Our office requires some fax software for a single computer. Four fax software packages, (Bitware Lite, ProComm Plus, WinFax Pro and Quick Link II), were evaluated based on the presence of a list of features, the presence of any extra features, and on their usability.

We concluded that WinFax Pro was our fax software package of choice. Both Quick Link II and ProComm Plus were missing many 'standard' features found in WinFax Pro and Bitware Lite, and both had problems receiving faxes. ProComm Plus also had a weak help system and had a cluttered interface. Bitware Lite had weak cover page creation. WinFax Pro had the strongest cover page editor and comes with OCR abilities and TWAIN scanner compatibility.


With the decision to become an environmentally friendly office, we have decided to look into several different facsimile software programs that will hopefully help us in cutting down the amount of paper consumed by the fax machine. We have decided to look into four different fax software packages, and evaluate them on several different factors. This evaluation will help determine the best price versus usability and performance, thus allowing us to select the best package for our office.

The four packages to be evaluated are:

These four were chosen by recommendations made by fellow colleagues who are currently using these packages and had described them as the "best" they had ever used. These four packages were all built to operate on an IBM PC compatible computer running the Microsoft Windows 3.1 environment, however, software releases are expected for the Windows 95 operating system.

The evaluation of the software packages was based on several different criteria. Price was definitely one of the most important factors versus the number of features available and the disk space that would be needed. As well there was the evaluation of: the ease of installation, the usability of the fax receive/send/cover page features, and the usability of the on-line help systems.

After comparing the four packages, we will conclude which of the packages best suits our companies needs.





In coming to a decision it should be noted that performance issues such as speed of transmission and display turned out to be in fact non-issues. From the users standpoint there was no noticeable difference in the send/receive times between the fax packages. Nor was there much difference in the relative processing times for fax/cover sheet composure.

All of the packages met the minimal task/feature requirements that were laid out in the 'Tasks To Be Solved' section of this document. Hence, our decision was based on the usability of the different products and on the presence or absence of certain features. The low price criteria was met by all of the products as the most expensive product, ProComm Plus at approximately $160 CDN, was well within our budget.

Quick Link II was dropped because it lacked the following features: Outgoing faxes could not be rescheduled for another date and time; Faxes that fail to send cannot be re-sent; Outgoing faxes cannot be previewed. In addition to lacking these features, Quick Link's cover page function is too simple. It can only create a single page and the formatting cannot be changed by the user. Quick Link II also had some unexplained problems receiving faxes that the other packages could receive.

ProComm Plus was dropped because it lacked the following features: Received faxes could only be printed or viewed and not exported to a bitmap format; Faxes that fail to send cannot be re-sent. ProComm has a number of usability problems including: A cluttered layout; Faxes may only be previewed by first sending them to a file and then viewing the file with the fax viewer; Very weak topic searching in the help system. Like Quick Link, ProComm had unexplained problems receiving some of the faxes.

Between the remaining two products the decision to choose a winner was difficult, but we decided that WinFax Pro has a slight edge over Bitware Lite. Bitware Lite had a few problems such as the unavoidable registration form and limited cover page creation, and it had some great features such as automatic fax forwarding and a voice mail box. In the end though it was the pluses that makes WinFax Pro the fax package of choice.

We chose WinFax Pro for the following features: A full WYSIWYG cover page editor; Incoming faxes may be viewed as they are received; Extra information on the causes of fax transmission errors; Included OCR software; and TWAIN scanner compatibility.

Created By:

Wendy Nikiforuk

Terry Russell