Ashland University, MT Business Technologies collaborate to cut analog fax lines by 80%

Ashland University: Fax Lines Case Study

BACKGROUNDDownload PDF

Ashland University is a nationally accredited, private, non-profit university located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. The university serves more than 6,000 students across all its departments and disciplines.

Challenges

Ashland University deploys over 100 multifunction devices (copiers that can also scan, fax, print, etc.) across their nine campuses. Up until recently, nearly every one of the devices was equipped with a dedicated fax line and the internal hardware to support it.

As part of a larger project to prepare the university to move to VOIP communication services, AU defined a project that looked closely at how fax lines were being used and if efficiencies could be gained with newer technology.

The Team

Craig Iceman, Ashland’s long-time Account Manager, led the effort for MTBT and coordinated extensively with Mark Usher, Director of Infrastructure and Security for Ashland University.

Solutions

Usher began by looking at usage patterns across all of the fax lines and surveying users. The data told a compelling story.

80% of the dedicated fax lines could be eliminated, as long as users could still send a fax from any device.

Ashland collaborated with MTBT to create a solution. Ashland installed a hybrid on-premises / cloud fax server that “ports the fax numbers to a telecom center allowing for much greater flexibility in IT infrastructure, while continuing to provide continuity of service”, according to Usher.

The team at MTBT then configured their MFP’s with address book and user data that makes the process of sending a fax seem almost the same as sending through a conventional line.

Results

MTBT proposed a solution which included all new multifunctional devices with the elimination of the internal hardware supporting dedicated fax lines from over 80 of them. The refreshed fleet saved Ashland University $2,256 per month or $142,128 over the term of the contract.

Further, elimination of the dedicated fax lines will potentially save an additional $2,000 annually, according to Usher.

And perhaps most importantly, users saw virtually no negative impact on their fax services once the transition was complete. “We are effectively faxing without a traditional analog phone line.”, said Usher.