Troubleshooting Guide for Cisco Unity Release 5.x (With Microsoft Exchange)
Message Notification
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Message Notification

Table Of Contents

Message Notification

About Problems with Message Notification

Message Notification Is Slow for Multiple Subscribers

Ports Are Too Busy to Make Notification Calls Promptly

Not Enough Ports Are Set for Message Notification Only

Confirming That the Phone System Sends Calls to the Ports Set to Answer Calls

Cisco Unity Partner Exchange Server Is Down or Is Disconnected

Message Notification Is Slow for a Subscriber

Message Notification Setup Is Inadequate

Notification Attempts Are Missed

Repeat Notification Option Is Misunderstood

MAPI Logon Delay After Restarting the Cisco Unity Server

Message Notification Calls Are Not Made to Any External Numbers

Message Notification Is Not Working at All for a Subscriber

SMS Notifications Are Not Working at All

Only Certain Types of Messages Are Set to Trigger Notification

Access Code for an External Line Is Missing

Notification Number Is Incorrect or the Device Is Disabled or Not Working

Notification Device Phone System Assignment Is Incorrect (Dual Phone System Integrations Only)

Message Notification Announcements Appear in Subscriber Mailboxes


Message Notification


About Problems with Message Notification

Problems with message notification to devices such as a subscriber pager, or a work, home, or spare phone fall into two categories:

Message notification is slow

When multiple subscribers report that message notification is slow, a port setup problem is the likely cause. See the "Message Notification Is Slow for Multiple Subscribers" section. Isolated complaints about slow message notification likely are related to a subscriber message notification settings. See the "Message Notification Is Slow for a Subscriber" section.

Message notification does not work at all

Some system problems can prevent Cisco Unity from making any notification calls. See the "MAPI Logon Delay After Restarting the Cisco Unity Server" section, and the "Message Notification Calls Are Not Made to Any External Numbers" section. When a subscriber sets up message notification incorrectly, it can prevent Cisco Unity from making any notification calls to that subscriber. See the "Message Notification Is Not Working at All for a Subscriber" section.

Subscriber mailboxes are filled with message notification announcements

See the "Message Notification Announcements Appear in Subscriber Mailboxes" section.


Message Notification Is Slow for Multiple Subscribers

There are several possible reasons that message notification may appear to be slow for multiple subscribers. Use the "Task List for Troubleshooting Slow Message Notifications for Multiple Subscribers" to troubleshoot the possible causes.

Task List for Troubleshooting Slow Message Notifications for Multiple Subscribers

1. Confirm that ports are not too busy to handle message notification. See the "Ports Are Too Busy to Make Notification Calls Promptly" section.

2. Confirm that there are enough ports assigned to message notification. See the "Not Enough Ports Are Set for Message Notification Only" section.

3. Confirm that the phone system sends calls to ports that are set to answer calls. See the "Confirming That the Phone System Sends Calls to the Ports Set to Answer Calls" section.

4. Confirm that the partner Exchange server is not down or disconnected. See the "Cisco Unity Partner Exchange Server Is Down or Is Disconnected" section.

Ports Are Too Busy to Make Notification Calls Promptly

When the ports that make notification calls are also set to perform other operations, they may be too busy to make notification calls promptly. You can improve notification performance by dedicating a smaller number of ports to making notification calls exclusively.

Systems that handle a large volume of calls may require additional ports to improve notification performance.

To Review Port Configuration for Message Notification


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the System > Ports page.

Step 2 Review the existing port configuration and determine whether one or more ports can be set to dial out for message notification only.


Not Enough Ports Are Set for Message Notification Only

When a small number of ports are set to make notification calls and Cisco Unity takes a lot of messages, the notification ports may not always be able to dial out promptly.

If the percentage of ports used for dialing out for message notification exceeds 70 percent usage during peak periods, review the existing port configuration and determine whether more ports can be set to dial out for message notification only.

If the percentage of ports used for dialing out for message notification does not exceed 70 percent usage during peak periods, the number of notification ports is adequate. Contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to resolve the problem.

To Determine Whether the Number of Message Notification Ports Is Adequate


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity server desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 2 In the left pane, under Reporting Tools, double-click Port Usage Analyzer.

Step 3 In the Port Usage Analyzer window, click the Port Availability tab.

Step 4 In the Data Logs Folder field, enter the path to the data logs. The default location of the data_AVCsMgr_<date>.log files is the CommServer\Logs directory.

Step 5 In the Select Day field, click the day for which you want port usage analyzed.

Step 6 Click Load Data. A summary of the port usage information appears in a dialog box.

Step 7 (Optional) To generate a report, on the Port Availability tab, click Run Report.

Step 8 If the percentage of ports used exceeds 70 percent usage during peak periods, go to the System > Ports page in the Cisco Unity Administrator, then continue with Step 9.

If the percentage of ports used does not exceed 70 percent usage during peak periods, the number of message waiting indication ports is adequate.

Step 9 Review the existing port configuration and determine whether more ports can be set to dial out for message notification only.


Confirming That the Phone System Sends Calls to the Ports Set to Answer Calls

If the phone system is programmed to send calls to a port on Cisco Unity that is not configured to answer calls, Cisco Unity will not answer the call.

