When asked to picture a lifesaving device, your mind may sooner wander to a life vest than to a fax machine. But while opportunities to take full advantage of those sporty orange vests are rare, automated fax solution DbFax can save an uncounted number of lives daily by mere efficiency. With the inclusion of the automated fax system by document management and imaging company Version One, BT now auto-sends upwards of 30,000 faxes per month. And these aren't just ordinary faxes; they're critical messages that go out to Internet Service Providers, customers and even emergency services, informing each of problems in their respective networks or of scheduled maintenance. Problems with the 999 service can be reported to emergency services up to 45 minutes sooner than your standard fax. And in that time, according to BT, lives can be saved.
Before the implementation of DbFax a network incident took serious legwork to report. BT describes a typical scenario with the example of a hypothetical cut cable. One person must look up the customers, authorities and services affected, then organize that data. Two or three other people must then manually fax the resulting incident reports out.
In the context of the now discarded manual fax process, BT Solutions Engineer Andy Sutcliffe reflects, "DbFax is saving 45 minutes per incident and as there are up to 90 incidents every day across the UK and Ireland, the total time savings are phenomenal! Most importantly, with DbFax, informing the emergency services that there is a fault with the 999 service can be done more quickly than ever before, ensuring their incident management procedures are underway within moments of the problem being detected. This includes police getting mobile phones to doctors' surgeries and medical centres in the affected area."
Indeed. Instead of using human eyes (risking potential human error) to sift through data, separate it and send faxes, DbFax automatically looks up the appropriate numbers and sends the faxes out without any necessary prompting by a person at all.
Faxes are also more detailed, including valuable information about where the problem is or will be, which services will be affected, and how long an incident may last.
BT's incident management system is an in-house tool developed with Oracle and an Oracle web solution. Oracle recently expressed plans to acquire Stellent, a ECM and records management solution provider that, like Version One, also specializes in business services like imaging. DbFax is seamlessly integrated into this system, electronically producing and sending its data directly from BT's incident management platform.
"We used to have eleven centres managing incidents and now there are just two as a result of more efficient processes, which have largely come about thanks to DbFax," Sutcliffe gushes. "BT's reporting of incidents and planned works has been truly revolutionised thanks to DbFax - we couldn't live without it!"
With accolades that warm, we entertain a growing curiosity about just how many lives actually are saved in that extra 45 minutes.