While not the oldest technology still used today, the telephone is still downright ancient. Of course, the telephones of today are much evolved over the ones once used by Alexander Graham Bell to place the first phone call near the end of the 19th century. And, in the case of IP telephony, the infrastructure of the telephone has greatly evolved to provide distinct advantages over even the most up-to-date digital telephone system — especially for businesses.
First and foremost, an IP phone system typically features certain features which ensure connectivity for greater uptime, allowing employees to stay connected 24/7, while the reliability of IP calling is higher on its own than conventional phone systems. IP telephony also allows companies to form multiple networks, which helps to both cut costs and allow for easier communication.
Furthermore, costs are just cut down overall as long-distance calls made from an IP telephone system cost far less than with conventional systems. This, in turn, leads to a higher return on investment (ROI), since the costs of installing an IP phone system are reasonable.
The advanced nature of IP telephony also increases ease of use for the end-user, granting greater control over calls through tools and features. Meanwhile, upkeep is easier on the administration side as nearly all aspects of an IP telephone system can be better controlled, which also decreases administration costs, while making it far easier to manage remote employees.
Lastly, IP telephony hits on two aspects often striven for in business: security and future growth.
IP telephony can also be divided into a handful of categories — desktop, wireless, conferencing, third-party SIP and more recently high-quality audio — giving it a high degree of flexibility, an attribute also highly sought after by businesses. Since business mobile use has grown in popularity as much as IP telephony has over the last few years -- Juniper Research says business mobile devices should hit almost 350 million devices by 2014 -- the wireless category is perhaps among the most popular form of IP telephony in use today.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey