Natural Data Inc.'s Digital Fax Server Natural Data Inc.
Natural Data Inc.'s Digital Fax Server
Natural Data Inc.'s Digital Fax Server
Natural Data Inc.'s Digital Fax Server Natural Data Inc. - The IP Communications Company
Data transfer and storage solutions for corporations, non-profit organizations and private businesses.
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Compliance for Incoming & Outgoing Faxes
Manage and Distribute Data Using Your Existing Fax Machines
Fax Documents Over the Internet
Cost Effective, Easy to Use, Environmentally Friendly
 
Print this Document

Resources > NOAH Document Retention Primer

NOAH Document Retention Primer

WHAT IS the NOAH Solution? Natural Data Inc. the designer of NOAH is the only company in the world that takes an extremely complex set of problems and provides an extremely powerful yet elegant solution to all of your faxing needs. Natural Data Inc. through NOAH can reduce dramatically the cost of dedicated fax lines associated with long distance by providing unique fax connectivity over the Internet connection you already have. In addition NOAH provides Microsoft Integration along with fax document retention, storage, archiving and logging for full Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. Best of all, these features are provided to you transparently without changing your fax machine or the way your staff currently use it!

In order to understand and appreciate the elegance of the NOAH Solution it is first necessary to come to, a rudimentary understanding of the true scope of the real problem that the “NOAH Solution” addresses. It is clearly a fact, in science, though generally little known and even less understood that until you come to an understanding of the problem and more important still, until you can clearly enunciate and formulate a description of the actual problem facing you a solution is not possible.

So what was the real problem that no one could solve? Prior to the advent of the NOAH Solution there was simply no way to unify all of the different forms of faxing into one fax solution that could recognize, deal with, route and direct all fax traffic both incoming and outgoing that originated from sources that included desktop faxing, IP faxing, traditional PSTN analog faxing, Fax service providers, T.38 protocol faxing. That was the problem and today NOAH is the ONLY SOLUTION for this problem. NOAH uniquely captures and stores whatever (NOAH captures the original image and provides a permanent record of what was sent or received through NOAH thus making document change or forgery impossible) you put through NOAH. Why is this important? Well clearly this feature provides 100% protection against any attempted data or intellectual property theft, data manipulation or any attempted forgeries plus provides a unique archive log that makes SOX compliance a breeze!

NOAH was conceived by a design engineer, who understood, years ago, the true nature of the actual problem posed by the existence, worldwide, of 120,000,000 easy to use, relatively inexpensive, totally reliable G3 fax machines, that were not (and at that time could not be) Internet enabled. These millions of Fax machines were used in every industry imaginable, no special learning curve was required to operate them, any person at any level, in any enterprise, could learn to use this incredible workhorse of a devise within minutes. A special love affair instantly emerged between businesses of all kinds, in all fields, institutions, government departments and finally private individuals and that reliable old fax machine. Relaying a legally binding facsimile of any document was as easy as asking “what’s your fax number.” You then dialled the fax number and purchase orders, invoices, drawings, specifications, credit application forms, application forms of all kinds, health information etc. flowed instantly from your facsimile machine to your supplier, (or banker, or insurance broker, or consulting engineers, or contractors, or government department, or health care corporations or untold millions of others destinations) around the block, around the city, around the state or around the world.

Fax machines certainly helped create the concept of a “global village.” In essence, important documents flowed, ultimately, (by the billions of pages yearly) in minutes. Even more conveniently you could fax at any time of the day or night, whether destination offices were open or not, whether it was a work day or not, after all the important documents would be in a destination tray waiting for the right person to receive them (or would they?).

The workflow patterns of entire corporations and agencies departments became dependent upon the group, department or office fax machine. Staff walked to the fax, waited for their turn to send their important documents. Larger firms had fax departments that routed outgoing and incoming faxes to the proper recipients. In time larger and even smaller firms developed faxing protocols to try and optimize the use of fax machines by staff and to minimize liabilities. Fortune 500 companies spent millions on faxing.

