Rules-based Routing of Inbound Faxes

Biscom’s Advanced Fax Routing (AFR) utility takes the process of receiving incoming faxes to a whole new level. In the simplest terms, it enables a fax service administrator to specify routing actions to be executed when specified conditions are met. These actions can range from very simple – redirect faxes when the recipient is out of the office – to highly complex – extracting information from the received fax image and doing a database lookup for delivery instructions.

An additional advantage of the utility is how it is implemented: both as a fax administrator-level utility that includes all possible actions, and as a fax user-level utility that includes just a subset of basic actions. While a fax service administrator accesses the utility from within the Biscom Suite, fax users access the subset of the utility from within their Biscom Client.

Implementing Advanced Fax Routing

While many organizations have implemented AFR by running the utility themselves and specifying the appropriate conditions and actions for routing faxes, other organizations may require outside help. Some organizations, for example, may have particularly sophisticated workflows to be defined and implemented, while other organizations may feel their IT staff is already overburdened. In such cases, Biscom’s Professional Services Group can work with the customer to create the rules necessary to automate the process of routing received faxes. Because the Application Engineers that comprise the Professional Services Group have the knowledge that only comes from experience, they are particularly effective and efficient in getting AFR in place. And the more quickly AFR is in place and working, the more quickly an organization can start to realize savings in both time and money.

How Barcode/Optical Character Recognition Makes It Possible

One of the main categories of AFR rules are Rules that extract information from the fax
image to control the final route of the fax. To extract information from the fax, AFR uses
both Barcode and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) processes. Barcode Recognition scans and interprets the barcode, while OCR Recognition converts the fax image to searchable, extractable text.

How Biscom Customers Are Using AFR

Here are two examples of how Biscom customers save time, and by extension, money, with AFR:

  • An insurance claims form received via fax includes a claim number printed in a box on the
    form. An OCR of the fax extracts the claim number, a database lookup identifies the agent
    working on that claim, and the fax is automatically routed to that agent.
  • A fax is received that contains multiple accounting reports, each with its own barcode which then triggers an AFR action to split the fax into separate faxes for processing.



ARF routing isn’t just to fax
individuals and groups; faxes can be
automatically routed to a wide range
of destinations:


  •  A valid email address — either as
    a file attachment to an email
    message, or an email message notification that includes a UNC link to the fax file.
  • Print — automatically printed,
    with a choice of such printing
    options as whether to print a
    banner page, whether to include the fax reception report in the
    banner page, whether to include additional notes.
  • Biscom Secure File Transfer — delivered to Biscom’s SFT
    application. When faxes are
    received to SFT, the recipient
    receives an email message with an embedded link to a secure website from which they can download the
    received file.
  • FTP/SFTP — routed to the
    specified FTP/SFTP server, with a choice of image format, either TIFF
    or PDF.
  • A SharePoint Document Library — sent to a Document Library that resides on a SharePoint site, with
    the choice of image format, either TIFF if there is no need for the fax to be searchable, or searchable PDF.

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