While every speech and article on UC makes reference to the importance of mobility, the take rate of the current UC mobility capabilities appears to be minimal. What's missing in those offerings that could put mobility in the center of users' UC planning?
The question is posed wrong. The question should be does UC have any role other than mobility and isn't the answer just a to get everyone a cell phone? CFOs are already paying for most cell phones and with the money they save by throwing out the PBX, phones, and landlines - they can pay for everyone's cell phone and still come out ahead.
Evolution: PBX --> UC --> Pure Cellular (4G)
There is absolutely no need for an organization to have a phone system any more - what 4 digit dialing? Yeah right.
The historically low take rate on mobile UC has been due to the complexity of deployment and a less than friendly user interface of mobile UC’s predecessor FMC. FMC required a dual mode smartphone, a client, and voice grade WLAN. This is a relatively complex undertaking for enterprise IT groups which puts them in the position of running a miniature cellular network, and of course the user experience was more complicated than just making a simple call. Another big factor in the sluggish uptake was the fact that the mobile operator was really not involved, thus their was no leverage of the intelligence of the modern mobile network. The latest generation of mobile UC aka FMC which Sprint ,Tango and NET have launched, transparently extends the mobile UC capabilities to the cellular phone. The result is that any existing or future Sprint mobile can be used as an extension of the UC/PBX system. No dual mode smartphone or specialized client is required and no impact on the WLAN. It is simple to deploy and works exactly as the existing phone; no learning curve.
Tom you make a good argument for the demise of traditional desk phones but the enterprise will still require capabilities to facilitate services such as conferencing, accounting, recording, presence, directory, voice mail etc that the distributed architecture of UC supports, be it enterprise based or hosted. So a “pure cellular” solution will still need to integrate with the enterprise communications environment and allow for the management of these mobilized services. That is really the role of mobile UC; extend the enterprises services to the mobile and allow the enterprise to manage them.