With the passage of time, changing world security, privacy issues developed for health care organizations and government agencies, to mention just a few. Who could see faxes? Who could not see faxes? These mandated and legislated privacy guidelines were meant to protect personal information of patients and private citizens (today health care organizations need to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the USA and equivalent legislation in Canada and many other countries) Therefore Fax and email security is an issue that requires strict accountability and compliance. This security issue, if left unaddressed can be extremely costly to your organization. Where were faxes sent? Did the faxes actually arrive at intended destinations? Was an acknowledgement received? Were these areas secured? Was sensitive personal of financial data at risk? Who can or cannot see this sensitive personal information. How can all of these issues be reconciled? Can they be effectively reconciled?

Many firms were (and are) producing hundreds and in cases thousands of faxes per day. Banking institutions for example very often must verify signatures on checks. This is currently all done by fax; the number of incoming faxes is staggering in this one scenario alone. Along with this application Banking Institutions receive applications for credit by fax where client signatures are required. Once signed these documents are faxed back to the institutions. Imagine the number of branches that each bank operates, each with at least one fax. Larger branches have many faxes. Think of any industry; check their workflow and suddenly you come to realize that most departments are drowning under a sea of actual paper faxes. These faxes need to be secured then sorted, catalogued, directed to proper recipients, put into folders, kept track of and much more. Faxes are often misplaced, in many cases actually lost, in others stolen, misdirected, or never received at the destination. All told, faxing can become a “black hole” and is a compliance nightmare.

The NOAH solution is designed to improve customer service through secure electronic delivery. NOAH helps you protect your organization, governmental department, agency or enterprise against:

  1. Regulatory violations of Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach Bliley, etc.
  2. Corporate governance violations of faxing and email policies and/or best practices.
  3. The theft or misuse of confidential, proprietary intellectual property.
  4. The improper use of confidential, personal, privacy or client information.

The NOAH architecture is robust, scalable and does not require any extra training or software for your staff to use the system. NOAH is both secure and easy to use; the NOAH Solution will streamline your business processes, simultaneously improving your quality of service while lowering your costs. Administrator control and powerful audit reporting tools are also key built in features.

How Does NOAH Work?

Simplistically, NOAH connects directly to a fax machine and intercepts both the dialled number and the fax message. The dialled number is converted to a destination address (Email, FTP or Fax) and the message is delivered to that destination. If the dialled number cannot be resolved to a known destination (i.e., dialled number is not contained within a known Address Book), the system prompts the user for addressing information via a simple Graphical User Interface. The message can be delivered to an Email address for viewing directly within the Email client, Exchange Folder, printer or to another fax machine.

NOAH IS A TOTALLY UNIQUE HARDWARE/SOFTWARE SOLUTION!

Pictured below is a NOAH FBX (FAX Branch Exchange) PCI Adapter. NOAH was designed to integrate easily with any existing Microsoft infrastructure (Server 2003/NT/2000/XP). NOAH conveniently and effortlessly integrates with Mail Servers such as Microsoft Exchange thereby leveraging Exchange folders, address books, backup infrastructure, etc. Further, it conveniently captures all fax traffic converts it to either PDF or TIF files and immediately routes in the most cost effective fashion to your computer network or to fax machines, printers or mobile devices.

NOAH IS THE ONLY HARDWARE/SOFTWARE SOLUTION IN THE WORLD!

As you can see from the photo above NOAH is the only product in the world that provides a “hardware/software” solution. What NOAH does that no other organization or solution does is this: provides a totally seamless solution -- no thinking, no training, no changes to how you conduct your work before or after the installation of NOAH. NOAH is fax machine specific. We incorporated into NOAH everything that any other solution thinks they can provide…and we did it better. Plus, we did something that “NO OTHER COMPANY IN THE WORLD CAN DO.” We IP-enabled your office fax machine, and in so doing we uniquely “UNIFIED” it with the rest of your messaging system.

It is worth repeating…NOAH unifies your fax machine with the rest of your messaging system. NO OTHER SOLUTION ANYWHERE CAN DO THIS!

Furthermore, NOAH performs specific functions such as send/receive Fax, send/receive Email, etc. All communication is achieved utilizing the latest in distributed computing technology and is highly configurable, adaptable and expandable. To add functionality to the system such as proprietary encryption is as simple as adding that functionality to NOAH as a service and the system will automatically start using it.

