How to Speech-Enable a Unified Messaging Auto Attendant

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


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

Topic Last Modified: 2007-01-24

This topic explains how to use the Exchange Management Console and the Exchange Management Shell to speech-enable your UM auto attendant in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging (UM). By speech-enabling a UM auto attendant, you enable callers to respond verbally to auto attendant prompts and to move through the menu system of the auto attendant.

By default, an auto attendant is not speech-enabled when you create it. After you speech-enable the auto attendant, callers can use only voice commands to navigate the auto attendant menu system, and touchtone inputs cannot be used. Although it is not required, we recommend that you configure a dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) fallback auto attendant for each speech-enabled auto attendant so that callers can use touchtone inputs if the speech-enabled auto attendant does not recognize or understand the words they say. If a DTMF fallback auto attendant is configured, the caller uses DTMF inputs, also known as touchtone inputs, to navigate the auto attendant menu system, spell a user's name, or use a custom menu prompt. We recommend that you do not speech-enable a DTMF fallback auto attendant.

Unified Messaging language packs include a Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine and the prerecorded prompts for the given language. However, only the English UM language pack includes support for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). ASR is used for directory lookups and searches. It is also used by Outlook Voice Access users and by callers when they use voice commands to interact with a UM auto attendant. ASR support for other languages is planned for a future release of the UM language packs. ASR support for English is installed when you install either the English version of Exchange 2007 or a localized version of Exchange 2007. The English language pack cannot be removed unless you remove the Unified Messaging server role from the Exchange 2007 computer.

UM language packs are offered in 16 different languages, and all 16 language packs are included on the Exchange 2007 DVD. For more information about Unified Messaging language packs, see Understanding Unified Messaging Languages.

To perform the following procedures, the account you use must be delegated the Exchange Organization Administrator role.

For more information about permissions, delegating roles, and the rights that are required to administer Exchange Server 2007, see Permission Considerations.

Also, before you perform these procedures, confirm the following:

  • A UM dial plan has been created.

  • A UM mailbox policy has been created.

  • A UM auto attendant has been created.

  1. In the console tree of the Exchange Management Console, expand the Organization Configuration node.

  2. Click Unified Messaging.

  3. In the work pane, click the UM Auto Attendants tab.

  4. Select the auto attendant that you want to modify, and then, in the action pane, click Properties.

  5. On the General tab, select Auto attendant is speech-enabled.

  6. Click OK to save your changes.

  • Run the following command:

    Set-UMAutoAttendant -Identity MySpeechEnabledAA -SpeechEnabled $true

For more information about syntax and parameters, see Set-UMAutoAttendant.