When is an expense not an expense? When the expense saves more money than it costs. There is a reason that so many organizations are continuing to invest in unified communications deployments. They are laying off workers, freezing pay, and cutting budgets in other areas in response to the recession / depression and general state of the global economy.
But, investing in unified communications is seen as a cost-cutting measure as well as an investment in technologies that will help the organization to communicate more effectively and operate more efficiently so it can continue to get more done with fewer resources. In a time when people and budgets are being cut, unified communications almost becomes an imperative so that the people who are remain can still get the job done and deliver quality products and services for customers.
That is just my $.02 (which may only be worth half a cent in this economy- so take it for what its worth). You can get another point of view on the subject from this CIO.com article: Unified Communications, Collaboration Can Help Save Cash.