The NOAH solution is comprised of a collection of functional services that by themselves perform only specific tasks. The system action is controlled by a powerful application, which utilizes the services to implement specific business rules. As a result, the system is not only an application that specifically performs the act of delivering faxed messages via IP, but is also a toolkit allowing complete customization, or the creation of an application implementing a completely different set of business rules.

The system comes equipped with the following services:

Facsimile - used for communicating with facsimile devices to send and receive faxes
Email – used for communicating with SMTP mail systems to send and receive email messages and notifications.
Database - used for transaction logs, profiles for dialling, users, sending, receiving, printing, notifications, expense recovery, contact address books, system configuration and parameters and archived images of the faxes.
Client - used for communicating with system users to allow on-the-fly message addressing and the setting of additional non-default message attributes
Application - implements the business rules by specific utilization of the above services, web management and diagnostic tools, port configuration, diagnostics, real time monitors, usage statistics, port utilization and other management tools that are web based.

NOAH IS THE ONLY SOULTION IN THE WORLD THAT IP-ENABLES YOUR FAX MACHINE!

NOAH IP enables your office fax machine -- NO OTHER COMPANY IN THE WORLD CAN DO THIS -- and in so doing we uniquely “UNIFIY” your fax machine with the rest of your messaging system.

It is worth repeating…NOAH unifies your fax machine with the rest of your messaging system. NO OTHER SOLUTION ANYWHERE CAN DO THIS.

ON THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY, ALL ROADS LEAD TO NOAH!

In order to understand how powerful NOAH really is you need to understand a little bit about the type of transportation highways that can currently carry data. There are essentially four powerful information highways that can be made use of by one type of faxing or other. Prior to NOAH there was no solution that could unify the traffic (also called messages) from these.

IP (Internet Provider) is essentially a type of highway. Your Internet provider allows certain types of traffic at virtually no cost. These include email and PC faxing.

PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is a type of telephone line. This is the same type of line that a home or business would use. These lines can be used for sending or receiving faxes. All existing G3 fax machines (and there are some 120,000,000 of them currently operating world wide) are connected to the PSTN or commonly referred to as you telephone company. Each one of the Fax machines (in most cases) has a dedicated fax line (or shares a already existing voice line). Each of these lines carries a monthly charge in addition to long distance usage charges. Therefore the vast majority of faxing worldwide is made through the PSTN worldwide and represents literally billions of dollars in usage fees. Current telephone company based fax connections do not meet SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002) requirements. PRIOR TO NOAH NO COMPANY EXISTED THAT COULD INTERNET ENABLE YOUR FAX MACHINE. CURRENTLY NO COMPANY EXISTS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD THAT CAN INTERNET-ENABLE YOUR COMPANY’S EXISTING G3 FAX MACHINE. NOAH IS UNIQUE! Further “Noah’s” IP based connectivity solution provides for automatic and totally transparent document retention of all documents sent or received.

DID (Direct Inward Dialling) is a type of telephone line that is used just for receiving. These lines are typically used for voice where a person in a business would have a direct line number on their business card. The DID line is a one-way highway. What do I mean by this? Well essentially a DID is a low cost one direction line that is available to users who have large quantities of incoming traffic. A DID fax line allows you to only receive large quantities of incoming faxes. In a very real sense your fax address is comparable to an “off ramp.” Every other fax number in the world can be considered as “on ramps.” So, in essence, a DID line is a one-direction highway that has unlimited numbers of “on ramps” and only one “off ramp.” NOAH is capable of handling up to 48 DID trunks in one system and an unlimited number of DID numbers in a single server. Each DID number corresponds directly to a destination, which can be an email address or a fax machine connected to a NOAH LocalFax port. When used this way, telephone line charges are dramatically reduced and user workflow, privacy and security are greatly enhanced.

T.38 Only
T.38 is a standard protocol for sending faxes over the Internet. However this technology requires that both the sending and receiving fax machines use the same protocol and connection. So, T.38 Fax machines can only send to other T.38 fax machines, thus eliminating the ability to connect to untold millions of fax machines in use on the PSTN (analog telephone lines). NOAH allows for T.38 fax machines to provide all their inherent benefits while still connecting to the millions of traditional fax machines operating worldwide.

