Cisco Unity

Transferring a Caller from Voicemail to an External Number in Cisco Unity

Document ID: 43422

Updated: Feb 02, 2006



This document describes one method used to enable a Cisco Unity subscriber to transfer a caller from their voicemail to an external number. This can be useful if the subscriber is often out of the office and would like to be reached at his/her cell phone or other external phone. Typically, the subscriber's greeting says "I am not in the office right now. If you need to reach me press 3 to be transferred to my cell phone". This document discusses how to set up such a transfer and how to troubleshoot common problems.



The user should have some familiarity with the Cisco Unity System Admin (SA) Web interface.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on these software and hardware versions:

  • Cisco Unity 3.x and 4.x

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 Cisco Technical Tips Conventions.

Enable a Caller to Transfer from a Subscriber's Voicemail to an External Phone

Complete these steps to transfer a caller from your Cisco Unity voicemail to an external phone.

  1. Create a transfer call handler.

    The purpose of this new call handler is to act as a transfer agent to the external phone. In this example a new call handler called "MorganTransfer" has been created. From the Call Handler's section, select the blue Plus (+) button and type in the name of your new call handler. When you are finished, save the call handler.


  2. Configure the new call handler to transfer to the external number.

    From the Call Transfer section under the Call Handlers heading, you see the screen below. In order to transfer to an external phone, select Yes, Ring a subscriber at this extension.

    In this example, the call is transferred to 7002, which represents an external number.

    Note: If a trunk code is required for external line access, include that in your dial string.


  3. From the Subscriber heading, select Caller Input and select the number you want callers to press in order to transfer to an external phone.

    In this example, key 1 is selected.


  4. Select Send caller to.

  5. Use the pull down menu to choose Call handler.

  6. Click the find button to select your newly created call handler (in this example, "MorganTransfer").

  7. Under the Conversation menu of this screen select Attempt transfer for and save.

  8. Change your voicemail greeting to reflect this new option.

    For example, your voicemail greeting might be updated to say, "I am not in the office right now. If you need to reach me on my cell phone, please press 1 now; otherwise leave a message." If the caller presses 1, they are transferred to the number you specified in the transfer call handler. To verify that this works you can use Call Viewer (select Start > Programs > Unity > Call Viewer) to show that the subscriber's voicemail transfers the call. When you press 1, you should also hear the Cisco Unity operator say, "attempting transfer".


Troubleshoot Problems with Transfers

There are usually a few common issues administrators have when configuring the transfer. In the first issue, the Administrator fails to select the Attempt to transfer for option and leaves the default, Send to greeting for. If the default Send to greeting for is selected, then the caller hears the error message, "Sorry the extension you requested was not available" and the caller is not transferred to the external phone.


Another issue that prevents this transfer from working is that your Cisco CallManager's Calling Search Spaces (CSS) may be blocking the transfer. Check the event log on the Cisco Unity server. You may see messages that indicate that the blind transfers to your external phone "failed, due to reorder tone received". If you get these errors, change the CSS for the voicemail ports in Cisco CallManager to include partitions with access to gateways that calls to the external number need to go through. When you make changes to the CSS for the voicemail ports, those changes are not effective until the voicemail ports are reset. The easiest way to reset the voicemail ports is to stop and start the Cisco Unity services, or stop and start Cisco Unity from the systray icon. During a reset of the Cisco Unity voicemail ports, there is an interruption of service.

If there is a trunk code (for example, 9) you need to add that to the external phone number. For example, if the number is 5551212, you need to pre-pend it (for example - 9,5551212).

Related Information

Updated: Feb 02, 2006
Document ID: 43422