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FaxFacts fax software

TR114™– LAN Fax Application

Office Supply Companies May be All The Same, but Brooktrout And Copia Help BSC Stand Out From The Ten-Pack

"How can we use faxing to increase our order rate?" Dan McLean, Vice President of Marketing at BSC, which supplies businesses across the country with technology-related products like headsets and DAT tapes, asked himself this question as he pondered how to increase revenues and productivity.

"Ten years ago, we could support an outside sales force, but not today," says Mr. McLean. "price, service, availability–being in the right place at the right time–those are what help cut expenses and give the customers an immediate turnaround."

Many solutions were evaluated before BSC saw the inherent value in the Brooktrout/Copia approach. They tried broadcast faxing with a long-distance carrier, but found the cost per minute too high, the range of acceptable documents too limiting, and the reporting capability too shallow from what amounted to a service bureau. Their next long-distance carrier recommended a board-in-a-PC solution. They found that buying a board strictly on price wasn’t the answer. One manufacturer’s board and Window’s interface were inflexible, another board provider offered bad customer service, but, once on this path, they found Copia and Brooktrout.

Copia’s approach, called FaxFacts™, unites the Brooktrout TR114™ Universal Port™ card and Copia’s unique approach to solving high-volume faxing problems with a single card solution. It’s open, nonproprietary, and digital, with flexible software, features, and direction.

"Copia’s FaxFacts solution gives fax broadcast and fax-on-demand right out of the box," says McLean. "It’s also got a fax routing module (which works directly with Brooktrout’s patented Direct Inward Dialing), credit card processing, optical character recognition, and other capabilities. Other enhancements can be added modularly. What we like best about it is the MS Word™ mail merge/print feature. We can send a very nice cover sheet similar in concept to doing a mail merge to a printer except it prints to the fax. This feature also allows you to attach other pages to that feature, and it’s installable under Windows."

With the Copia system in place, the next piece of the solution was to go totally digital. Both BSC and Copia identified Brooktrout as the preferred vendor. "Copia selected the Brooktrout TR114 card for three reasons," says Dorothy Gaden, Vice President of Marketing at Copia.

  1. Brooktrout’s support of the Windows NT® environment, which helped Copia bring FaxFacts for NT to market sooner.
  2. The Brooktrout technical support staff and its willingness to "go the extra mile" in resolving issues.
  3. Brooktrout’s wide range of products-from a simple two-channel fax board to four or eight channel combined voice and fax cards opened a wide range of larger applications to Copia; e.g., a network solution could handle upwards of 9,999 lines of faxing capabilities.

    "We felt that Brooktrout was pushing the envelope, taking a technology they had perfected for large fax volume with a UNIX™ orientation and making it available to the little guys who want the leading-edge features of a fax and voice board that could sit in a PC," adds McLean. "Using NT off the shelf, we got it up and running with one person managing the whole operation! The NT solution is relatively new and easy to use. All you need is a CD-ROM to install it. We haven’t even turned on all the board’s features yet. It’s low maintenance and low investment but provides an upward mobility path."

BSC and Copia put together three TR114 8-channel digital boards with 24 lines terminating in a Brooktrout TREA-24. The telco’s T1 interface plugs right into the back of the card. The server is an off-the-shelf 486/D66 and the network is a Novell 3.11 dedicated to the fax solution. Sales, marketing, and accounting are all being folded into one LAN. They’ll give everyone a real-time capability for fax order processing, fax mail for the sales reps, and other functions which now are done only at certain times of day. Standalone fax machines are being eliminated-they don’t want someone standing at a machine watching a piece of paper go through. Having the Copia/Brooktrout solution increases productivity for BSC.

"We had budgeted $10K/month for direct mail, but even with telemarketing backing it up, the postal charges and inability to track each delivery led to a six-week sales cycle," McLean recalls. "We needed to get information to customers fast and turn around shipments in one to two weeks.

"With the new system, we’ve significantly reduced the cost of the sales process, which includes providing written information to clients about price and availability, by delivering the information ourselves electronically rather than using U.S. mail or a service bureau. They especially like being able to adjust prices for different parts of the country, which gives an immediacy that direct mail can’t match. In addition, BSC will reduce the number of phone bills from three or four to one that contains information on all its fax and voice traffic.

"We were one of Copia’s first customers for this solution," says McLean. "When they upgraded to the Brooktrout board, that became the fully digital, open solution we were looking for."

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