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Exchange Queue & A Adding Voice Prompts, Choosing a PBX , and More
Seema Rahman has been with Microsoft for six years. As a Support Escalation Engineer, she helps customers solve complex issues with Exchange Server. Seema especially enjoyed her time on the Exchange 2007 Beta team, where her focus was Unified Messaging.
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Q I've heard that Exchange Unified Messaging does not offer high availability or clustering. Is that true?
A While Unified Messaging is not supported in a cluster or network load-balancing configuration, from certain gateways you can certainly achieve a high availability solution. The key is to designate multiple Unified Messaging servers to round-robin the traffic. You can also arrange for certain traffic to be routed to a specific Unified Messaging server, provided the gateway has the necessary advanced routing features. For example, you can designate one Unified Messaging server for subscriber access and one for all automated attendant calls. This allows you to balance Unified Messaging traffic based on your infrastructure and trends in your environment.
Q Can I set up voice prompts for my company's public phone number with Exchange Unified Messaging?
A Yes, you can, and you can set up an auto attendant as well. The article "Managing Custom Audio Prompts" at technet.microsoft.com/aa998818 offers detailed steps on how to configure this feature.
Q How do I know if my Private Branch eXchange (PBX) is compatible with Exchange Unified Messaging?
A Certain gateways are tested by Microsoft and recommended for use with Exchange Unified Messaging. The vendors that produce these gateways provide a list of PBXs that work with their gateway. If your PBX is listed by any of the vendors, it is compatible with Exchange Unified Messaging.
The article "Telephony Advisor for Exchange Server 2007," available at microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/telephony-advisor.mspx, provides a list of supported gateways and a lot of other pertinent information as well.
Q Do I need to add any special hardware to my phone system to use Exchange Unified Messaging?
A Exchange Unified Messaging server acts as your voicemail provider. In order to work with your current telephony system, it may require hardware you don't have.
If you are using a supported IP-PBX, you won't need additional hardware; however, you will probably need to configure some specific settings on your IP-PBX to make it work with Unified Messaging.
If you are using something other than a supported IP-PBX, you have to first determine if that hardware is compatible with one of the supported gateways. You will also need a supported VoIP gateway.
The information at microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/telephony-advisor.mspx includes a list of supported hardware, specifically IP-PBXs and gateways. Remember to check back often because the list is updated frequently as Microsoft certifies new hardware. You can also consult your regional Unified Messaging specialist to determine the hardware requirements for your environment.
Q How does Unified Messaging provide fax support ?
A Currently Unified Messaging provides an incoming fax feature such that a fax sent to a Unified Messaging-enabled user's extension will end up in the user's Inbox as an e-mail message with the fax message attached in TIFF format. A detailed overview is available at technet.microsoft.com/ bb232022.
Q I have a Nortel CS1000 IP/PBX and want to use Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2007. But I don't know how to bring these two systems together. Can I use the Nortel CS1000 IP/PBX as the gateway or are only Intel and Audio Codes supported as gateways? I also need the Exchange system to authenticate at the CS1000 Server.
A Nortel CS1000 is a supported IP/PBX provided you are running version 5.0 of the firmware for the IP/PBX. You will not need any additional hardware to make it work. The Nortel site has the configuration notes for configuring the IP-PBX at support.nortel.com/go/main.jsp?cscat=docdetail&id=626197&poid=14261. Supported gateways, PBXs, and supported firmware versions can be found at microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/pbx-partners.mspx.