On February 2nd 2010 Ferrari electronic passed the Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging Fax testing without any restrictions.
While this in itself may not seem unusual the way in which the solution works is.
With Exchange 2010 Microsoft removed the ability for Exchange to receive a fax instead they now redirect the message to a Partner fax solution, in the SIP world known as a REFER. These solutions are based on T.38 which is the protocol used to send and receive faxes over IP.
T.38 has been in use for a number of years and for the majority of faxes it works without issue but it also fails when some older fax machines are sending the fax or when IP network conditions are not ideal.
For organisations that are looking to move from Exchange 2007 to 2010 and use the fax capabilities within Exchange their only option is to deploy a Partner Fax Solution, this can be a costly exercise and is something else to maintain and support.
This is where the Ferrari Gateway differs, it incorporates the Partner Fax solution within the gateway allowing it to process the fax within the gateway and submit it to the Exchange 2010 Hub Transport Server.
This removes the overhead of deploying a Fax Solution within an organisation and also removes potential issues associated with T.38, fax reception on the gateway is performed using the T.30 protocol which is the standard for fax transmission over the PSTN.
This solution is supported within the Firmware of the unit and on gateways running Firmware 3.x or greater. It is also free on all those units.
Looking at the background of Ferrari it is no surprise that they have developed this imitative solution since their background is fax solutions dating back over 20 years.
Also on offer are outbound faxing solution for Exchange (and other vendors), the Exchange solution is tightly integrated and managed through the Exchange Management Console providing a common interface for administrators.
In addition Ferrari Gateways are supported on OCS 2007 R2 to provide Enterprise Voice Functionality. It would seem that Ferrari are progressing within the Microsoft UC space and mainly seen within Germany, Austria and Switzerland with partners appearing in Asia Pacific and the Americas.
If I get the opportunity to get my hands on one of the units I will provide further feedback\insight.