I was driving to work this week and encountered a fair bit of traffic one morning. I would imagine many of us do to one extent or another. I often deal with some that seems to always occur in certain parts of my commute, though on this day the traffic was unbearable.
I really didn’t know what was causing the traffic. There were no accidents (thankfully) and no signs of construction. I guess there were just lots of people out in their cars and not enough room for them all to fit.
Anyway, my unusually long commute got me thinking about traffic, specifically fax traffic. How it’s really important to size your fax server for the amount of fax traffic you have – both inbound and outbound. You want to make sure you have enough channels to meet your needs. Otherwise you might get complaints from your customers who’re trying to send you faxes but can’t because your channels are always busy. No one wants unhappy customers.
How many channels is enough? Like so many things in this world, the answer is “it depends.” A good rule of thumb to follow is the “one minute per fax page” model. Of course, some pages will take less than a minute and others will take more. Some will be sent at lower speeds and some at higher. Overall though one minute per page is good to use when determining how many channels you need.
For example, if you send 5,000 fax pages a day, that would take 4 channels if you did nothing but send outbound faxes constantly for 24 hours a day. If you tend to send those pages only during the work day, then you’d need about 12 channels to send that same number of pages in that smaller amount of time.
When sizing your fax server, you also need to note how much inbound fax traffic you typically get. You want to make sure to have enough channels free for those inbound calls too. When you’re sending faxes, you can plan when you want to do that, but inbound calls can occur at any time so it’s a good idea to pad your channels to make sure you always have some free to avoid those pesky busy signals. Some applications will also let you set your channels to be outbound only, inbound only, or both, and that can be useful in making sure you have channels available to take calls too.
With a little planning, you can make sure you will not only get your faxes out on time, but also not miss any important faxes coming in.