Even more fax features in SBS 2003

Good labor day weekend to you in the USA! I am harry brelsford, the author of windows small business server 2003 best practices and each day i am posting up bookage on a complimentary basis for your consumption pleasure. Sounds sexy eh?

Anyways – today we discuss even more fax features in SBS 2003.



Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!


More Fax Features

A few other cool features are included with the SBS Fax Server, many of which I’ll discuss in more detail later:

          Fax Modem Pool Support.Like prior releases of SBS, the current SBS 2003 release is limited to four fax devices. That’s because the underly­ing Windows Server 2003 standard edition operating system imposes this limit (other Windows Server 2003 SKUs don’t have this limit)

 BEST PRACTICE: This device limitation doesn’t mean that the fax service ignores exceeding devices (such as having more than four fax modems). Rather, it only means that up to four fax devices can be used to send or receive faxes at any given time. Other devices will show up during that time (in the Fax-related user interface) but they will not send or receive faxes and can not be configured to do so.

Using the default modem pool actually supports limited group faxing on outbound faxing. That is, if everyone prints to the same fax printer from the desktop, the faxes can all be sent at the same time because each fax modem would use a separate fax line to initiate its call. This discussion is conceptually similar to printer pooling.

BEST PRACTICE: This fax modem pool capability also has a role for inbound faxing. When combined with a hunt-line capability from your telco, Microsoft Fax allows you to offer never-a-busy-signal­level services for your customers trying to fax your firm. Essentially, all your customers send faxes to a single published fax line, say 206­123-1235 for SPRINGERS. If a customer attempts to send a fax, and the first fax modem is occupied, the telco’s hunt capability provides the capability to have the second, third, or fourth modem receive the inbound fax call. Cool, eh?

Theoretically, all four fax modems, assuming you have that many, could receive faxes at the same time. And because a small business would almost never receive more than four faxes simultaneously, you could advertise your business as never having a busy fax line!

I should also note that a fax modem pool also facilitates

simultaneous inbound and outbound faxing operations, something

 Visit http://www.smbnation.com for additional SMB and SBS book, newsletter and conference resources.

many small businesses can enjoy only if they have truly separate fax machines. It’s a tip worth mentioning to the small business owner seeking more information on how to use multiple telephone lines and a fax modem pool.

                      Fax board support. Starting with the SBS 2000 launch in Atlantic City in February 2001, a collective “halleluiah” went up with the announce­ment of native SBS 2000 support for fax modem boards, such as the offerings from Brooktrout. Such support continues today with SBS 2003. In fact, a representative from Brooktrout was on hand to bask in his moment of glory and answer questions (Brooktrout support in the SBS 2003 time frame is shown in Figure 9-2). This is a long-requested capability in SBS, and those who take faxing seriously greatly appreci­ate this capability.

                      Cover Pages. The SBS Fax Server also includes a set of fax cover pages for your use. You can also create your own fax cover pages via Fax Cover Page Editor or the Microsoft Fax Viewer software. Be ad­vised that the use of a computerized faxing solution, such as the SBS Fax Server, eliminates the ability to use the popular Post-it Fax Notes (the physical kind you paste onto manual faxes). These tiny scraps of paper, with a sticky backing, are typically attached to the header of the first fax page when using an actual fax machine. Because you can’t physically attach such as a Post-it Note to a computer-generated fax, you need to be content with using SBS Fax Server-based cover pages when transmitting. You manage cover pages via the Fax (Local) object under Standard Management on the Server Management console with the Manage Cover Pages link.

                      Management Control. Via the Fax (Local) object under Standard Man­agement in the Server Management console, you can manage the fax function for your small business in SBS 2003. By default, everyone can use the fax function, something I show later in my security discus­sion. Member of the Fax Operators security group may manage fax queues and fax cover pages. More on fax security and control later.


Figure 9-2

Because the Fax Service in Windows Server 2003 is exactly the same in SBS 2003, Brooktrout’s support for SBS 2003 is unquestioned.


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