Overview of Cisco Unity Express Voice Mail and Auto Attendant
Last Revised: June 28, 2007
The Cisco Unity Express voice-mail and auto-attendant applications work with Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express or Cisco Unified Communications Manager to provide small- and medium-sized companies with the capability to:
•Create and maintain voice mailboxes for onsite or remote telephone subscribers. The maximum number of mailboxes depends on the hardware module and license agreement purchased for Cisco Unity Express. See Recording an Auto-Attendant Greeting or Prompt File for the system limits.
•Record and upload messages for callers to hear when they dial the company's telephone number and prompts to guide the callers to specific extensions or employees.
Note Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express (Cisco Unified CME) was formerly known as Cisco Unified CallManager Express). Cisco Unified Communications Manager was formerly known as Cisco Unified CallManager.
Guidelines and procedures for installing and upgrading the Cisco Unity Express software are described in the Cisco Unity Express 3.2 Installation and Upgrade Guide.
•Recording an Auto-Attendant Greeting or Prompt File
•Configuring Auto-Attendant Scripts
•Networking Cisco Unity Express with Other Voice-Mail Systems
•Differences Between Cisco Unity Express and Cisco Unity
•Interactions Between Cisco Unity Express and Other Cisco Call Platforms
•Differences Between Cisco Unity Express and the Cisco Unified Call Platforms
Recording an Auto-Attendant Greeting or Prompt File
Two methods are available to create auto-attendant greeting and prompt files:
•Create a .wav file with the following format: G.711 u-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit, Mono. The file cannot be larger than 1 MB (about 2 minutes). After recording the greeting, use the GUI option Voice Mail > Prompts > Upload or Cisco Unity Express CLI ccn copy command to copy the file in to the Cisco Unity Express system. See the GUI online help (OLH) or the Cisco Unity Express VoiceMail and Auto Attendant CLI Administrator Guide for the upload procedure.
•Use the AvT on the TUI to record the greeting or prompt. Dial the AvT telephone number and select the option to record a greeting. When finished recording, save the file. AvT automatically saves the file in Cisco Unity Express.
The AvT prompt filename has the format UserPrompt_DateTime.wav, for example: UserPrompt_11152003144055.wav. You may want to use CLI commands or GUI options to rename the file with a meaningful name.
Cisco recommends using the AvT on the TUI to record greetings and prompts because the AvT provides higher sound quality compared to .wav files recorded using other methods.
Configuring Auto-Attendant Scripts
Cisco Unity Express provides a set of auto-attendant prompts and a process, called a script, for handling callers' responses to the prompts. You can modify this script so that specific caller responses are handled in a different way. For example, callers can be directed to leave a voice message in a specific mailbox if they call after business hours.
Use the Microsoft Windows software-based script editor software that comes with Cisco Unity Express to modify the script or create a new script. See the Cisco Unity Express 3.2 Guide to Writing Auto-Attendant Scripts for guidelines and procedures.
The file cannot be larger than 256 KB.
After creating the script file, save the file on your PC. Use the CLI interface or the GUI option Voice Mail > Scripts to upload the script file to the auto-attendant application.
Networking Cisco Unity Express with Other Voice-Mail Systems
Cisco Unity Express supports the capability to network Cisco Unity Express with a voice-mail system located at a different site. Subscribers can send and receive messages from subscribers on remotely located, compatible voice-mail systems configured on Cisco Unified Communications Manager or Cisco Unified CME call control platforms. Supported configurations include:
•Cisco Unity Express to Cisco Unity Express
•Cisco Unity to Cisco Unity Express
•Cisco Unity Express to Cisco Unity
For more information about configuring the networking capability, choose the Administration > Network Locations and the Configure > Remote Users options and use the online help.
Cisco Unity Express offers two administration interfaces:
•Graphical user interface (GUI)—This user-friendly, web-based interface permits administration of all voice-mail and auto-attendant functions.
The GUI is targeted for administrators familiar with web-based applications and who have little or no experience with Cisco IOS command structure.
•Command-line interface (CLI)—This text-based interface has the same administration and configuration capabilities as the GUI. Installation, upgrade, and troubleshooting functions are available only through the CLI commands. The administrator accesses this interface through a Telnet session to the router.
The CLI is targeted for installers, resellers, support personnel, and others familiar with Cisco IOS command structure and routers. For them, accessing the system using the CLI may be easier than using the GUI, especially for troubleshooting, scripting, and bulk provisioning of many sites. See the Cisco Unity Express VoiceMail and Auto Attendant CLI Administrator Guide for more information about CLI configuration.
The GUI and CLI are accessible from a PC or server anywhere in the IP network. To access the GUI, use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or a later release. See "Logging In and Out of Cisco Unity Express" on page 55. Cisco Unity Express does not support any other browser. To access the CLI, Telnet to the router and use the service-module command.
