UC more gamble than scam

It is somewhat refreshing to hear a Gartner analyst jumping away from the UC bandwagon. After all, UC is probably the second most used acronym in communications these days; the first being VOIP, of course.

Nick Jones, a VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, rains on the jolly UC parade:

UC looks to me like an ill-assorted mix of technologies that vendors want to sell in a single bundle because it’s convenient for them, rather than because they’re what your employees actually need. UC is a dinosaur in a world of fast-moving little furry mammals; the leading edge of communication and collaboration is happening in the consumer space driven by companies like Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Fring, Nimbuzz and dozens more. These are better, cheaper and more fashionable than UC and there is no way the so called “enterprise” vendors can keep up with their rate of evolution.

He has a good point there. I also believe that Big Telecom ran out of things to sell (there’s a limit to the excitement level in selling a PBX) and creatively (yes, I’ll grant them that) cooked a stew of various communications parts, slapped on a licensing model, and asked salespeople to constantly mention the buzzworthy product.

Hmmm, these telecom vendors have done this before…

Aha! Remember the VOIP migration projects? What did you gain going from TDM to VOIP? The answer is most definitely not “crystal clear calls.” Hopefully after going VOIP the call quality is enough to rival that of TDM, but it’s still a phone call. The function of establishing a communications channel between two parties — that remains unchanged.

But I digress. To me UC seems more of a gamble for these vendors. It’s about them (trying) thinking outside of the box. It’s about them demonstrating they know a thing or two beyond phones. It’s about them riding the wave of ubiquitous communications.

Have they succeeded? Well… that’s also up for debate.

In the meantime, UC adopters past and present are also in on the gamble. And as in all games of chance, you’d rather be lucky than good…


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