LOCAL FAX Port
NOAH IS THE ONLY SOLUTION IN THE WORLD THAT PROVIDES A LOCALFAX PORT! What is a “LOCALFAX” port? Well this is the port on the NOAH PCI adapter card that allows you to plug your fax machine into it and become Internet enabled! The NOAH LOCALFAX port further connects your traditional fax machine to your computer network. It’s unique. It emulates the phone company’s Central Office provides the dial tone, battery feed and ringing. This port can send and receive faxes from the locally attached fax machine. It can print a fax that originated from a DID, PSTN line or an Internet Fax Service Provider (IP). When many fax machines are connected to LOCALFAX ports, their traffic is concentrated and the number of outbound telephone lines can be drastically reduced or eliminated altogether. DID receive to LOCALFAX print is the most common configuration.

NOAH PROVIDES UNIQUE SECURITY BECAUSE NOAH CAPTURES “ANYTHING & EVERYTHING!”

NOAH uniquely captures stores and forwards whatever (NOAH captures the original image and provides a permanent record of what was sent or received through NOAH thus making document change or forgery impossible) you put through NOAH. Why is this important? Well clearly this feature provides 100% protection against any attempted data or intellectual property theft, data manipulation or any attempted forgeries. If you keep in mind that it has been reported that in Asia (and one can assume also in the western democracies) the vast majority of intellectual property theft or industrial espionage is achieved via the use of the victims own fax machine then the value of NOAH as a tool to secure and defend and prosecute against such actions becomes crystal clear.” NOAH” is your first line of defence totally unexpected theft prevention and security solution!

NOAH UNIQUELY PROVIDES THE ONLY “REGISTERED FAX” IN THE WORLD

We have all heard of “registered mail.” Why do people use it, after all it costs more? Yes it costs more but the postal authorities guarantee greater security and traceability via the use of “registered mail.” Well NOAH is the only solution in the world that provides “REGISTERED FAXES” without additional time and expense. How does NOAH do it? Remember that absolutely everything that goes into NOAH (incoming faxes, scans, diagrams, photos, etc) or anything that comes out of NOAH is automatically recorded with a unique serial number or identifier. Each incoming or outgoing fax is assigned a unique transaction number that can be likened to a GUID or Globally Unique Identifier. NOAH creates a GUID for each and every incoming and outgoing fax, including wrong numbers dialled. The system and methodology used by NOAH to construct and assign these unique serial numbers is part of Natural Data’s proprietary patent-pending technology. Suffice it to say that no serial number or identifier can ever be duplicated. So forging or data manipulation is impossible even if you were somehow able to get an actual transaction record.

“I NOAH-ed It!”

NOAH. It’s the real thing; everything else is just a Facsimile!

NOAH directs all traffic so if it didn’t come from NOAH you will instantly know it because you will not have the unique identifier. NOAH also allows you to use your existing fax machine as a scanner that will produce either PDF or TIFF files. This means NO consumables while either sending or receiving.

How Does NOAH Work?

Simplistically, NOAH connects directly to a fax machine and intercepts both the dialled number and the fax message. The dialled number is converted to a destination address (Email, or Fax) and the message is delivered to that destination. If the dialled number cannot be resolved to a known destination (i.e., dialled number is not contained within a known Address Book), the system prompts the user for addressing information via a simple Graphical User Interface. The message can be delivered to an Email address for viewing directly within the Email client, to another fax machine (perhaps in a different area code).

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

PC Components Minimum Requirements
Processor Pentium III 800
Memory 512 MB of memory
Hard Drive 1 GB of disk space
Video Adapter Resolution of 1024 x 800 x 256 colors
CD-ROM Used for installation
PCI Slot One full length PCI Slot per FBX Adapter (3.3v or 5v)
Ethernet Adapter One 10/100 Ethernet NIC

NOAH Software Allows YOUR ADMINISTRATOR TO DO THE FOLLOWING!

  1. Configure
  2. Manage your ports
  3. Locally or remotely administer your ports through web tools
  4. Monitor ports in real time.

