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Understanding Outlook Voice Access

 

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

Topic Last Modified: 2010-09-30

Outlook Voice Access lets Unified Messaging (UM)–enabled users access their Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or Exchange Server 2007 mailbox using analog, digital, or cellular telephones.

A subscriber is an internal business user or network user who's enabled for Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging. Subscriber access is used by users to access their individual mailboxes to retrieve e-mail, voice messages, contacts, and calendaring information. Outlook Voice Access is an Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging feature that lets subscribers access their Exchange 2010 mailbox.

In Exchange Server 2007 and also in Exchange 2010, a UM-enabled user can call in to an internal or external telephone number that's configured on a UM dial plan to access their mailbox and use the menu system found in Outlook Voice Access. Using this menu system, UM-enabled users can read e-mail, listen to voice messages, interact with their Outlook calendar, access their personal contacts, and perform tasks such as configuring their Outlook Voice Access PIN or recording their voice mail greetings.

There are two Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging user interfaces available to subscribers: the telephone user interface (TUI) and the voice user interface (VUI). These two interfaces together are called Outlook Voice Access. For a list of all the commands that are available in Outlook Voice Access, see Outlook Voice Access Command Reference.

You can prevent users from receiving voice mail, but let them retain the ability to access their Exchange 2010 mailbox using Outlook Voice Access. You can enable users for Unified Messaging and configure the users' mailbox with an extension number that isn't currently being used by another user in the organization.

importantImportant:
For the VUI or Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to be used for subscriber access, it must be enabled on the UM dial plan to enable the VUI functionality as described in the scenarios in the following section.

For a copy of the Microsoft Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging Outlook Voice Access Quick Start Guide, see the Microsoft Download Center. You can also see Outlook Voice Access Quick Start Guide for a copy.

The following scenarios demonstrate how Outlook Voice Access can be used for subscriber access from a telephone:

  • Access e-mail   An Outlook Voice Access user places a call to the subscriber access number from a telephone and wants to access their e-mail. The voice prompt says, "Welcome. You're connected to Microsoft Exchange. To access your mailbox, please enter your extension. To contact someone, press the # key." After the user enters a mailbox extension number, the voice prompt says, "Please enter your PIN and press the # key." After the user enters a PIN, the voice prompt says, "You have 2 new voice mails, 10 new e-mail messages, and your next meeting is at 10:00 A.M. Please say voice mail, e-mail, calendar, personal contacts, directory, or personal options." When the user says "E-mail," Unified Messaging reads the message header and then the name, subject, time, and priority for the messages that are in the subscriber's mailbox.

  • Access calendar   An Outlook Voice Access user places a call to the subscriber access number from a telephone and wants to access their calendar. The voice prompt says, "Welcome. You're connected to Microsoft Exchange. To access your mailbox, please enter your extension. To contact someone, press the # key." After the user enters a mailbox extension, the voice prompt says, "Please enter your PIN and press the # key." After the user enters a PIN, the voice prompt says, "You have 2 new voice mails, 10 new e-mail messages, and your next meeting is at 10:00 A.M. Please say voice mail, e-mail, calendar, personal contacts, directory, or personal options." When the user says "Calendar," Unified Messaging says, "Sure, and which day should I open?" The user says, "Today's calendar." Unified Messaging responds by saying, "Opening today's calendar." Unified Messaging reads each calendar appointment for that day for the user.

    noteNote:
    If a Unified Messaging server encounters a corrupted calendar item in a user's mailbox, it will fail to read the item, but will return the caller to the Outlook Voice Access main menu and will skip reading any additional meetings that may be scheduled for the rest of the day.
  • Access voice mail   An Outlook Voice Access user places a call to the subscriber access number from a telephone and wants to access voice mail. The voice prompt says, "Welcome. You're connected to Microsoft Exchange. To access your mailbox, please enter your extension. To contact someone, press the # key." After the user enters a mailbox extension number, the voice prompt says, "Please enter your PIN and press the # key." After the user enters a PIN, the voice prompt says, "You have 2 new voice mails, 10 new e-mail messages, and your next meeting is at 10:00 A.M. Please say voice mail, e-mail, calendar, personal contacts, directory, or personal options." The user says "Voice mail" and Unified Messaging reads the message header and then the name, subject, time, and priority for the voice messages that are in the user's mailbox.

    noteNote:
    If speech recognition is enabled, users can access their UM-enabled mailbox using speech input. However, subscribers can also use touchtone, also known as dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF), by pressing 0. Speech recognition isn't enabled for PIN input.
  • Locate an e-mail alias   An Outlook Voice Access user places a call to the subscriber access number from a telephone and wants to locate a person in the directory by spelling their e-mail alias. The voice prompt says, "Welcome. You're connected to Microsoft Exchange. To contact someone, press the # key." The user presses the # key, and then spells the name of the person using touchtone inputs.

    noteNote:
    The directory search feature with subscriber access isn't speech-enabled. Users will be able to spell the name of the person who they want to contact only by using touchtone inputs.
    importantImportant:
    In some companies (especially in East Asia), office telephones may not have letters on the keys of the telephone. This makes the spell-the-name feature that uses the touchtone interface almost impossible to use without a working knowledge of the key mappings. By default, Exchange 2010 Unified Messaging uses the E.161 key mapping. For example, 2=ABC, 3=DEF, 4=GHI, 5=JKL, 6=MNO, 7=PQRS, 8=TUV, 9=WXYZ.

When inputting a combination of letters and numbers, for example, Mike1092, the numeric digits are mapped to themselves. For an e-mail alias of Mike1092 to be entered correctly, the user must press the numbers 64531092. Also, for characters other than A-Z and 0-9, there won't be a telephone key equivalent. Therefore, these characters shouldn't be entered. For example, the e-mail alias mike.wilson would be entered as 6453945766. Even though there are 11 characters to be input, only 10 digits are entered by the user because there's no digit equivalent for the period (.). For details, seeOutlook Voice Access User Scenarios.

You can use Outlook Voice Access to send or forward a voice message, an e-mail message, or a meeting request. You can send or forward the message or meeting request to any of the following:

  • A person in your personal Contacts folder

  • A person in your organization’s shared address list

  • A group you’ve created in your personal Contacts folder

  • A public group included in your organization’s shared address list

You can send messages and meeting requests using the voice user interface (VUI) (if automatic speech recognition has been turned on by your voice mail administrator) or using touchtone inputs on your telephone keypad. You can also use Outlook Voice Access to listen to details about a group, including the members included in the group.

noteNote:
When sending a message to a public group in your shared address list, or a group in your personal Contacts folder that doesn’t include any members, the voice mail system won't give you the option to send or forward the message or meeting request. However, if you try to add a group as one of the recipients of a message or meeting request that you are creating over the phone, the voice mail system will not add the group and say "The message could not be sent because the contact does not appear to have a valid e-mail address" because the group doesn't contain any valid e-mail addresses.

You can’t change the language that Outlook Voice Access uses to speak to you and to reply to you when you speak to it. The voice mail system will try to find and use the best match for the language you chose when you first signed in to Microsoft Office Outlook Web App or the language that you’ve chosen on the Regional tab in Outlook Web App. If the language you choose isn’t supported by Outlook Voice Access, the voice mail system will use the same language that callers hear when they’re prompted to leave a voice message for you.

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