by Ray Horak, Technology Editor
OpenText Corporation (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC) is the preeminent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, according to the November 2010 Gartner report. OpenText seems to be a perennial favorite of Gartner, with a solid position in the Leaders Quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant. That signifies both completeness of vision and the ability to execute. Fax is just one element of ECM, but a very important one in many industries, and OpenText claims the pole position. Frost and Sullivan ranked RightFax #1 in its Enterprise Fax Market Report, November 2010 and Davidson Consulting ranks OpenText as a solid #1 in both its Computer-Based Fax Markets, 2009-2014 and its recently released Fax over IP Server Markets: 2011-2016. (http://www.telecomreseller.com/?p=25099) According to Davidson, a respected industry analyst, OpenText is the leader in the enterprise fax market, the leader in production fax and the fastest growing provider of Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP) solutions.
The success of OpenText and RightFax is due in no small part to its ability to interface and integrate. As Matthew Brine, vice president of the Fax & Document Distribution Group, explained to me during a recent personal visit to OpenText, “The question is not what we integrate with, but what we don’t integrate with.” As examples, he cites back office database and ERP solutions such as Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle and SAP. In terms of virtualization, RightFax is comfortable in both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX environments. In terms of Unified Communications (UC), RightFax integrates with 3com, Alcatel, AudioCodes, Avaya, Cisco, Dialogic, Microsoft, Mitel and Siemens. Endpoints/clients include Microsoft Windows/Office, HP, Ricoh and Konica Minolta. OpenText enjoys strategic partnerships with many of these companies. Brine convinced me.
Although T.30, the ITU-T standard for conventional fax over the PSTN, is alive and well and undoubtedly will be so for a great many years, most of the attention at OpenText is quite understandably on Fax over Internet Protocol (FoIP). Most of that attention is directed towards T.38, which sets the specifications for realtime FoIP. RightFax FoIP offers the advantages of reduced long distance charges, network consolidation and a pure software solution that eliminates the need for expensive fax boards and, in a virtualization scenario, the reduction of computer hardware. Perhaps most significant are the economies of scale associated with a converged IP network supporting voice, data and fax.
Additional FoIP opportunities include SIP trunking, where SIP trunking providers support fax transmissions. OpenText has tested and certified RightFax with a number of providers including babyTEL, Global Crossing, Qwest/CenturyTel, and XO Communications. Although a relatively recent technology for fax communication, SIP trunking provides an additional FoIP opportunity to send and receive faxes securely with potentially lower costs than traditional PSTN lines.
That level of solution makes a lot of sense in a production fax environment in a headquarters, regional hub or even a substantial branch office, but is overly sophisticated for a small branch … and there are a lot of them these days. According to a study conducted by the Internet Research Group (IRG) in 2010, the number of branch offices has grown by no less than twenty-one percent (21%) during the last ten years. OpenText recognized the growth in the distributed workforce and the associated need for a comprehensive solution. OpenText Fax Gateway is a purpose-built device that manages fax traffic at both the hub and large branches, where it interfaces with server-based RightFax, and small branch locations, where it typically interfaces with a multi-function printer (MFP) or fax application software residing on a PC. OpenText Fax Gateway acts as a fax router, perhaps directing intracompany fax traffic in T.38 packet format over a SIP-compliant IP network and fax traffic to customers or vendors over the PSTN in conventional T.30 format. OpenText Fax Gateway is available in seven (7) port densities and configurations, with WAN interfaces running the full range of analog, ISDN, and T1/E1/J1.
RightFax 10.5, slated for Q2 2012 general release, promises to be a significant evolutionary step and 10.5 Feature Pack 1 is scheduled for general release mid-year 2013. I expect to report on those releases as soon as information is available. In the meantime, you will find more information at www.OpenText.com and http://faxsolutions.opentext.com.