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A Note from the President: Discovering a Steve Jobs for Fax Pioneers

by Scott Riley
Scott Riley
Founder and CEO – Scott Riley Mr. Riley has 23 years of experience in the Engin
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on Oct 17 in FaxServer

On Oct 5, 2011, a technology maverick, marketing genius, warrior, and one of my dearest role models was lost. While reading the republished article "The Tale of Steve Jobs and the Five Dragons" (follow link below for access to the full story), I flashed back on my career in the fax server technology industry with pride and accomplishment.  In 2011, fax technology once again picks up speed at an astonishing rate.  Fax has evolved to find its place in the new era of Unified Messaging, Unified Communications, IP communications, Cloud computing and transactional document capture and delivery.  Rumor has it, Google and Microsoft both still use and need fax for a variety of business communications and processes.  The naysayers of the future of fax, both within the industry itself, and outsiders who don't have a clue, are unaware that their negative psychological investments, blogs and white paper omissions will never defeat such a simple and smart technology with words.  Comparatively so, it is not unlike the naysayers of Apple and NeXT who nearly wrote Steve Jobs and his ventures off in the 90's. The difference between naysayers and Steve Jobs is Vision.......

In the 1980's, 1990's, and the new millennium, I recollect how many dragons were slain in the name of secure document exchange via telecommunications (secretly known as a form of fax), by a small group of eclectic software vendors, hardware vendors, and reseller pioneers. I also asked myself - why does the fax industry not garner its deserved headlines; why do the "folks" forget how many lives are saved by fax; or how much bread is buttered by fax?  Oh, and best of all, why those are brainwashed into email as the answer to all problems; really? seriously?  Please move on, that is a very tired story.  I regress to a recent statistic from AllSpammedUp (10/7/2011) that "Malicious spam has risen from about 2 billion a day to over 25 billion a day since August."  So my question, why do people have amnesia about the killer app that is electronic fax?

Answer: Fax technology is missing the Steve Jobs effect; or maybe it needs a new moniker; or both. Admittedly so, fax server technology is not "hip" - it was not designed to educate, entertain and connect humanity like the iPod, iPhone and iPad. However, fax has been modernized by business process demands, and legal, real time, "dollar document" delivery (see the article on "fax modernization"). As I opined at IT Expo 2011, you can likely peg the life of modernized fax to the utility and existence of business paper and ball point pens.  When they stop making those products, call me, we'll have lunch.

The fax server technology industry does not lack innovation - it lacks inspiration. It lacks an entrepreneurial champion with marketing savvy, relentless drive, and a technical team willing to see the future of point to point secure and legal document exchange.  The fax industry would benefit from Steve Jobs and his team. But Steve Jobs has moved on, and his vision and lessons should not be lost; that would be a waste, as are many history lessons.  Fax technology needs a Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs where are you?  Is there a Steve Jobs among us?

Here is the article.  Tale-of-steve-jobs-and-the-five-dragons

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About the author

Scott Riley

Founder and CEO – Scott Riley
Mr. Riley has 23 years of experience in the Engineering and Computer Industry, and founded One Touch Global Technologies, Inc., in 1990 for the purpose of creating, delivering and managing electronic documents. Scott has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and served as a commissioned U.S. Naval Officer with specialized training as a Civil Engineer for Construction Management, Contract Acquisition and Administration, serving as an assistant Public Works Office and Staff Civil Engineer. Prior to being commissioned, Scott also worked as a contract electrical engineer at Naval Oceans System Center. Beginning in 1992 under Scott's direction, One Touch Global published two key products for the faxing industry, the first called ProFax which thrived as a pioneer product for the construction industry. Later TargetFax was introduced to continue a long standing vision of automating the world of electronic documents, and fits in the overall solution category of computerizing paper and business transactions.
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