Differences Between Cisco Unity Express and Cisco Unity
Cisco Unity Express is not the same application as Cisco Unity, although both of them are in the Cisco family of voice messaging products. They differ as follows:
•Cisco Unity is usually deployed in a central location that can be networked with multiple sites. Cisco Unity Express can be deployed in standalone locations that serve the local subscribers.
However, a Cisco Unity Express system can be administered from any location that has IP connectivity with the router that houses the Cisco Unity Express application. If several sites in a network use Cisco Unity Express, they can be administered individually from a single PC or server. The administrator opens a browser on a PC or server to the GUI at each site or opens a Telnet session to the CLI at each site.
•Cisco Unity supports 100 or more mailboxes, and Cisco Unity Express supports 250 or fewer mailboxes.
•Cisco Unity has a larger set of features than does Cisco Unity Express.
Cisco Unity Express uses Cisco Unity4.0.5 voice-mail prompt recordings and prompt flow, which provides the voice-mail subscriber with the same voice-mail look-and-feel.
Interactions Between Cisco Unity Express and Other Cisco Call Platforms
Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager are the software that control the telephony functions. Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager accept incoming and outgoing calls to your network and decide where the calls should be sent.
Cisco Unity Express accepts SIP calls from Cisco Unified CME and JTAPI calls from Cisco Unified Communications Manager. Cisco Unity Express accepts H.323 and Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP) calls if Cisco Unified Communications Manager routes them over the JTAPI interface.
Cisco Unity Express is an application that enhances Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager by providing the voice messaging and automated attendant capabilities. The Cisco Unity Express module contains the voice-mail and auto-attendant software. During the system installation process, the installer inserts this module into platform router.
Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager have databases of information that contain such elements as the telephone hardware identifications, extension numbers associated with the telephones, users on the system, logins, routing destinations, call handling features, and other system-wide parameters.
The Cisco Unity Express database contains information about the voice mailboxes, directory numbers associated with voice mailboxes, auto-attendant prompts, and voice messages.
The Cisco Unity Express and Cisco Unified CME databases are synchronized to ensure that calls are handled correctly and voice messages are received and stored properly. The Cisco Unity Express and Cisco Unified Communications Manager databases are not automatically synchronized.
The integrated Cisco Unity Express and Cisco Unified CME administration GUI allows you to configure the voice-mail and auto-attendant parameters and some of the Cisco Unified CME parameters, such as extensions and telephones.
As you go through the initialization and configuration procedures for either platform, be sure to save your data so that all databases have current information.
If the WAN link goes down between Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Unity Express, Cisco Unity Express will not be able to accept calls from Cisco Unified Communications Manager. However, the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) subsystem on the Cisco Unity Express module can accept calls from the Cisco Survivable Remote Site Telephony (SRST) engine in the router containing the Cisco Unity Express module. Voice-mail and auto-attendant applications will function properly. Message waiting indicator (MWI) lights will not be updated. After the WAN link becomes active, Cisco Unity Express will detect it and register back with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager server.
Differences Between Cisco Unity Express and the Cisco Unified Call Platforms
Although Cisco Unity Express works closely with Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager, they are not the same applications, and they differ as follows:
•Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager require a web administrator to configure platform parameters and other system components. Cisco CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager users and administrators are stored in their respective platform databases. Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager do not treat their web administrators as telephone users.
Cisco Unity Express permits configured Cisco Unified CME and Cisco Unified Communications Manager users to be copied into the Cisco Unity Express database.
•Cisco Unity Express allows only uppercase letters A to Z, lowercase letters a to z, digits 0 to 9, and the characters underscore (_), dot (.), and dash (-) in user IDs. Any Cisco Unified CME or Cisco Unified Communications Manager user IDs that contain other characters cannot be copied into the Cisco Unity Express database. User IDs must start with a letter.
•User IDs and passwords are case sensitive.
The following sections provide references related to Cisco Unity Express.
Obtaining Documentation, Obtaining Support, and Security Guidelines
For information on obtaining documentation, obtaining support, providing documentation feedback, security guidelines, and also recommended aliases and general Cisco documents, see the monthly What's New in Cisco Product Documentation, which also lists all new and revised Cisco technical documentation, at:
Documents Related to Cisco Unity Express
See Cisco Unity Express Documentation, By Version for links to documents related to Cisco Unity Express.
To locate and download MIBs for selected platforms, Cisco IOS releases, and feature sets, use Cisco MIB Locator found at the following URL: http://www.cisco.com/go/mibs
SMTP Service Extensions
Enhanced Mail System Status Codes
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies, RFC
Voice Profile for Internet Mail - Version 2
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
RTP Payloads for DTMF Digits, Telephony Tones and Telephony Signals
SIP: Session Initiation Protocol
Internet Message Access Protocol - Version 4rev1