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Understanding Unified Messaging Audio Prompts

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007

Topic Last Modified: 2008-04-08

When you install the Unified Messaging server role on a computer that is running Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, a common set of default audio files that are used for Unified Messaging system and menu prompts, greetings, and informational announcements are copied to the computer that is running the Unified Messaging server role. Although you can have a fully functional UM auto attendant or a dial plan that uses only the default audio prompts that are included inExchange 2007, the audio files that are installed for greetings, informational announcements, and system and menu prompts are too generic to serve as an acceptable public interface for many companies. This topic discusses the system and menu prompts, greetings, and informational announcements that are used by UM dial plans and auto attendants and how they are used when callers access the Unified Messaging system.

After the Unified Messaging server role has been installed, audio files for UM dial plans and auto attendants are copied to the UM server. By default, the installation program copies the audio files to the Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Unified Messaging\Prompts\<language> folder. If you have installed the U.S. English version of Exchange 2007, a folder named \en is created during installation to hold the U.S. English versions of the system prompts. These system prompts are played to callers by the UM server to enable them to hear greetings, menu prompts, and informational announcements and to enable callers to navigate the Unified Messaging menus.

These system audio files or prompts that are copied to the UM server should never be changed. However, Unified Messaging does enable you to customize UM dial plan and auto attendant welcome greetings, main menu prompts, and informational announcements.

Table 1 summarizes the prompts and greetings that are used with UM dial plans.

Table 1   Audio prompts for UM dial plans

Prompts and greetings Description

System prompts

Must not be modified.

Welcome greeting

The default welcome greeting is a system prompt that is played by default. However, you can use a customized greeting file that you create.

Informational announcement

By default, informational announcements are disabled. If you enable an informational announcement, you must specify a customized greeting file.

Table 2 summarizes the prompts and greetings that are used with UM auto attendants.

Table 2   Audio prompts for UM auto attendants

Prompts and greetings Description

System prompts

Must not be modified.

Business hours menu prompts

By default, business hours menu prompts are enabled and a system prompt is played. However, you can use a customized greeting file that you create.

Non-business hours menu prompts

By default, non-business hours prompts are enabled and a system prompt is played. However, you can use a customized greeting file that you create.

Business hours greeting

By default, a business hours greeting is enabled and a system prompt is played. However, you can use a customized greeting file that you create. This is also known as a welcome greeting.

Non-business hours greeting

By default, a non-business hours greeting is enabled and a system prompt is played. However, you can use a customized greeting file that you create. This is also known as a welcome greeting.

Informational announcement

By default, informational announcements are disabled. If you enable an informational announcement, you must specify a customized greeting file.

CautionCaution:
Modifying the system prompts that are installed is not a supported configuration.

Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging (UM) is installed with a set of default audio prompts for use with Outlook Voice Access, dial plans, and auto attendants. There are hundreds of system prompts for each language that are installed on the computer that is running the Unified Messaging server role. The UM server plays the audio files for these system prompts to callers when they access the Unified Messaging system. Examples of these system prompts include the following:

  • "Please enter your PIN."
  • "To access your mailbox, enter your extension."
  • "To contact someone, press the # key."
  • "Spell the name of the person you are calling, last name first."
  • "To reach a specific person, just tell me their name."
    CautionCaution:
    Modifying the system prompts that are installed is not a supported configuration.
    noteNote:
    When the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service starts on the computer that is running the Unified Messaging server role, it will verify that all the system prompts are available. If a system prompt cannot be found, it will return an error. To fix the error that is returned, locate the event by using Event Viewer and copy the file that is listed in the Event Properties window from the Exchange 2007 installation DVD into the appropriate folder on the UM server.

After you install the Unified Messaging server role and create a UM dial plan, you have the option to use the audio files for the default system prompts that are copied to the UM server during installation or to create customized audio files that can be used with UM dial plans.

UM dial plans have a welcome greeting and an optional informational announcement that you can modify. The welcome greeting is used when Outlook Voice Access users or another caller calls the subscriber access number. The callers hear a default welcome greeting that says, "Welcome, you are connected to Microsoft Exchange." This audio file is the default greeting for a UM dial plan. However, you might want to change this greeting and provide an alternative welcome greeting that is specific to your company, such as, "Welcome to Outlook Voice Access for Woodgrove Bank." If you customize this greeting, you record the customized greeting and save it as a .wav file, and then you configure the dial plan to use this customized greeting.

UM allows for an informational announcement to follow the welcome greeting. By default, there is no informational announcement configured. However, you may want to provide one for callers. You can use the informational announcement for general announcements that change more frequently than the welcome greeting or for announcements that are required by corporate compliance policies. When it is important that the whole informational announcement is heard, you can configure it to be uninterruptible. This prevents a caller from pressing a key or speaking a command to interrupt and stop the informational announcement.

Table 3 describes the UM dial plan greetings and informational announcements.

