Quadrant Launches Fax Over IP Software
Corrected: April 3, 2012
by Alex Woodie
Quadrant Software today is expected to launch QuadraDocV, a new fax over IP (FoIP) software offering for IBM i shops. The new FoIP software runs inside a VMware virtual machine and offers the same fax capabilities that Quadrant has delivered for years with its hardware-based FastFax line of products. Customers are expected to gain by eliminating hardware from their data centers and canceling subscriptions for analog phone lines.
Following the success of voice over IP (VoIP), FoIP is now gaining steam in business environments. Many organizations have already installed VoIP-enabled network switches from the major manufactures, such as Cisco or Avaya. So adding FoIP to the network mix isn't that big of a deal.
As a result, the market for fax products has changed dramatically, says Steve Woodard, CEO of Quadrant Software. "We're excited about it because a good portion of our existing customers, and 30 to 40 percent of prospects, are looking for a virtual device as opposed to a fax appliance," he tells IT Jungle. "They've made it clear that they don't want another hardware appliance in their data center."
Quadrant has made a comfortable living with its FastFax line of products, which are basically "black box" computers loaded with Dialogic fax cards and Quadrant's software for integrating with popular IBM i applications, such as MAPICS, Oracle's JD Edwards, VAI's S2K, JDA Software's MMS, and others. Customers can send and receive faxes directly from their ERP screens, or manage faxes from their Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes email environments.
Now, with QuadraDocV, Quadrant can offer the same set capabilities that it delivered with FastFax--including email and ERP integration--while completely eliminating the need for a boatload of fax cards and a mess of phone lines leading to the public phone network.
QuadraDocV combines FoIP technology from Dialogic with Quadrant's expertise in connecting with the IBM i server. Everything is delivered as software that at this point only runs under VMware. The only other requirement is to have a VoIP-enabled switch. Customers without a VoIP switch can utilize a gateway that allows them to continue using regular phone lines.
Besides the VoIP switch, customers don't need to buy anything else besides QuadraDocV to start doing FOIP, Woodard says. "They buy our product, plug it into an existing server, register it on the network, and start sending faxes just like they used to when they had analog lines and a fax card plugged into the wall," he says.
FoIP has the potential to save customers money and bolster the reliability of their fax environment. Money is saved by eliminating the need for leasing phones lines and also by boosting the server utilization through virtualization. Reliability is improved by eliminating the hardware element and also by making it easier to replicate and re-create virtual environments.
QuadraDocV only runs on VMware's hypervisor today, but plans are to support Microsoft HyperV and Xen's hypervisor in the future, Woodard says.
Quadrant currently has about 3,500 fax customers, Woodard says. Customers that choose to continue running hardware fax solutions will continue to get support from Quadrant. But for Quadrant, the future is definitely resting on software.
"This is important for Quadrant," Woodard says. "We've been around for 20 years. We've done well with fax and forms, and now we're taking it to another level. The goal for Quadrant is to become a true software company, and this is the next step."
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This article was corrected. Steve Woodard's name was misspelled. IT Jungle regrets the error.
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