April 20, 2012
Take two guys who have worked on Wall Street, add a passion to create awesome software that solves challenging problems, and what do you get? No, not a crazy-weird day-trading platform that is so simple your dog can use it, and no, not a budget-tracking app for your smartphone. Instead, Josh Nankin (a coder) and Howard Avner (a sales/biz dev guy) created Phaxio, which makes it simple for software applications to send and receive faxes.
Yes, faxing. Developers have been neglecting the old and crusty fax industry because the technology couldn’t keep up with the Internet, even though faxing is still widely used in numerous industries.
“Companies of all sizes use fax because it works and it’s established in their workflow,” said Avner. “For example, doctor’s offices often request that information be sent to them by fax. They know that when a fax comes to their office, a particular secretary picks up the pages and files them – it’s an established process…. Generally, the bigger the company, the less they’d like to change their existing business processes, train employees and take risks on a startup.”
Phaxio, which we showcased at our Tech Cocktail Chicago mixer last night, is not a replacement for fax machines – they’re a B2B service and work with startups to get their foot in the door with much larger, established businesses that love faxing. Technical part for you developers out there: Phaxio has a REST API, JSON reponses, render HTML, URLs and string data (as well as letting you send pretty much all filetypes), let you provision phone numbers on the fly, have a great test environment and much more.
Still, faxing seems so…stale. Asked if faxing will eventually go the way of the horse-and-buggy, Avner replied, “We do see fax as a technology that will eventually be replaced. That being said, the B2B fax marketplace (our market) is alive and kicking and more than likely will be around for the next 10-15 years.
“In the long run, I think that cloud services are fax’s greatest obstacle. Phaxio sits in an interesting position between the actual faxing and cloud based document management. As is the case currently, we will continue to stay ahead of the fax industry and innovate so that when fax begins to die we can already offer our clients the proper replacement.”
Did you like this article?
Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!