To Confirm That Calls Are Being Sent to the Correct Cisco Unity Ports


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the System > Ports page.

Step 2 Note which ports are set to answer calls.

Step 3 In the phone system programming, confirm that calls are being sent only to those ports that are set to answer calls. Change the phone system programming if necessary.

Step 4 If you make a change to the phone system programming, restart the Cisco Unity server to clear any hung ports.


Cisco Unity Partner Exchange Server Is Down or Is Disconnected

Messages recorded while the partner Exchange server is down or disconnected are stored in the Unity Messaging Repository (UMR) until the server is brought back up. Because calls for message notification are not made until a message is actually delivered to a subscriber, the delay experienced between the time a message is recorded and its delivery and the sending of the notification is dependant on the length of time that the primary Exchange server was down or disconnected.

Message Notification Is Slow for a Subscriber

There are several possible reasons that message notification may appear to be slow for a subscriber. Use the "Task List for Troubleshooting Slow Message Notification for a Single Subscriber" to troubleshoot the possible causes.

Task List for Troubleshooting Slow Message Notification for a Single Subscriber

1. The subscriber settings may not be adequate for the needs of the subscriber. See the "Message Notification Setup Is Inadequate" section.

2. The subscriber settings may need adjustment to more correctly map to the work schedule of the subscriber. See the "Notification Attempts Are Missed" section.

3. The subscriber may not clearly understand how repeat notifications are handled by Cisco Unity. See the "Repeat Notification Option Is Misunderstood" section.

Message Notification Setup Is Inadequate

When a subscriber complains that notification calls are not being received when expected, the problem may be with the notification settings.

To Determine Whether Notification Setup Is Adequate


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 Confirm with the subscriber that the notification device is applicable to the needs of the subscriber. If the subscriber has selected a very busy phone for Cisco Unity to call, ask if there is an alternate phone or pager to use for message notification.

Step 4 Confirm with the subscriber that the notification schedule is consistent with the days and times that the subscriber is available to receive notification calls.


Notification Attempts Are Missed

A subscriber who is frequently away from or busy using a notification device may repeatedly miss notification attempts. To the subscriber, it appears that Cisco Unity has delayed message notification.

To Resolve Missed Notification Attempts


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 In the Notification Options section, check the Restart Notification Each Time a New Message Arrives check box.

Step 4 In the Try Again How Many Times fields, increase the numbers so that Cisco Unity makes more notification calls when the device does not answer or is busy.

Step 5 In the How Many Minutes To Wait Between Tries fields, decrease the numbers so that Cisco Unity makes notification calls more often when the device does not answer or is busy.

Step 6 In the If Notification Fails field, select Pager as a backup device if the subscriber has a pager available for use. Also enter settings and a schedule for the pager.

Step 7 Suggest that the subscriber set up an answering machine for the notification phone, so that notification calls are received even when the subscriber is unavailable.

When Cisco Unity is set to call a phone that has an answering machine, confirm with the subscriber that the answering machine greeting is short enough so that the machine starts recording before the notification message is repeated.


Repeat Notification Option Is Misunderstood

Setting Cisco Unity to repeat notification at a particular interval when there are still new messages can be useful for subscribers who receive a lot of messages but who do not want immediate notification. However, when a subscriber chooses not to have Cisco Unity restart notification each time a new message arrives, setting a long interval between repeat notification calls may lead the subscriber to believe that Cisco Unity is delaying notification.

To Resolve a Repeat Notification Problem


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 In the Notification Options section, in the field next to the Repeat Notification If There Are Still New Messages After This Many Minutes check box, set a shorter interval, such as 15 minutes.


MAPI Logon Delay After Restarting the Cisco Unity Server

Restarting the Cisco Unity server may result in delayed message notification until MAPI logon to all subscriber mailboxes has been completed. Depending on the size of the subscriber database, it could take several hours to complete the MAPI logon.

Message Notification Calls Are Not Made to Any External Numbers

A possible cause for this problem is that Cisco Unity cannot access an external line. Do the following procedure.

To Verify External Line Access (Circuit-Switched Phone Systems Only)


Step 1 Set up a test phone (Phone 1) for single-line testing. Use a line connected to a port that is set to dial out for Message Notification. For more information, see the "Preparations for Troubleshooting the Phone System" section on page 1-1.

Step 2 On Phone 1, dial the access code necessary to get an external line.

Step 3 Dial an external phone number.

If you do not reach the external number, continue with Step 4.

If you reach the number, Cisco Unity can access external lines for message notification. Message notification settings in the subscriber template may be preventing Cisco Unity from making notification calls. Verify the message types and access code in the template, and change the values if necessary. If you make changes to the template message types or access code, you must make the same changes to all existing subscriber accounts based on the subscriber template.

Step 4 Review the phone system programming for restrictions on external line access. Change the phone system programming values as necessary, and repeat the test.

Step 5 If the test fails again, contact Cisco TAC.


