[thelist] faxing online orders?

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Mon Feb 25 10:46:14 CST 2008

Stephen Rider noted:

>>Let's apply a little Holmsian logic here.  The customer wants to
>>have only one physical device to fiddle with.  You have two options:

>>1) Set him up with a service that sends his emails to his fax.
>>2) Set him up with a computer that:

Hi there 'Holmes',

Mythinks you missed the bits about (1) the client *already* owning a fax machine,
and (2) the client *not wanting* any additional hardware.  That constrains the
solution a bit.

The trick is to find a way to set up the sandwich menu online to allow a customer
to press an 'order' button and have the request get/post/watusi it's way to printing
on the fax machine already sitting in the sandwich shop.

Now, the 'service' idea may actually work.  There are certainly an astonishing number
of 'fax to email' services available!  But the ones I looked at (briefly) seemed more
interested in helping you get rid of your fax hardware than allowing you to
extend it to the web.  Moreover, they mostly seem to entail setting up your menu
to email to the third party service that faxes to you -- which means additional cost
at an operational level and also additional time and complexity to resolve any 'service
outage' issues when they arise.

[I searched for a couple minutes, but did not see anything very promising ...
except for a purchasable technical paper published a few years back that _claimed_
to cover the technical details of 'web form to fax machine'. Don't know if it
actually had enough details to allow implementation or not ... and I wasn't quite
bored enough to read through the freely available tech specs on facsimile compression


(The game may be afoot ... but the solution has yet to step forward.)

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