Electronic document delivery is taking on new importance in customers' minds in the wake of terrorist attacks last week on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said one solution provider.
Customers now are giving serious consideration to technology they passed over a few months ago, such as communications appliances and fax servers, said Barry Malter, president and CEO of Advantage Technologies, a systems integrator in Armonk, N.Y.
In the wake of a disaster, customers often reevaluate their internal systems, looking closely at areas like data backup, he said.
"In the past, e-document delivery has been more in the background, but now it not only saves money but is something customers need to do to save the integrity of their business," Malter said.
Advantage Technologies sells e-document solutions such as Hewlett-Packard's Digital Sender 9100c appliance and Capteris' RightFax unified messaging software, Malter said.
With e-document delivery technology, copies of data faxed or e-mailed can be scanned automatically and archived at an off-site location.
"Customers are no longer constrained by their physical location," he said.
Advantage Technologies is also working hard to procure replacement equipment for companies impacted by the terrorist attacks, he said.
"We've put a special program in place to help existing and new clients," he said. "Our goal is to be able to get them [replacement systems] as soon as possible at the lowest prices possible."
Through its program, the solution provider is selling hardware to customers at prices that are at or below cost, he said. Advantage Technologies has about 10 to 15 clients impacted by the attacks, he said.
Distributors Ingram Micro and Tech Data are giving priority to hardware orders from attack victims, providing delivery of most systems within 24 hours, he added.
The solution provider is also helping customers find new office space and deal with power outages, he said.
"When we speak to customers, our point of view is that we have to get back to business as normal; otherwise, we let these [terrorists] win," Malter said.