• Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


Bringing Faxes to the Cloud

About MBIE

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is the New Zealand Government’s business-facing agency. MBIE is responsible for many of the regulatory systems used by New Zealand’s markets spanning building, communications, competition, consumer, commercial, energy, financial, intellectual property, petroleum and minerals. MBIE’s purpose is to grow New Zealand for all.

"Our cloud-based software solution has enabled a number of critical government systems to retire their fax machines without missing a single message."

The challenge

Replacing fax machines

It may come as a surprise but faxing remains alive and well, especially for rural businesses carrying out essential administration like registering companies and vehicles. Countless emails flash back and forth, but millions of faxes travel the world daily too.  Each year MBIE receives over 25,000 fax messages. MBIE had identified the need to replace their reliance on fax machines with a digital solution.

Compatibility with modern systems

Fax machines are still widely used due to compliance requirements, the need to link with legacy systems and user’s reluctance to change. In the 60 years it has been around, fax technology has become increasingly incompatible with more modern tools and ways of working. MBIE had a need to modernise their processes whilst ensuring a new solution could easily integrate with their existing systems and ways of working.

The solution

Electronic faxing for a critical government system

As part of a competitive tender process, our team deep-dived into MBIE’s problem statement. We quickly recognised the opportunity to introduce a software solution based on electronic faxing. Our approach sees all faxes sent to a specified list of MBIE telephone numbers being converted into electronic files before being delivered securely to MBIE mailboxes. Our proposal outlined a cloud-based software solution, bespoke to MBIE.

Bespoke secure software

Ultimately the proposal was successful, and the solution was designed, built and is now maintained by Lancom Technology. Recognising the need to protect sensitive public information, the solution recognises the intended recipient and department within a large government entity and ensures the information is delivered to the correct place, providing a level of resilience and robustness appropriate for a critical government system.

The results

A smart solution

Our fax to email software allows the sender to use a traditional fax machine, fax service, or fax server to send the document in real-time over the phone network but provides the recipient with the convenience of email delivery. Our smart solution identifies the text within the fax before determining the subject and the intended recipient. It then converts the fax and sends the email to the appropriate mailboxes. The system allows for emails to be transmitted from within the government and to be sent externally in fax format.

Seamless transition and 100% uptime

Obtaining a phone line and fax machine is still the simplest and least technical way for a small company to begin communicating with the outside world. With many companies relying on their fax machines, it was vital a smooth transition took place and we’re proud our solution has achieved 100% uptime, exceeding the MBIE target of 99.5%.

Cloud solution saving time and money

Hosted in the cloud, our software solution has replaced MBIE’s physical fax machinery. During COVID-19 there has been a large increase in fax submissions but being in the cloud, the software has been able to automatically scale up to support these spikes and the peak volumes that occur around financial year-end. MBIE has also been able to redeploy employees previously tasked with managing fax submissions so they are better able to help grow New Zealand whilst saving time and money.

Secure and future proof

When compared with a traditional fax machine that would print a hard copy of the received fax where it could be viewed by anybody walking by, our fax to email solution represents a significant improvement in security practices. From the end user's perspective, the ability to receive the fax electronically means greater productivity and the ability to easily integrate faxing within MBIE’s workflows since the fax is already in an electronic format.

Services used

Software Development

  • Bespoke Development

  • Integration

  • Managed Services for Software

  • Middleware

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