Mail.Com and Net400 Team Up to Offer Internet Fax Service

Despite the pervasiveness of email, tried-and-true facsimile transmission is still in use, in particular when businesses exchange purchase orders, invoices, and legal documents. Increasingly, instead of placing a paper document in a fax machine, dialing the recipient’s fax number and hitting send, fax capability is being integrated with email systems. But integrating fax with email takes time and money, and aiming to alleviate the management and cost of installing a fax server hardware and software, AS/400 email vendor Net400 Inc. (Woodstock, Ga.) recently partnered with Internet messaging service provider Mail.com Inc. (New York) to allow AS/400 shops to outsource Internet-based faxing.

“AS/400 network administrators are dealing with a lot of manual labor and expenses with faxing, but if they can treat fax distribution like email distribution the cost and maintenance are minimized,” says Wilton Rooks, president of Net400. “They don’t have to deal with the PC-based fax server and the extra phone lines and they can treat fax distribution lists as one list of email documents. Mail.com receives the email and converts it to fax format.”

Announced in September, the partnership lets users of Net400’s NetMail*400 software -- which delivers email capability to AS/400 ‘green screen’ applications – to send an email to a recipients fax number. Mail.com's Internet fax services allow users to send and receive faxes from their email using file attachments such as Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF, TIF, Corel, VISIO and other formats, without needing additional client hardware or software on the client side.

“Mail.com can send an invoice in PDF format, for example, which will look like an invoice when it is printed out from a fax machine. What users avoid is the cost in staff and equipment on-site to manage their faxing,” says Rooks.

Mail.com added Internet fax services to its existing email messaging services when the company acquired NetMoves Corp. in February. With this acquisition, NetMoves joins Mail.com's Business Messaging Division, based in Edison, N.J. Mail.com claims to have 9,000 customers worldwide.

Commenting on the partnership with Net400, John Pappas, director of North American sales for Mail.com, says, “Companies are looking at implementing fax server technology, but faxing from the AS/400 can get expensive, but with our solution there’s no software or hardware to deploy. Our customers can save thousands of dollars because they don’t have to implement expensive hardware. They can use their existing infrastructure, she cost savings is huge.”

As a result of the partnership Net400 became a reseller of Mail.com’s faxing services, says Rooks. “It’s sort of a quid pro quo arrangement: Mail.com encountered AS/400 users, and we can provide the AS/400 email software.”

Pricing for Mail.com’s fax service includes a $40 per user sign-up fee, which decreases as the number of users increases. In addition, each fax message costs 10 cents per page, which also decreases with volume.