Message Notification Is Not Working at All for a Subscriber

There are several possible reasons that message notification may not work at all for a subscriber. If SMS notification is not working, see the "SMS Notifications Are Not Working at All" section. For all other message notifications, use the "Task List for Troubleshooting Non-Functional Message Notifications for a Subscriber" to troubleshoot the possible causes.

Task List for Troubleshooting Non-Functional Message Notifications for a Subscriber

1. Confirm that message notification is enabled for the correct types of messages. See the "Only Certain Types of Messages Are Set to Trigger Notification" section.

2. Confirm that the message notification phone number includes the access code for an external line if notification is to an external phone. See the "Access Code for an External Line Is Missing" section.

3. Confirm that the notification device is enabled. See the "Notification Number Is Incorrect or the Device Is Disabled or Not Working" section.

4. (Dual phone system integrations only) Confirm that the notification device is assigned to the correct phone system. See the "Notification Device Phone System Assignment Is Incorrect (Dual Phone System Integrations Only)" section.

SMS Notifications Are Not Working at All

A possible cause for this problem is that the information in the System Type field on the SMSC Configuration page in the Cisco Unity Administrator is not capitalized correctly. To confirm that this is the cause, check the Notifier logs. When SMS traces are turned on, the log files indicate that "SmppBindTransmitter failed."

If this is the case, check the SMPP configuration detail provided to you by the SMS provider for the correct capitalization. Then, enter the information in the System Type field in the Cisco Unity Administrator exactly as specified by the SMS provider.

Only Certain Types of Messages Are Set to Trigger Notification

Cisco Unity can be set so that a subscriber is notified only of certain types of messages. For example, if subscriber notification is set up only for fax and urgent voice messages, e-mail and regular voice messages will not cause Cisco Unity to make a notification call.

To Change the Message Types That Trigger Notification Calls


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 In the Notify Subscriber Of section, verify the selected message types with the subscriber.


Access Code for an External Line Is Missing

To place an external call, a subscriber usually must dial an access code to get an external line (for example, 9). When the phone system requires an access code, an external message notification phone number set in Cisco Unity must include the access code.

In addition, some phone systems may require a brief pause between dialing the access code and being connected to an external line.

To Verify an Access Code


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 In the Phone Number box, confirm that the correct access code is included before the phone number. If the phone system requires a pause, enter two commas between the access code and the phone number (for example, 9,,5551234).


Notification Number Is Incorrect or the Device Is Disabled or Not Working

The subscriber may have entered a wrong phone number for Cisco Unity to call. Also, when a subscriber disables notification to a phone or pager, Cisco Unity will not attempt a notification call to the device regardless of the other notification settings.

To Verify a Device Phone Number and Status


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Device list, click the correct notification device.

Step 3 In the Phone Number box, confirm that the correct access code and phone number are entered for the device.

Step 4 In the Status section, confirm that the device is set to Enabled.


To Test a Notification Device


Step 1 If the notification device is a cellular phone or pager, ask the subscriber to have it available for the test.

If the notification device is a home phone or another phone away from the office, ask the subscriber to have someone available to answer the phone during the test.

Step 2 Confirm that the notification device is on.

Step 3 Set up a test phone (Phone 1) for single-line testing. Use a line connected to a port that is set to dial out for message notification. For more information, see the "Preparations for Troubleshooting the Phone System" section on page 1-1.

Step 4 On Phone 1, dial the notification number set in Cisco Unity for the device.

If the pager is activated or the phone rings, you have confirmed that Cisco Unity can call the device.

If the pager is not activated or the phone does not ring, there may be a problem with the device. Consult the documentation from the device manufacturer, or ask the subscriber to obtain a different notification device and repeat the test.


Notification Device Phone System Assignment Is Incorrect (Dual Phone System Integrations Only)

To Verify Notification Device Phone System Assignment


Step 1 In the Cisco Unity Administrator, go to the Subscribers > Subscribers > Message Notification page for the subscriber.

Step 2 In the Notification Options section, note the phone system that is assigned to the device in the Switch field at the bottom of the page.

Step 3 Go to the System > Ports page for the phone system assigned to the device.

Step 4 Verify that the phone system assigned to the notification device has at least one port designated for message notification. Correct the port settings if necessary.

Step 5 Click the Save icon.


Message Notification Announcements Appear in Subscriber Mailboxes

If Cisco Unity does not reject forwarded message notification announcements, they will fill subscriber mailboxes. Enable the rejection of forwarded message notification calls by doing the following procedure.

To Enable Cisco Unity Rejection of Forwarded Message Notification Announcements


Step 1 On the Cisco Unity desktop, double-click the Cisco Unity Tools Depot icon.

Step 2 In the left pane of the Tools Depot window, under Diagnostic Tools, click Administration Tools.

Step 3 Double-click Advanced Settings Tool.

Step 4 In the Unity Settings box, click System—Reject Forwarded Notification DTMF Tone.

Step 5 In the New Value field, enter A.


Note See the Description box for information concerning other valid values and restrictions for this setting.


Step 6 Click Set.

Step 7 When prompted that the value has been set, click OK.

Step 8 Click Exit.

Step 9 Close the Tools Depot window.

Step 10 If Cisco Unity failover is configured, repeat Step 1 through Step 9 on the secondary server in the failover pair.