What is VoIP and What Can it Do for Your Business?
VoIP and IP telephony are becoming increasingly popular with large corporations and consumers alike. For many people, Internet Protocol (IP) is more than just a way to transport data, it's also a tool that simplifies and streamlines a wide range of business applications. Telephony is the most obvious example. VoIP—or voice over IP—is also the foundation for more advanced unified communications applications—including Web and video conferencing—that can transform the way you do business.
What is VoIP: Useful Terms
Understanding the terms is a first step toward learning the potential of this technology:
VoIP refers to a way to carry phone calls over an IP data network, whether on the Internet or your own internal network. A primary attraction of VoIP is its ability to help reduce expenses because telephone calls travel over the data network rather than the phone company's network.
IP telephony encompasses the full suite of VoIP enabled services including the interconnection of phones for communications; related services such as billing and dialing plans; and basic features such as conferencing, transfer, forward, and hold. These services might previously have been provided by a PBX.
IP communications includes business applications that enhance communications to enable features such as unified messaging, integrated contact centers, and rich-media conferencing with voice, data, and video.
Unified communications takes IP communications a step further by using such technologies as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and presence along with mobility solutions to unify and simply all forms of communications, independent of location, time, or device.