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Setting up a Holiday Greeting for Cisco Unity

Document ID: 23263

Updated: Jan 15, 2007

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Introduction

This document explains how the holiday settings work and suggests a method you can use to set up a holiday greeting that plays without manual activation. This document applies to all versions of Cisco Unity.

Note: With the advent of Cisco Unity 4.0, administrators are able to remotely call into Cisco Unity and change greetings through the telephone user interface.

Symptoms

You can potentially encounter these symptoms when you configure call handlers and scheduling:

  • Calls are suddenly not answered.

  • Cisco Unity does not play the closing greeting or the holiday greeting.

These symptoms can be due to Cisco bug ID CSCef73865 (registered customers only) . After you set the clock back on a Unity server, calls are suddenly not answered. There is no evidence of any problem in the event log. This problem can occur when you use Cisco Unity TSP 8.0(1) or later.

The workaround is to restart the server after you change the clock manually on the Unity server.

Prerequisites

Requirements

There are no specific requirements for this document.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on all versions of Cisco Unity.

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.

Conventions

Refer to Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document conventions.

Background Information

All Call Handlers in Cisco Unity operate on a schedule, which can be found on the profile page for that Call Handler. The schedule dictates whether the standard or closed greeting is played. The standard greeting is a greeting played during regular office hours. The closed greeting is played after regular office hours. In Cisco Unity, the system administrator, under the Schedule option, there are several default schedules that can be located with the use of the Find option on the tool bar. Once a schedule is selected on the Edit Schedule table, if a block is checked, the Standard Greeting is played for that thirty minute block of time. If a block is unchecked, the Closed Greeting plays.

According to Cisco Unity documentation, when a holiday setting is in effect, Cisco Unity plays Closed Greetings and observes Closed Transfer rules. You can set up several years of holidays at a time. You can copy the holidays from one year to the next and adjust the dates as necessary.

Note: Because many holidays occur on different dates each year, confirm that the holiday schedule remains accurate for the current year.

The configuration steps in this document allow an administrator to record a Holiday Greeting any day prior to the next holiday without needing to alter greeting settings the day before or after a holiday. If a generic Holiday Greeting is recorded as described in this document, this greeting plays on each holiday without any administrative intervention throughout the yearly holiday schedule.

Procedure

In order to enable a single call handler to act as the Holiday Greeting, the administrator must first understand the behavior of a call handler with regard to schedules as described earlier in this document. The Standard, Closed, and Alternate greetings need to be familiar to the administrator before taking these steps. Secondly, the administrator needs to be familiar with the after greeting action available to any greeting in a call handler. As shown in this procedure, this allows you to disregard the Closed Greeting recorded for a call handler and instead play another call handler that has a specified After-Hours designation. This also allow for the After-Hours call handler to transfer to the Holiday Greeting when that date arrives. Refer to Cisco Unity System Administration Guide for additional information on call handlers and scheduling.

Cisco Unity can designate different greetings to play based on a schedule. There can be as many schedules as there are call handlers. If the Cisco Unity server is responsible for calls from various locations, it is possible to designate a different set of schedules for each time zone or for each location.

For any single location or time zone, configure the Business Hours, After Hours, and Holiday schedules:

  1. Business Hours Schedule: The Weekdays (def) schedule is one of the default schedules that comes pre-configured with Cisco Unity. This needs to be set to your regular business hours. For example, in this example window, the Edit Schedule table is set for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Verify that the Observe Holidays checkbox, at the top of the screen, is checked. If there are multiple locations or multiple time zones to consider, each needs their own Weekdays schedule. Use the based-on functionality when you create a new schedule that is similar to an existing schedule. Use the Copy Days Schedule while you create a schedule to copy time settings to multiple days. It is not required to change the Weekdays schedule name if this is the only schedule you plan to use for this Cisco Unity system.

    holidaygreeting1.gif

  2. After Hours Schedule: This schedule must be the opposite of the Weekdays (Def) schedule. All hours that are checked in the Weekdays (Def) schedule need to be unchecked in this schedule. All blank hours in the Weekdays (Def) schedule need to be checked in this schedule. Verify that the Observe Holidays checkbox at the top of the screen is checked.

  3. Holiday Schedule: The All Hours-All Days is another default schedule that can be used to create the Holiday Schedule. This needs to have every box checked. Verify that the Observe Holidays checkbox is checked for this default schedule.

    Click the '+' button to create a new schedule called Holiday Schedule and base it on the All Hours-All Days schedule.

    Make sure to uncheck the Observe Holidays checkbox for the Holiday Schedule and save.