Table 3   UM dial plan greetings and informational announcements

Greeting Default example Customized example

Welcome greeting

"Welcome, you are connected to Microsoft Exchange."

"Welcome to Outlook Voice Access for Woodgrove Bank."

Informational announcement

By default, an informational announcement is not configured.

"By using this system you agree to adhere to all corporate policies when you are accessing this system."

When you are customizing and configuring greetings and announcements, make sure that the language setting that is configured on the UM dial plan is that same as the language of the custom prompts that you create. If not, a caller may hear one message or greeting in one language and another message or greeting in a different language.

Like with UM dial plans, UM auto attendants have a welcome greeting, an optional informational announcement, and an optional custom menu prompt. There are different versions of the welcome greeting and menu prompt that you can configure for business hours and non-business hours. You can modify all of them.

The welcome greeting is the first thing that a caller hears when a UM auto attendant answers their call. By default, this says, "Welcome to the Microsoft Exchange auto attendant." The audio file that is played for the call is the default system prompt for the UM auto attendant. However, you may want to provide an alternative greeting that is specific to your company, such as, "Thank you for calling Woodgrove Bank." To customize this welcome greeting, record the customized greeting and save it as a .wav file, and then configure the auto attendant to use this customized greeting. As with the welcome greetings, you can also customize the menu prompts.

UM also allows for an informational announcement to follow a business hours greeting or a non-business hour greeting. By default, no informational announcement is configured, but you may want to provide one to callers. The informational announcement can announce your company's business hours, for example, "Our business hours are 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, and 8:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Saturday." The informational announcement can also provide information that is required for compliance with corporate policies, for example, "Calls may be monitored for training purposes." When it is important that the whole informational announcement is heard, you can configure it to be uninterruptible. This prevents the caller from pressing a key or speaking a command to interrupt and stop the informational announcement.

Table 4 describes the UM auto attendant greetings and informational announcements.

Table 4   UM auto attendant greetings, informational announcement and menu prompts

Greeting Default example Customized example

Business hours greeting

"Welcome to the Exchange auto attendant."

"Thank you for calling Woodgrove Bank."

Non-business hours greeting

No default non-business hours greeting is played until you configure the business hours for the auto attendant. However, the business hours greeting is played for callers during all times of the day.

"You have reached Woodgrove Bank after business hours. Our business hours are from 8:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday."

Informational announcement

By default, informational announcements are not configured.

"Calls may be monitored for training purposes."

Business hours main menu prompt

No default business hours main menu prompt will be played until you configure key mappings on the auto attendant.

"For technical support, press or say 1. For corporate offices and administration, press or say 2. For sales, press or say 3."

Non-business hours main menu prompt

No default non-business hours main menu prompt will be played until you configure key mappings and the business hours schedule on the auto attendant.

"Your call is very important to us. However, you have reached Woodgrove Bank after business hours. If you want to leave a message, please press or say 1, and we will return your call as soon as possible."

Like with UM dial plans, make sure that the language setting that is configured on the UM auto attendant is the same as the language of the custom greetings that you create and is set to the same language as the UM dial plan. If not, a caller may hear one message or greeting in one language and another message or greeting in a different language.

Although the system prompts must not be replaced or changed, you will probably want to customize the greetings, informational announcements, and menu prompts that are used with UM dial plans and auto attendants. After the Unified Messaging server role is installed, you can configure the UM dial plans and auto attendants to use these custom audio files (.wav). You must perform the following steps before you can enable custom voice prompts for callers:

  • Record the custom greeting and save it as a .wav file. The Linear PCM (16 bit/sample), 8 kilohertz (kHz) audio codec must be used to encode the .wav file. If you do not use this specific format for the .wav file, an error will be generated stating that the source file is in an unsupported format. Although an error is generated, the error will not appear in Event Viewer.
  • Copy the customized greeting to the correct folder on a UM server by using the Copy-UMCustomPrompt Exchange Management Shell cmdlet or configure a custom greeting or prompt by using the Exchange Management Console.
  • Configure the UM dial plan or auto attendant to use the customized greeting.

After you create the audio file for the custom prompt, announcement, or greeting you must use the Copy-UMCustomPrompt Exchange Management Shell cmdlet to copy the audio file to the UM prompt publishing point. The prompt publishing point is a property that is configured on a UM dial plan and is a shared folder structure that is created on the first UM server that is installed. The prompt publishing point distributes UM custom prompts to other UM servers in the Exchange 2007 organization. The Copy-UMCustomPrompt cmdlet supports the use of UM custom audio prompts by copying the specified audio file to the correct location for distribution to other UM servers in the Exchange 2007 organization.

Unified Messaging servers access the UM server prompt publishing point and copy the necessary .wav audio files to their local installation folder. After the file has been copied locally to the UM server, the UM server can provide the audio for a given custom prompt. For more information about custom prompt publishing, see Understanding Custom Prompt Distribution.

To ensure that you are reading the most up-to-date information and to find additional Exchange Server 2007 documentation, visit the Exchange Server TechCenter.
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