Image of Fax Machine

November 1st, 2022, the UK communications regulator, Ofcom, has officially proposed to remove the requirement for telecom operators to provide FAX (facsimile) services under their legally-binding Universal Service Obligation (USO).

The trusty fax machine (more formally known as a facsimile machine), ubiquitous in office environments in the 1980s and 1990s, which has gradually been rendered obsolete by Internet-based technologies such as email and the WWW, is finally being switched off. These handy devices and their early versions with horrible thermal paper were one of the earliest types of electronic digital communications. No office of any size could operate without one – exchanging financial documents, proof of signature, sketches and more, the list of stuff being transferred was endless with this new technology. It was a real step forward from waiting for information to be delivered by post and slowing down communication. From taking days to (nearly!) instantaneous, distributed organisations would have fax machines in every location and department – direct point-to-point communication was here and delivering a huge leap forward in efficiency and productivity. So the last fax machines, with a final beep, whir and a click, are being consigned to history as email has taken over – yet it would have been inconceivable to be disposing of this technology during its heydays in the ’80s and 90s’ – so how will we feel when we (inevitably) turn off our email servers in the next decade? 

Impossible? We have become as reliant on email as we were on the fax machine back in the day, but already we are deluged with its possible successors – Whatsapp, Instagram, Messenger, TikTok, Teams, SMS, the list is endless with new possibilities arriving all the time – but not one becoming as ubiquitous as the fax machine or email they would like to replace. So why has email not been as clearly superseded as its predecessor? It’s certainly not down to a lack of choice. The problem is the plethora of potential replacements fail to provide a GUARANTEED connection to the addressee with content that is relevant – so many choices, and so we still suffer from an abundance of information that is not pertinent to our role, location, skills, attributes, activities, and place in the hierarchy – so then we ignore or miss critical coordinated information. So what will supersede email?

Clearly, not any of the new pretenders to the ‘essential communications’ throne, but there is an answer – Metro Unified Comms combines all of your intercompany communications with one tailorable interface guaranteed to ensure ALL communications are in one place, and your workforce only gets RELEVANT communications that are pertinent to them – not a deluge of different forms of content, in different places, with no fitness of purpose.


Imagine if your workplace in Microsoft Teams or Outlook could have all types of communication (even fax!) in one place. And when you needed to communicate to an audience with particular attributes, it could be selected through an intelligent audience picker to ensure that every instruction, request, or piece of content applied to the individual’s requirements – making it worthwhile to read, act and confirm regardless of the medium used to transmit. A complete consolidation of organised communication and not a random time consuming, confusing plethora of different tasks, activities and content from competing parts of the organisation. So when will you take the next step and be ahead of the competition to be better organised and more productive?

Then, when will you turn your email servers off? 

Get in touch today to learn more.

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