IP Telephony principally satisfies a simple need: Enabling the use of open standard LAN and distributed data networks for the transport of voice, replacing the use of traditional (and proprietary) telephone networks and equipment for that purpose. With IP Telephony, voice conversations are converted into packets of data and then transmitted over data networks much in the same manner as e-mails or instant messages. Using standard Internet Protocol (IP) data networks and methods to transport all forms of information media – voice, data and video is more efficient and opens the door for the creation of new value-added cross-media features and applications.
The hype of IP Telephony first began with the technology boom of the late 1990’s. Its promise, however, took time to realize as technological hurdles, namely voice quality, network reliability and feature availability, took time to resolve. With these hurdles now overcome, IP Telephony has come of age and has proven capable of delivering cost savings and productivity increases for businesses of all sizes. In fact, the adoption of IP Telephony is gaining momentum, with primary business drivers being
- Lower voice networking costs
- Lower equipment administration costs
- Centralized network control and management
- Increased communications capabilities and productivity for remote and mobile employees
- Increased customer satisfaction through the use of distributed call center applications