November 9th, 2010 by Koa Beck

Nick Jones, a VP analyst at Gartner, took to the Gartner blog to explain his skepticism regarding Unified Communications for businesses.  He describes UC as “a dinosaur in a world of fast-moving little furry mammals,” writing that “[this] ill-assorted mix of technologies that vendors want to sell in a single bundle because it’s convenient for them,” is actually useless to employees; Twitter, Facebook, and Skype are much more attractive to consumers and are a lot more “fashionable.”

He also points out:

And as for softphone clients, why exactly would I want clunky integration with a stone-age PBX anyway? Worse still, UC is technically unachievable because many communications channels such as SMS and MMS aren’t accessible to enterprise servers, the only place where everything actually comes together is on your mobile handset.

Jones projects that UC will continue to be a “battleground” for companies like Microsft and Cisco that like to “suck you in to their technological whirlpool where you’ll be trapped paying license fees for a decade.”

Eric Krapf, editor of the blog No Jitter, agreed with Jones that UC has been over-hyped but countered him on the assertion that using UC saves 15 minutes per day per employee.

Krapf writes:

That’s just lazy. Nobody talks about UC as a way to save 15 minutes, and presents that as a business case for UC–at least nobody I’ve ever heard in any serious forum. What I have heard in a serious forum is Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research devoting half of a half-day tutorial at VoiceCon Orlando 2010 to building UC business cases…Yes, there’s some discussion of time savings, but it’s not about giving workers 15 extra minutes to shoot the breeze in the break room; it’s about closing sales faster, resolving contact center issues faster, things that actually do matter in business.

He concludes that he does not find UC to be a scam.

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