Cisco Application eXtension Platform (AXP) with Sagemcom XMediusFax Server Solution
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Updated:July 13, 2011
Compliance and corporate governance initiatives are pushing more organizations from unmanaged and unconnected fax machines to fax servers, as fax servers provide better records and traceability for document communication, specifically faxes that are sent or received.
Innovative, productivity-enhancing unified communications solutions are being deployed by enterprises worldwide, transforming how they do business by improving access to information and people anywhere, any time and the speed of overall communications.
The promise of unified communications is really about eliminating islands of communication and to improve overall business process integration. Fax is one of those islands that most people forget about, yet it is one that brings a strong return on investment (ROI) case to unified communications and IP convergence.
The Cisco Integrated Services Router has been instrumental in bringing business services and the networking infrastructure together and significantly reducing operational costs. The Cisco
® Application Extension Platform (AXP) provides a powerful and flexible environment to extend the benefits of this concept. It enables hosting and integration of custom applications and network services, like fax, into the Cisco Integrated Services Routers. Using the AXP, the ISR becomes a powerful integration platform to build and host complete vertical-centric solutions.
Fax is still a critical communication component in use every day in the corporate world. It is the prevailing, preferred,
legally-binding method for transmitting critical, time-sensitive, and confidential information, yet it often remains completely unmanaged and unsecured.
• U.S. pharmacy chains use fax servers to log prescriptions, renewals, and clarifications from doctors in every state they serve.
• Financial institutions use fax to process multibillion-dollar transactions.
• Large global investment companies log significant fax traffic with orders and confirmations from customers.
• Law firms use fax servers and fax machines to exchange hand-marked-up contract drafts, as well as final signed versions, as legally valid means of communications.
• A manufacturer of cleaning supplies uses fax to respond to requests for U.S. Material Safety Data sheets for emergencies. Requests may come from hospitals and fire departments with no e-mail or Web service.
Companies face challenges with traditional faxing, including high costs for deploying fax machines, Multi-Function Printers (MFP) dedicated analog circuits, and consumables. Furthermore, faxes are often left in open areas, vulnerable to the eyes of unintended recipients.
Cisco and Sagemcom: Creating a Complete Unified Communications Solution
Because organizations rely on fax communications as part of their day-to-day processes, they require an integrated approach to address faxing as part of a complete unified communications strategy. The Cisco Integrated Services Router plus Cisco Applications Extension Platform address the challenges associated with fax by teaming with the market leader Sagemcom XMediusFAX T.38 Fax over IP (FoIP) Fax Server product.
The Cisco AXP-XMediusFAX solution offers advantages such as:
• Integrates with the Cisco Integrated Services Router Series 2800 and 3800(no server required) on an Application Runtime Network Module (NME)
• Greatly reduced analog connections and traditional fax connectivity issues sometimes found in IP networks
• Significant cost reduction by eliminating dedicated analog fax circuits, equipment, maintenance costs, and supplies
• E-mail integration so Cisco Unified Communications users save time by sending and receiving faxes from their desktops
• Real-time delivery any time, anywhere to support critical business communications
• Automated faxing from enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems (for example, SAP, Siebel, and Oracle)
• Security and privacy protection for confidential fax documents
• Supports deployments of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CallManager) Version 4.2(3) and Version 6.1+
AXP-XMediusFAX is an easy-to-install, easy-to-manage fax solution whose unique value proposition includes:
• Operates within the Cisco Integrated Services Router, providing high reliability and the benefits of inherent security features like IPSec and Virtual Private Networks available with Cisco IOS
– Saves on extra servers, fax boards, rack space, and energy consumption
– Tight integration into the network infrastructure
– Provides transparent enhanced Active Directory integration for fast deployment
– Archives all fax transactions to any network storage device
– Is completely transparent to end users
• The Cisco Application Runtime Network Module provides dedicated resources for processing, memory and storage, independent of the Integrated Services Router to host Sagemcom XMediusFAX.
• The Cisco Application Extensions Platform hosting environment provides the infrastructure to securely host, install, upgrade, manage and 3rd party applications and services.
How It Works
Sagemcom's XMediusFAX FoIP technology runs natively on the Cisco AXP platform streamlining the branch environment. (Figure 1)
Figure 1. Before and After (Cisco AXP-XMediusFAX)
AXP Product Overview
The Cisco Application eXtensions Platform (AXP) provides a standards-based Linux hosting environment within the ISR allowing 3rd parties to integrate applications with the router. Tightly integrated, the AXP environment is configured and managed through the router. Harnessing this integration, an AXP application can appear to the end-user as an extension of the router.
• Application eXtensions Platform Hosting environment providing the infrastructure to securely host, install, upgrade, manage and 3rd party applications and services.
• IOS Integration APIs allowing the application to integrate and leverage the features of the router.
• Software Developer Kit (SDK) allowing certified customers and partners to develop applications and services.
• AXP Partner Program provides the collateral, extended technical support and online resources to help partners, develop, deploy and market their AXP based solutions.
Solution and Business Highlights
The combined solution further extends the value of existing or planned Cisco Unified Communications deployments through:
• Reduced ongoing fax machine-related costs.
– Eliminate junk faxes
– Reduce overall printing costs, paper consumption, toner, and maintenance
– Improve presence and increase user productivity by up to 90 percent
• Reduced hardware footprint: a green initiative
– Eliminate single-purpose server hardware
– Avoid unnecessary deployment of servers to preserve local fax numbers
– Help ensure remote site survivability for mission-critical faxing
– Reduce energy consumption
• Extremely low total cost of ownership (TCO)
– Is easy to deploy and manage for the IT professional
– Is part of the Cisco network with familiar Cisco CLI for IOS
– Has reduced server refresh requirements and costs
– Is software-only solution: no expensive fax boards or third-party integration kits required
– A central Web management interface across the network
• Secure sensitive fax transactions
– Leverage the security features inherently available with Cisco IOS to further secure fax communications
– Route sensitive documents to designated recipients, including secured printers
– Provide audit trail of fax transactions to facilitate compliance requirements (for example, Sarbanes-Oxley, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA], and payment card industry [PCI])
Sagemcom Inc. is the global leader in advanced fax server solutions for IP networks. Its field-proven XMediusFAX
® leverages IP telephony and Unified Communications systems to enhance productivity, collaboration and ROI by integrating fax on the desktop. Deployed worldwide in enterprises and service provider sites since 2002, XMediusFAX is the most mature T.38 Fax over IP (FoIP) software on the market. Sagemcom is perpetually "Changing the Way You Fax" with its recognized excellence in delivering FoIP innovations.