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Understanding Unified Messaging Audio Prompts

Exchange 2010
 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2009-10-10

When you install the Unified Messaging (UM) server role on a computer running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, a common set of default audio files used for the Unified Messaging system and menu prompts, greetings, and informational announcements is copied to the Unified Messaging server. Although you can have a fully functional UM auto attendant or a dial plan that uses only the default audio prompts included in Exchange 2010, the audio files 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 used by UM dial plans and auto attendants and how they're used when callers access the Unified Messaging system.

Contents

Overview of Audio Prompts and Greetings

System Prompts

UM Dial Plan Greetings and Announcements

UM Auto Attendant Greetings, Announcements, and Menu Prompts

Customizing Greetings, Announcements, and Menu Prompts

After the Unified Messaging server role is installed, audio files for UM dial plans and auto attendants are copied to the Unified Messaging server. By default, the installation program copies the audio files to the Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Unified Messaging\Prompts\<language> folder. If you've installed the U.S. English version of Exchange 2010, a folder named \en is created during installation to hold the U.S. English versions of the system prompts. The UM server plays these system prompts to callers so they can hear greetings, menu prompts, and informational announcements and so they can navigate the Unified Messaging menus.

These system audio files or prompts 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.

The following table summarizes the prompts and greetings used with UM dial plans.

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.

The following table summarizes the prompts and greetings used with UM auto attendants.

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 installed system prompts isn't supported.

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Unified Messaging is installed with a set of default audio prompts for use with Outlook Voice Access, dial plans, and auto attendants. Hundreds of system prompts for each language are installed on the Unified Messaging server. The UM server plays the audio files for these system prompts to callers when they access the Unified Messaging system. The following are some examples of these system prompts:

  • "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 the name."
    CautionCaution:
    Modifying the installed system prompts isn't supported.
    noteNote:
    When the Unified Messaging service starts on the Unified Messaging server, it will verify that all the system prompts are available. If a system prompt can't be found, Unified Messaging will return an error. To fix the error that is returned, locate the event using Event Viewer and copy the file listed in the Event Properties window from the Exchange 2010 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've 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 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 specific to your company, for example, "Welcome to Outlook Voice Access for Woodgrove Bank." If you customize this greeting, you can record the customized greeting and save it as a .wav file, and then you can configure the dial plan to use this customized greeting.

Unified Messaging 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 often than the welcome greeting or for announcements required by corporate compliance policies. When it's 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.

The following table describes the UM dial plan greetings and informational announcements.

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 isn't 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 the language setting configured on the UM dial plan is the same as the language of the custom prompts you create. If not, a caller may hear a message or greeting in one language and another message or greeting in a different language.

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As 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 a caller hears when a UM auto attendant answers the 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 specific to your company, for example, "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.

Unified Messaging 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 required for compliance with corporate policies, for example, "Calls may be monitored for training purposes." When it's 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.

The following table describes the UM auto attendant greetings and informational announcements.

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 aren't 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."

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

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Although the system prompts mustn't be replaced or changed, you'll probably want to customize the greetings, informational announcements, and menu prompts 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 follow these 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 don't 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 won't appear in Event Viewer.
  • Configure the UM dial plan or auto attendant to use the customized greeting.
    After you create a UM auto attendant, a default system prompt will be used for the non-business hours main menu prompt greeting heard by callers after the non-business hours welcome greeting is played. Although the system prompts mustn't be replaced or changed, you probably want to customize the greetings and menu prompts used with UM auto attendants. Frequently, in addition to configuring a customized non-business hours welcome greeting, you also want to create and configure a custom non-business hours main menu prompt greeting. After you configure a custom non-business hours main menu prompt greeting, you must enable key mappings on the UM auto attendant for non-business hours.
    A custom non-business hours main menu prompt greeting is a list of options callers hear during non-business hours. To let callers hear a non-business hours main menu prompt greeting, you first must configure the business and non-business hours schedule by using the Times tab available on the Properties for a UM auto attendant. For example, "You have reached Trey Research after normal business hours. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911. To leave a message for one of our doctors, press 1. To leave a message for one of our physical therapists, press 2. To leave a general message for one of our front office coordinators, press 3. To be connected with an after hours operator, press 0."
    By default, when you create a UM auto attendant, the business and non-business hours greetings or prompts aren't configured and no key mappings are defined for business or non-business hours main menu prompts. To correctly configure customized non-business hours main menu greetings and prompts, you must:
    • Configure business and non-business hours on the Times tab.
    • Create the greeting file that will be used for the non-business hours welcome greeting.
    • Configure the non-business hours welcome greeting on the Greetings tab.
    • Create the greeting file that will be used for the non-business hours main menu prompt greeting.
    • Configure the non-business hours main menu prompt greeting on the Greetings tab.
    • Enable and configure the non-business hours key mappings on the Key Mapping tab.

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