Cisco Unity Connection

Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 Data Sheet

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Product Overview

Cisco Unity® Connection is a feature-rich voice and unified messaging platform based on the same Linux Unified Communications Operating System as Cisco Unified Communications Manager. With Cisco Unity Connection, you can access and manage voice messages in a variety of ways, using your email inbox, web browser, Cisco Unified IP Phone, smartphones, Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, and more. Cisco Unity Connection also provides robust speech-recognition features for when you are mobile, so you can manage your voice messages hands- and eyes‑free.

Features and Benefits

Powerful Unified Messaging

At its core, Cisco Unity Connection is a powerful unified messaging system with many advanced capabilities that you can customize to maximize your individual and team productivity. You can personalize communications options and interact with the system to manage calls and messages in the way that is most comfortable and convenient for you. The flexible user interface makes messaging more efficient for "power users" and occasional voicemail users alike. For example, you can even customize your telephone user interface (TUI) and touch-tone mappings to make migration from traditional voicemail systems much easier.

Speech-Enabled Messaging

To maximize the productivity of mobile workers, Cisco Unity Connection offers a natural and robust speech-activated user interface that allows you to browse and manage your voice messages using simple, natural speech commands.

In addition, the Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection feature is a built-in speech-enabled Automated Attendant that enables you to call other Cisco Unity Connection users or personal contacts by simply using your voice. To learn more about Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection, please refer to the data sheet:

The Cisco SpeechView feature of Cisco Unity Connection converts voice messages to text and delivers the text version of the voice message to your email inbox, allowing you to read your voice messages and take immediate action. To learn more about Cisco SpeechView, please refer to the data sheet:

Powerful Desktop Message Access

Manage your voice messages from a variety of devices and locations, whichever best suits the way you work:

   Unified messaging

     Voice messages in Cisco Unity Connection and Microsoft Exchange mailboxes are synchronized in Exchange 2010 (also known as single inbox).

     You have text-to-speech (TTS) access to Exchange email.

     You can access your Exchange calendars and contacts.

     The message-waiting indicator (MWI) and heard/unheard message status are synchronized.

     Secure, private messages are supported on the phone and Microsoft Outlook email folder.

     You can access voice messages in your mobile email inbox, such as on BlackBerry smartphones.

   Cisco Unified Personal Communicator voicemail integration

     You can access your voice messages directly from the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator client.

     You can use the integrated media player to play and delete messages.

     You can easily access presence and availability information about the person you are calling in the Cisco Unified Personal Communicator client; then you can click to call the person back and escalate to a web chat, video, or other multimedia session.

   Cisco Unity Connection Web Inbox browser interface to voice messages

     You can view, sort, play, compose, forward, and reply to voice messages using the new HTML 5.0-based interface.

     You can easily address messages to multiple recipients and distribution lists.

     Voice messages in the Cisco Unity Connection Inbox are synchronized with the MWI on your telephone.

     Web browser-based tools are supported on Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

   Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)-based email client to access voice messages

     You can access email and voicemail messages and play and delete voice messages from within the same desktop email client using the built-in ViewMail for Outlook or ViewMail for Notes player.

     Voice messages in your email inbox are synchronized with the MWI on your telephone.

     Various standards-based desktop email clients are supported, including Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Entourage for Mac.

     You can compose, reply to, and forward messages by using IMAP clients.

   Visual voicemail on your Cisco Unified IP Phone

     You can view, sort, play, compose, forward, and reply to voice messages from the screen on your IP phone without having to dial in to the system.

Personal Web Administration

Cisco Unity Connection allows you to customize your personal settings from a web browser. You can quickly and easily establish or change personal settings such as your voicemail options, security codes, personal distribution lists, and message-delivery options. You can also use the web administration interface to define and manage personal call-transfer rules to customize the delivery of incoming calls based on caller, time of day, or calendar status.

Simplified Installation, Configuration, and Maintenance

Running on the Cisco Linux-based appliance platform, Cisco Unity Connection uses a common set of management and serviceability tools designed to provide a consistent experience and to streamline the ongoing management and operation of a Cisco Unified Communications System.

