Volume 10, Number 12 -- March 23, 2010

Fly Doc, Fly: Esker Updates Online Mail and Fax Service

Published: March 23, 2010

by Alex Woodie

Esker last week unveiled a new release of FlyDoc, its software as a service (SaaS) offering that allows users to upload business correspondence through the www.flydoc.com Web site, and have Esker deliver them via regular mail or fax. The new version allows regular users to customize their setup for faster submission and adds security features, among other enhancements.

While the world's business is moving quickly to the Web, there is no denying that sometimes it's more appropriate to send a paper letter through the regular mail, or to send a fax. After all, not everybody is on the Web yet, but nearly everyone gets mail on a regular basis. As for fax … its staying power in the face of the Web continues to amaze.

Esker's FlyDoc service recognizes this continuing reliance on mail and fax, and strives to make it cheap and easy to fax or mail business (or even personal) correspondence using the Web. Once a user establishes an account, a document can be uploaded through the Esker Web site, and Esker will print it out, stuff it in a correctly sized and formatted envelope, and drop it in the mail for as little as $.24 per piece of mail (not including postage). Pricing for faxes start at $0.10 per page.

FlyDoc is useful for sending small amounts of mail or fax, or it can even function as an outsourced component of a larger company's sales, payroll, collections, or marketing department. Users can also receive faxes as e-mail using the FlyDoc service, and view them as PDFs.

Esker also allows direct integration with popular ERP systems. Packages listed on the FlyDoc Web site include JD Edwards, BPCS, MAPICS, System 21, and Lawson M3 (not to mention the big packages from Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft). Integration with ERP enables FlyDoc customers to mail or fax documents directly from their ERP screens. (Remember, Esker offers the SmarTerm emulation software for 5250 and 3270, so it knows how to integrate with business systems).

Esker made several changes with the new FlyDoc service unveiled last week. For starters, the offering now allows regular users to save their settings (such as the position of the address block or the sending method) as a "scenario" that's stored as a virtual printer. After setting up scenarios to their liking, users can speed through the sending process in subsequent visits to the Web site.

Users also gain more control over the placement of the address block. Users can fix errors that occur with the placement of the address block without going back to the original document. Alternatively, if FlyDoc detects that the address is not positioned correctly, it will include an additional address page.

When errors do occur, users can view a summary of them in Excel thanks to a new error outputting feature. Security has also been bolstered by giving administrators more control over users, including limiting user access to delivery methods, to color or black and white, and envelope sizes. Administrators also gain more control over password strength, and can control how quickly passwords, cookies, and temporary URLs become disabled.

The FlyDoc service is used in more than 40 countries around the world, and has access to 3,000 toll-free phone numbers for low-cost faxing. FlyDoc is based in France, but has a considerable installed base in the United States, too. Between the two companies, there are 30,000 FlyDoc users at 3,500 organizations, "including large and small companies, independent professionals, associations and individuals," says Esker CEO Jean-Michel Bérard.

For more information see www.flydoc.com.

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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