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Understanding Unified Messaging Features

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2009-10-03

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Unified Messaging (UM) introduces new concepts in Exchange messaging. Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging provides a single storage location for e-mail and voice mail messages.

This overview of the new components, features, and concepts in Unified Messaging includes the following:

  • Active Directory UM objects
  • Auto attendants
  • Subscriber access using Outlook Voice Access

Contents

Active Directory UM Objects

Auto Attendants

Subscriber Access

Additional Components

After you install and configure the Unified Messaging server, you can create Active Directory objects that enable the UM functionality found in Exchange 2010. You must create the following objects after you successfully install the Unified Messaging server role:

  • Dial Plan objects
  • IP Gateway objects
  • Hunt Group objects
  • Mailbox Policy objects
  • Auto Attendant objects
  • UM Server objects

The Active Directory UM objects provide the configuration information required to integrate Unified Messaging, Active Directory, and the existing telephony infrastructure. Each type of object created in Active Directory controls a feature set in Unified Messaging.

For example, when you create a UM Auto Attendant object, the settings on the Auto Attendant object control the features and settings for that auto attendant. When you configure or modify an Auto Attendant object, you control such settings as business hours, non-business hours, informational greetings, and whether to use dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) inputs or enable speech recognition for the auto attendant.

For more information about UM objects, see Understanding Unified Messaging Components.

When internal or external callers call in to the UM system, a series of voice prompts helps them move through the menu system called an auto attendant. The auto attendant lets the caller connect to a person in an organization or locate a user in the organization so they can place a call without assistance from a human operator. Callers hear voice prompts instead of a human operator, such as, "Press 1 for technical support."

You can create multiple auto attendants in Unified Messaging. Within Active Directory, each auto attendant is represented as an object. Configuration settings for an auto attendant are made on the Active Directory object and can include language settings, customized menus, and other menu navigational settings. You can also configure each UM auto attendant so that when an external caller or an internal caller places a call, and it's answered by a UM auto attendant, the caller can use either DTMF inputs or voice inputs to move through the UM menu system.

Bb124240.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
When a caller uses the keypad on a telephone to move through the menu system, it is called DTMF input. If this is the case, the telephone user interface is used.

For more information about auto attendants, see Understanding Unified Messaging Auto Attendants.

Unified Messaging gives subscribers access to the UM system. A subscriber is an internal business user or network user who has been enabled for Unified Messaging and has an Exchange 2010 mailbox. Subscriber access is used by the internal users to access their individual mailboxes to retrieve e-mail, voice messages, and contact and calendar information. Each Dial Plan object that's created contains at least one subscriber access number or extension number. Subscribers use this telephone or extension number to access their individual mailboxes.

For more information about subscriber access, see Understanding Unified Messaging Subscriber Access.

There are two Unified Messaging user interfaces available to UM-enabled subscribers: the telephone user interface and the voice user interface. In Exchange 2010, these two interfaces together are called Outlook Voice Access. Subscribers can use Outlook Voice Access when they access the UM system from an external or internal telephone. They can use Outlook Voice Access to access their Exchange 2010 mailbox, including their personal e-mail, voice messages, and calendar information.

Bb124240.note(en-us,EXCHG.140).gifNote:
For a copy of the Unified Messaging Outlook Voice Access Quick Reference Guide, see the Quick Start Guide for Outlook Voice Access 2010.

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