stepped up by providing logistical support to the recovery effort. Throughout the crisis, Nextiva, which offers online faxing, has provided its VoIP service to support a pair of United Way virtual telethons on both U.S. coasts. Along with some tech support from the Nextiva team, approximately $2.6 million was raised to support communities battling COVID-19.
May 2020: Online fax is an important service for healthcare providers, and as they continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, J2 Global has offered to provide free access to an "on-demand patient record query" through the company's Consensus healthcare platform.
Designed to help healthcare providers be more fleet of foot, Consensus combines multiple aspects of J2 Global's holdings, including online fax, to help coordinate providers.
"Consensus can be used to quickly and securely obtain patient data on past and current conditions and treatments from a surrounding healthcare community. This helps enable care teams to make better decisions at the point of care," said Nate Simmons, president of J2 Cloud Services. "Consensus can be used by providers with or without an electronic health record system (EHR). Some EHRs already connect to Carequality. If not, Consensus users now have the benefit of on-demand query for no charge."
The full version of Consensus serves as an inbox-like platform that manages "all incoming and outgoing patient documents including cloud faxes, direct secure messaging, patient query and API integration into exchanges."