Home Work

Fax On Demand

Next, there's the matter of faxing. You have the option of purchasing either a stand-alone fax machine or a PC faxing program like Symantec's WinFax PRO 9.0 for Windows 95/98/NT ($119). WinFax PRO allows you to send and receive electronic documents directly from your desktop. New features of WinFax PRO include an improved Send screen that makes it easier to compose and edit a fax before it's addressed and sent, and pager support for automatic notification when you've received an important fax. Other useful features: low-cost Internet faxing and easy integration with phone books, contact management programs and external databases.

If you're looking for one easy-to-implement solution, check out Symantec's recently released pcTelecommute for Windows 95/98/NT ($99), a set of tools designed specifically for telecommuters. Scaled-down versions of pcANYWHERE32 and WinFax PRO give you the power to access information from your office, transfer files and perform basic fax functions. The DayEnd Sync feature automatically notifies you at the end of each day which files have changed, and prompts you for an automatic file synchronization with your office PC. Call Screening lets you keep your focus by showing you directly on your computer screen who's calling (caller ID service required).

All these tools and more are accessed via pcTelecommute's Telecommute Control Center. This simple interface lets you quickly access your inbox to view a log of faxes and phone calls you've sent and received. There's also a Contacts icon to bring up important contact information; an Office button for remote office machine access, file synchronization and transfer; and a Work Monitor area to view a log showing changes in documents, duration of calls and more. In addition, pcTelecommute comes with antivirus software, written and online materials from leading telecommuting specialists, and a phone line splitter.

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This article was originally published in the December 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Home Work.

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