SYDNEY — Unified communications lacks a clear business case and can not compete with consumer-driven technology, Gartner has warned.

Speaking during a debate on unified communications at the recent Gartner Symposium in Australia, analyst, Nick Jones, argued the case that UC 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 is that the industry is 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 “Unified communications is out of date and will always be out of date … consumerization wins, it always wins.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 consumerization of IT has resulted in a larger base and scope of technologies, with Generation 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 isn’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.”