November 23, 2010, 11:43 AM — Unified communications lacks a clear business case and can not compete with consumer-driven technology, Gartner has warned.
Speaking during a debate on unifiec communications at the recent Gartner Symposium in Sydney, analyst, Nick Jones, argued the case that unified communications is the "greatest scam since Ponzi", saying the technology had no clear definition.
"I'll give you the real definition: Unified communications is the bundle of things a vendor wants to sell you," he said.
Jones said another major drawback of unified communications was that the industry was fragmented, with no single vendor leading the charge.
"No vendor is a single force in this area" he said. "Unified communications is out of date and will always be out of date... consumerisation wins, it always wins. Look at all the cool stuff going on in the consumer space."
Using the examples of Skype and Twitter, Jones agreed with recent claims that unified communications was flawed, and said the consumerisation of IT has resulted in a larger base and scope of technologies, with Gen Y leading the charge.
"Why would you want to trap young people with dinosaur communications when they've already got something better?," he said. "Most unified communications systems can't even show you tweets, let alone where they are coming from."
Jones said unified communications wasn't a realistic option because it didn't include micro-blogging services, and many forms of enterprise communication were unable to be unified in a holistic way.
"It is unachievable," he said. "Even if it was a good idea, it can't work...SMS and MMS can't be unified, so you can't unify everything you need to unify."
Jones' insights into unified communications come as Jetstar's CIO, Stephen Tame, last week revealed that the airline will be upgrading its unified communications environment by the end of this year.