The purpose of this document is to explain how to configure and manage
the Cisco Unity Express Auto Attendant (AA).
This document applies to Cisco Unity Express 1.1, 1.2 , 2.0 , 2.1 ,
2.1.1 and later. You should be familiar with this software.
The information in this document is based on these software
Cisco Unity Express 1.1, 1.2 , 2.0 , 2.1 , 2.1.1 and
Note: Most of the information contained in this paper is just as relevant
to Cisco Unity Express 2.1.1 as it is to earlier versions.
The information in this document was created from the devices in a
specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with
a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you
understand the potential impact of any command.
For more information on document conventions, refer to the
Technical Tips Conventions.
In order to configure and manage the Cisco Unity Express (CUE) AA is to
understand the components which comprise the application, and how they
interact. The Greeting Management System (GMS) component of Cisco Unity Express
is not part of the AA, however is a key Unity Express feature and a useful tool
for recording audio greeting messages and prompt files used by the AA script.
The default AA script provided with Cisco Unity Express is named
"aa.aef" and resides in a system directory. Since this script is in the system
directory, it cannot be downloaded, copied nor uploaded by users. This default
AA application is also known as the "system script" or "system AA".
The only component of the default AA which resides in the user
directory is an audio prompt file called AAWelcome.wav. All other audio prompt
files used by the default AA reside in the system directory and cannot be
downloaded, copied, nor uploaded by users.
The first action taken by the default AA is a step which uses the
system parameter named "welcomePrompt". By default, the value of the
welcomePrompt parameter is set to AAWelcome.wav. Therefore,the first thing the
caller hears when the AA pilot number is dialed is the audio contained in that
file. The AAWelcome.wav file supplied with the Cisco Unity Express AA is very
short (about two seconds), and its audio content is only the message, "Welcome
to the Automated Attendant". Next, the AA script goes to another step which
plays a prompt that contains the audio "To enter the phone number of the person
you are trying to reach, press 1 ..." The AA script then executes steps based
on the caller's input, or repeats if no input is detected.
Note: The welcomePrompt step in the default AA script is non-interruptible.
It actually accepts and stores keypad input, however no action is taken
immediately based on the input. However, the caller can likely perceive that
action is taken since the script moves onto the next step and prompts so
quickly. It is the second step which is interruptible. So if the caller presses
“1” while the prompt plays (“Welcome to
XYZ Corporation…”), it is stored. Since the menu in the
second step has choice “1” set to activate “Dial by
Extension”, the AA script receives the digit “1” immediately after the welcome
greeting is finished and then expects the caller to enter the extension number
of the person to reach. The prompt which informs the caller of the menu options
is never played because the script step has already received the digit “1”, and
it treats that input as the caller’s menu selection for this step.
Cisco Unity Express 2.1.1 still has the aa.aef auto attendant which now
has the ability to block transfers to valid voicemail extensions, configurable
holidays, business schedules and separate prompts for open/closed/holiday
status; but also adds an aasimple.aef script. The GMS has been renamed
Administration vi Telephone (AvT) and adds more functionality. For more
information, refer to the appropriate release notes.
Note: Customers must use aa_sample1.aef, which is included on the CD
provided with the Cisco Unity Express Script Editor application.
In the place of the GUI or command line interface (CLI) in order to
upload or download audio files generated on a separate system, the GMS allows
you to use your phone to record or delete audio files directly in the Cisco
Unity Express file system. Cisco advises that you use the GMS to record
greeting files and prompts as it generates higher-quality audio files. The GMS
is a Cisco Unity Express system script that is initiated when you dial a number
configured through the Cisco Unity Express Initialization Wizard or through the
GUI or CLI. You can identify the GMS by the promptmgmt
application in Cisco Unity Express.
When a new prompt is recorded with the help of the GMS, a file is
created in the form UserPrompt_DateTime.wav, such as
UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav (06/17/2004 10:21:17). These files cannot be
renamed from the GMS. Instead, the file must be downloaded and uploaded again
with a new filename with the GUI or CLI (as shown here). If you want to use a
newly created file in a script, it must be assigned with the GUI or CLI, as
this is also not possible from the GMS.
Note: Remember that the GMS can only add new prompt files or delete files
that already exist. If the newly created prompt is to be used in a script, the
prompt must be either renamed to match the prompt in the script, or the script
must be changed to refer to this new prompt.
You can view and modify the GMS call-in-number. In order to make
changes, you can access this number by following the path
screen, as shown here:
The GMS call-in-number is normally configured at installation time
through the Cisco Unity Express Initialization Wizard.
When you dial into the GMS number (from an IP Phone or public switched
telephone network (PSTN)), a script helps the caller to manage and record
greetings and prompts.
First, the caller must enter will hear these instructions:
Please enter your extension.
Please enter your PIN number.
Welcome to the Greeting Management
Then, this menu is presented to the caller:
Press "1" to administer the Automated Attendant Alternate
Press "2" to administer custom prompts.
Press "1" to record a new prompt.
Record a new prompt at the beep.
To finish recording, press the # key.
You have recorded the new prompt as follows...
Play recorded prompt.
If recorded message limit has been reached, the caller will
Sorry, you have already recorded
Press "2" to play previously recorded custom prompts.
A caller would have to Press "2" to record a
For more information on the GMS, refer to
and Using the Greeting Management System and Emergency Alternate Greeting for
In many cases, the operation of the default Cisco Unity Express AA
application is sufficient for the customer’s needs. However, most companies
would like to callers to hear the company name when the AA is reached.
The solution in this case is to create a short audio prompt, such as
one that says "Welcome to XYZ.com" and use it as the
default welcome prompt (detailed steps are provided in this document). While it
is possible to use a prompt file with up to 120 seconds of audio, Cisco advises
that you keep the welcome prompt short, since it is non-interruptible.
