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Alcom LanFax

Type of Program:Networked Fax server
Supported Platforms:NT4, with Win95 or Win3.x workstations
Company Name:Alcom
Version:NT 5.0
Price:varies according to size of install
Installed Size:4.3Mb

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I use desk-top based faxing all day in work, and our company has tested many different programs. There is not one in the marketplace as feature-rich as Alcom LanFax. The technical side of the program is well designed, and bears the coveted "Designed for BackOffice" logo from Microsoft. There are major compatibility advantages to the product, such as the ability to use it with Exchange or Outlook, the seamless integration with most Microsoft products and the lack of irritating bugs.

As an end-user, it is the interface that interests me most, and here Lanfax scores very highly. Attachments for many fax packs is a problem, with Lanfax a friendly, familiar Explorer view pops up to let you locate the right attachment, and it will allow Word documents as well as the usual text ones. It has an intelligent retry too - if a four page fax fails on page three, then it resends just three and four and does not irritate the recipient with the whole thing all over again. Each fax has configurable preferences for retries, header and sender information which is far more flexible than the usual central configuration offered. You can automatically print the faxes if you wished to, however it is far better to receive them in your Outlook intray and deal with them then and there!

The Intrafax feature is amazing - using a web browser you can send, receive and read faxes through Lanfax anywhere in the world. Even if you are away from the office, and the only computer available is a Mac or Unix, the HTML-based Intrafax will still let you send, receive, edit and delete your faxes on the server back at the office.

Support is very good - I received a reply to my emailed enquiry within a record-breaking fifteen minutes, and it was polite, interested and not a bit patronizing (even though it turned out I was asking a REALLY dumb question!) Further email exchanges were equally pleasant, the advice was detailed and careful and it was very obvious that Alcom really care about customer service.

Lanfax NT5 can be purchased from authorized resellers, or from the web site using EWarehouse. Alcom will provide quotes from their web page, and for any companies with an NT server, Alcom provide a "starter pack" on their web site free of all crippling or limitations so that the customer may fully evaluate the product.

Lanfax will efficiently send, receive and manage faxes on a network, make life easier for the end-user sat at the desk-top, and work in harmony with Microsoft NT4 and most Microsoft products. Alcom LanFax NT5 is a thoroughly good-tempered, well designed and carefully supported product ideal for a busy office.

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Reviewed by Sue Abbott (sue@amaze.demon.co.uk)


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