    Note: This results in the Standard Greeting playing anytime this schedule is used. This makes it easier to remember prior to a holiday to re-record the Standard Greeting for this call handler.

    holidaygreeting2.gif

    Next, the administrator needs to create two new call handlers, Holiday Greeting and After Hours. These are not based on any other call handler.

    Once the new call handlers are created, configure the call handlers in this order:

    • Holiday Greeting

    • After Hours Greeting

    • Open Greeting

    Holiday Greeting: Go into the Holiday Greeting and select the Holiday Schedule under Active Schedule.

    holidaygreeting3.gif

    Before the first holiday and after each subsequent holiday, record a new Standard Greeting for the upcoming holiday. If you want to, you can also record a generic Holiday Greeting to play during any holiday.

    holidayGreeting4.gif

    After Hours Greeting: Assign it the After Hours Schedule and record the standard greeting with the message you want to play when the company is closed. For example, "The office is now closed, our normal hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m."

    holidaygreeting5.gif

    Next, go into the Greetings section of the call handler and at the top of the page and select the Closed Greeting. Verify the Closed Greeting is enabled and its source is set to Blank. At the bottom of the page, mark the After Greeting setting to Send caller to and select Call Handler from the drop-down list. Click Select Call Handler and choose the Holiday Greeting call handler from the available call handlers. Make sure it is set to the default, Send to Greeting for Holiday Greeting.

    holidaygreeting6.gif

    Opening Greeting: Assign it the Weekdays schedule and record the standard greeting, which is heard during regular operating hours.

    HolidayGreeting7.gif

    Next, go under the Greeting section of the Opening Greeting call handler and verify the Closed Greeting is enabled and that the recording source is set to Blank. Mark the After Greeting setting to Send caller to and select Call Handler from the drop-down list. Click Select Call Handler and choose the After Hours Greeting call handler from the available call handlers.

    holidaygreeting8.gif

This configuration can be applied to any greeting offered through any Cisco Unity pilot number or call transfer. You can use this configuration of three schedules for a single location or create different sets of schedules for different locations. You can also create multiple Opening and After Hours Greetings that point to the same Holiday Greeting or record separate greetings for each. The behavior still follows this logic.

If it is not a holiday and the call is received during business hours, the Business Hours/Weekday schedule activates and the caller hears the standard greeting of the Opening Greeting call handler.

If it is not a holiday and the call is received after business hours, the Business Hours/Weekday schedule activates the blank closed greeting of the Opening Greeting call handler. Since this call handler is controlled by the After Hours schedule, the caller hears the standard greeting of the After Hours call handler.

If it is a holiday and the call is received during business hours, the Business Hours/Weekday schedule observes the holiday, bypasses the blank closed greeting of the Opening Greeting call handler, and sends the caller to the After Hours call handler. Since this call handler is controlled by the After Hours schedule, which also observes the holidays, the call activates the blank closed greeting of the After Hours call handler and finally reaches the Holiday call handler. Since this call handler is controlled by the holiday schedule, which does not observe the holidays, the caller hears the standard greeting of the Holiday call handler.

If it is a holiday and the call is received after business hours, the holiday schedule is again activated and the caller hears the standard greeting of the Holiday call handler.

Note: In each of these cases, where you have configured the three schedules and three call handlers, you only need to modify the standard greeting of any of the call handlers involved.

How to Configure Multiple Locations With Holiday Greetings

If the Cisco Unity system needs to consider region or location-specific holidays and different locations use different opening greetings, an administrator can alter schedules to accommodate different holidays for different locations. Add all the holidays for each region to the System Configurations Holiday section. Then use the Observe Holidays checkbox on any region or location-specific schedule to toggle between any locations that observe these holidays.

For example, if an administrator has a Cisco Unity server that receives calls from locations in both the US and Canada, they need to configure holiday schedules and greetings for each location. To do so, add both Canada's Thanksgiving and the United States' Thanksgiving holidays to the System Configuration Holiday Calendar. Before Canada's Thanksgiving, in October, uncheck the Observe Holidays checkbox on the US Business Hours and After Hours schedules. This ensures the standard greetings for both the Opening Greeting and After Hours call handler play for US locations, while the Canada callers hear the holiday greeting. After the first holiday, make sure the Observe Holidays checkbox is re-checked and saved before the second holiday. Based on the holidays observed, you can uncheck or check the Observe Holidays checkbox for each location, as needed. This ensures the proper greetings are played.

Note: A single Unity server can be integrated with multiple CallManagers at different sites where they maintain a different holiday schedule at each site. Currently, Cisco Unity does not support multiple holiday schedules for each location. As a workaround, dummy mail boxes can be configured at each location for the holiday greeting and the operator's phone can be forwarded to the new Holiday Greeting on holidays.

Related Information

Updated: Jan 15, 2007
Document ID: 23263