If the requirements for the AA script are more complex than the steps
supplied in the default AA (dial by extension, spell out the user name while
you dial, and call the operator), then a custom AA script must be created to
handle all the necessary steps, prompts and input required.
Custom scripts must be created by means of the Cisco Unity Express
Script Editor application (available for download
here), where you can
also find several sample AA scripts with documentation that describes their
function. More information to create custom scripts is supplied in the
Use the Cisco Unity Express Script Editor
Application to Create Custom Scripts section of this document.
If the operation of the default Cisco Unity Express AA does meet your
requirements and you only need to create a customized greeting, you must follow
Record an AA greeting audio file (GMS method recommended)..
Upload the newly created greeting file to the Cisco Unity Express
Note: This file upload step is only required if the greeting audio file
is created on a PC or some system other than the Cisco Unity Express GMS, as
described by the first method here. If the GMS is used to record the greeting
audio file, it is created directly in the Cisco Unity Express file system and
the upload step is not required. (Unless you need to rename the prompt recorded
by the GMS. Then you would have to download it and then upload it with the new
name as described here.)
Associate the new greeting file with the welcomePrompt parameter
(GUI method recommended).
There are two ways to create an AA greeting and prompt
Create a .wav file with this format: G.711 U-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit,
Mono. The file cannot be larger than one MB. After the greeting is recorded,
use the GUI or Cisco Unity Express CLI ccn copy
command to copy the file in to the Cisco Unity Express system. For the upload
procedure, see the Use the CLI to Upload the Auto
Attendant Greeting or Prompt File section of this
*(Recommended) Use the GMS on the telephony user interface (TUI)
in order to record the greeting or prompt.
Dial the GMS telephone number and select the option to record a
When recording is finished, save the file. GMS automatically saves
the file in Cisco Unity Express.
Note: In this example, Cisco Unity Express has saved the last file
recorded by way of the GMS as "UserPrompt_12062004163745.wav". You then can
choose to download the "UserPrompt_12062004163745.wav" file and click on
In order to rename the file, save it.
Finally, you can upload and click on Upload as
In this example, the administrator chooses to rename the file to
Cisco recommends that you manage prompt files by means of the GUI,
however prompts can also be managed through the use of the ccn
CLI commands, as shown here:
cue-3660> ccn copy prompt UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav
url ftp://10.1.1.10/ XYZ-corp_welcome.wav username me password pw
cue-3660> ccn copy url ftp://10.1.1.10/ XYZ-corp_welcome.wav prompt
XYZ-corp_welcome.wav username me password pw
cue-3660> ccn delete prompt UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav
Are you sure you want to delete this prompt? (y/n) y
This example first copies a file (UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav) to
the TFTP server (as XYZ-corp_welcome.wav). Then, it copies that same file back
as XYZ-corp_welcome.wav. Lastly, the
UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav file is deleted. So effectively, the
UserPrompt_06172004102117.wav file was renamed to
XYZ-corp_welcome.wav. There is no
rename command available, so the GUI and CLI methods
are the only way to change a filename.
Issue the ccn copy url source-ip-address
cue-3660# ccn copy url ftp://10.100.10.123/XYZ-corp_welcome.wav prompt XYZ-corp_welcome.wav
cue-3660# ccn copy url http://www.server.com/AAgreeting.wav prompt AAgreeting.wav
Note: This step is not required for files recorded by way of the
This command is equivalent to selecting the GUI options Voice
Mail > Prompts >
Note: An error message appears if you try to upload more than the maximum
number of prompts allowed on your Cisco Unity Express module.
Once the new greeting file is saved in the Cisco Unity Express file
system, it is only used if it is associated with an action in the AA script.
The first step in the default AA script uses a system parameter called
"welcomePrompt" to play the greeting file. Therefore, you must associate your
newly created greeting file as shown in the example here:
Select Voice Mail > Auto Attendant, then click
on the autoattendant to change its parameters:
Click Next, to see the option to associate the
default autoattendant to the newly uploaded prompt that was recorded by way of
You can also associate your newly created greeting file through the
CLI with the parameter command, as shown in the
cue-3660 (config-application)# parameter welcomePrompt
As stated previously, if the requirements for the AA script are more
complex than the steps supplied in the default AA (dial by extension, dial by
spelling the user name, call the operator), then a custom AA script must be
created to handle all the necessary steps, prompts and input required. The
Cisco Unity Express Script Editor application is fairly intuitive for users
familiar with TCL scripts. The online help documentation included in the
application is thorough and is sufficient to guide engineers and technicians
through the process of custom scripts creation. Several sample AA scripts and
their descriptions are available for download from
Cisco Unity Express 1.1.2
Software Download page. Cisco also offers Video on Demand training
modules for the Cisco Unity Express Script Editor on the Partner E-learning
Connection website. Visit the
Connection, select the Advanced Search tab and search
on Scripting Basics with Cisco Unity Express.
Note: The Cisco Unity Express Script Editor application ships with an AA
script file included, but this file, currently stored at
C:\ProgramFiles\wfavvid\aa.aef, is incorrect and will be removed for version
2.1. Use the aa_sample1.aef file that is on the accompanying CD instead.
The AA can be made to act like the default AA in Cisco Unity Express
with these steps:
Right-click the PlayPrompt (Just before this
option, an annotation says "Play Welcome Prompt".)
Select Properties ->
Prompt tab, set Barge-In =
Save the script file with a name other than
Upload the script file to Cisco Unity Express.
Enable the new AA script file as a custom
For more information on these steps, refer to the "Configuring Auto
Attendant Scripts" section of the
Unity Express CLI Administrator Guide for Cisco CallManager Express, Release
If you need further guidance or troubleshooting support, send an email