Addressing

NOAH comes equipped with a database for contact address storage but can also be configured to connect to existing Address Book facilities (i.e., Microsoft Exchange). The NOAH Address Book database is capable of storing multiple addresses per destination.

One and only one of the destination addresses are flagged as the primary making it the default address for that destination. The alternative addresses can be utilized by the system as backups in case delivery to the primary address fails.

Each destination is identified by a unique destination ID (typically the fax number or phone number of the destination) by which that destination is identified via the dial string entered on the fax machine. As a result, the user need not interact with the system beyond the point of dialling the correct number for destinations contained within the Address Book.

Multiple destinations can be grouped together into a Destination Group and given an ID number allowing the user to send a single fax message to a number of destinations by simply dialling the Group ID.

NOAH can also utilize an existing Address database contained within a Microsoft Exchange server thus making Address Book maintenance significantly easier. Exchange Address Books can be imported using the powerful NOAH System Administration tools.

Email Delivery

Fax messages delivered via Email are stored as image files viewable directly on the recipient’s PC. The message can be flagged for "Receipt Notification," allowing the sender to receive notification when the message has been delivered or read by the receiver.

Fax Delivery

Messages destined for other fax machines utilize the system's ability to perform least-cost routing. If the destination is another fax machine within the company that is connected to a NOAH, the message is sent to that NOAH which completes the transaction by 'printing' the message on its connected fax machine. However, if the fax is destined for the outside world, another strategy is implemented given NOAH’s ability to connect to the PSTN. NOAH is further configured to define its area code and city code coverage. For example, a NOAH connected to the PSTN within Toronto would be configured as covering area code 416 and 905 with specific city codes reachable without the need for long distance. In this scenario, an employee of the same company in Vancouver can send a fax to a destination in Toronto without the cost of long distance. The system will automatically resolve the dialled number and utilize the closest NOAH Point of Presence to complete the transaction on its behalf.

Notification

Message delivery notification can be achieved a number of ways. If the user (sender) is known to the system (via an optional login facility) and has an Email address, the system can deliver a notification to that Email address once the message has been delivered.

If the user is not known to the system, the system can be configured to print the delivery notification message to its attached fax machine, similarly to the way fax machines work today.

Security & Accessibility

The system can be configured to any level of security or accessibility from completely un-secure (anybody can use it) to fully secure requiring each user to logon with username and password prior to usage. Additional security options can be applied to:

  1. Restrict specific users to specific destination types only
  2. Restrict users from adding entries to an Address Book
  3. Track and record usage for Expense Recovery.

Scalability

The NOAH system has been designed from the ground up to be scalable from single system implementations supporting from 3 to 48 fax machines to massive, widely-dispersed corporate systems supporting an unlimited number of fax machines, PSTN ports and DID ports.

If the need for more fax machine support is required, simply add another NOAH PCI card and the system takes care of the rest. There is no need for software upgrades. The newly added NOAH card is operational upon activation.

Maintenance and Administration

Natural Data Inc. realizes that the true cost of a system is directly related to its Administration and Maintenance requirements. As a result, the NOAH Solution has been designed to provide a single point of Administration and remote Maintenance. Even software upgrades can be achieved remotely through a single button press.

NOAH Administration tools are platform independent applications that interact directly. Every NOAH adapter card contained within the system can be monitored for activity through a Web browser for port activity, transaction status, inbound outbound load, etc. Global Address Books can be controlled centrally thus ensuring that every NOAH card has access to the same data.

Expandability – Toolkit

The system has been designed to allow insertion of custom purpose services thus providing an almost unlimited potential to feature expansion. Whether it is the addition of specific message encryption or a completely alternative utilization of the existing services, the system provides the flexibility and the necessary tools to achieve these goals.

NOAH. It’s the real thing; everything else is just a Facsimile!

PDF Containing Both the Above Spreadsheets

Home | Top of Page | Print this Page

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Product & Services | SOX Compliance | FAQ | Resources

Distribution Channels | Product Support | Privacy Policy | News Release

Copyright © 2005 Natural Data Inc. All rights reserved. Web design by Silvio Mattacchione & Co.