IP Telephony or Internet Protocol Telephony is a generic term used to describe technologies that use internet packets switched connections for exchanging voice, fax and other forms of information. The call propagates in the form of packets, over a local area network or internet avoiding PSTN Tolls.
The technology birthed in the late 1990s and drove the telecommunication industry to a change. Almost all communication carriers today are using an IP Infrastructure for a part or for all of its voice services.
The corporate environment benefits from IP Telephony in multiple ways, an important one being economic costing. IP Telephony trigged the development of unified communication solutions offering a holistic communication package as all in one, to be run on a single network & on one platform. This implies a business can make calls, manage video conferencing, collaborate, chat, etc. through a single service.
Now, coming to a very common misconception among people. Often, VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and IP Telephony are considered synonymous and the names are used interchangeably. The fact of the matter is, VOIP is a part of IP Telephony. Actually, IP Telephony deals with the digital side of telecommunications by means of an internet protocol known as voice over IP.
Another benefit of IP Telephony besides the cost is that of increased productivity. In fact, VOIP has been named the most successful technology of the last decade.