A centralized Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 solution combined with the Cisco Unified Messaging Gateway 8.5 and a Cisco Unity Express 8.5 messaging solution at a branch-office location allows you to enable Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Voicemail. This solution uses Cisco Unity Express at the branch office to manage voice messages if the WAN to the centralized Cisco Unity Connection solution is down. Then, Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Voicemail restores voice messages to the central server when WAN service returns. For more information about Cisco Unified Survivable Remote Site Voicemail, please refer to the data sheet at:


You can install Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 on select Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platforms. Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 introduces a new virtualization overlay for 1000 users and support for the Cisco UCS B200 M2, UCS C210 M2, and UCS C200 M2 Blade Servers.

Table 1 lists more features and benefits of Cisco Unity Connection 8.0.

Table 1.       Features and Benefits

New Features for Cisco Unity Connection Version 8.5

  Unified messaging with Microsoft Exchange 2010:
   Voice messages are synchronized with the Exchange inbox.
   MWI and message status are synchronized.
   Secure, private messages, mobile client, and calendar integration for Exchange 2010 are all supported.
   You can enable unified messaging for specific users or all users.
  The solution offers a new Web 2.0 Inbox Client that is based on HTML v5.0.
  The Cisco Unity Connection Web Inbox uses Representational State Transfer-based application programming interfaces (APIs) for functions, it is backward-compatible with HTML v4.0, and it can be deployed as a widget or gadget.
  Virtualization and platform enhancements:
   The solution offers a new 1000-user virtualization overlay.
   Support for Cisco UCS B200 M2, UCS C210 M2, UCS C200 M2, and the Cisco 7825-I5 Media Convergence Server is introduced with Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 and later.
  Application and database audit logging allows you to track configuration changes to the Cisco Unity Connection system in separate audit log files.
  This feature reports configuration changes for Cisco Unity Connection Administration, Cisco Unity Connection Serviceability, Cisco Unified Serviceability, Real-Time Monitoring Tool (RTMT), Cisco Personal Communications Assistant, the command-line interface (CLI), user authentication events for Cisco Unity Connection clients that use the Representational State Transfer APIs, and API calls for clients that use the Cisco Unity Connection Provisioning Interface.
  The database logging feature reports changes to the Cisco Unity Connection database.
  IPv6 support:
   Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 supports IPv6 addressing with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (7.1(2) or later) phone system integrations using Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).
   The addressing mode is configurable by port group.
  Messaging enhancements:
   Messaging files are shredded for secure deletion.
   Message recording expiration guarantees voice messages cannot be listened to after they reach a set expiration date.
   Message aging alerts are supported.
  Conversation enhancements:
   The Cisco Unity Connection system can announce before playing a message when it has been sent to multiple recipients.
   You can customize message conversations to allow you to listen to all the recipients of the message.
   You now can toggle between touch-tone and speech-recognition conversations.
  API enhancements:
   The Cisco Unity Connection Provisioning Interface has been expanded to include access for individual users.
   The Cisco Unity Connection Messaging Interface has been expanded to allow for access to secure messages.
  Bulk Administration Tool enhancements:
   With this tool you can create and update multiple alternate first and last names for contacts and users.
   You can create and update multiple alternate names for Distribution List objects and passwords.
   You now can update personal identification numbers (PINs).
   You can create and update standard and closed transfer rule settings for users.
  Run Now functions have been added to task management.
  Call-routing rules now allow for routing to different conversation styles.
  The solution supports Cisco Unified SIP Proxy integration.
  The solution offers new support for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integrations (AD 2008 and AD-LDS).
  The limit for VPIM locations has been increased to 50.
  The solution supports more languages (Catalan, Chinese-Hong Kong, and Norwegian).
  A new ViewMail for Outlook plug-in provides unified messaging support for Outlook 2007 and 2010 and IMAP support for Outlook 2003.

Message Access from the TUI

  You can play and process messages (repeat, reply, forward, delete, save, mark as new, hear day or time stamp, or skip to the next message).
  You can reverse, pause, or fast forward messages during playback.
  You can control volume and speed during message playback.
  You can pause or resume during message recording.
  You can address messages to multiple recipients.
  With the message locator, you can search for messages by caller ID, name, or extension in saved messages.
  You can record messages and mark them as regular, urgent, private, or secure.
  You can record messages and request a return receipt.
  You can record a live conversation with a caller and have the recording sent to your mailbox.
  You can switch between spelling name and extension when addressing a message.
  With live reply, you can immediately reply to messages from other users.
  You can access email messages over the phone using the text-to-speech (TTS) feature (for Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, and 2010).
  When TTS is enabled, a conversation tells you if the message has attachments; when an attachment is in a playable or readable format, the attachment is played or read.
  You can view, listen, respond to, and play back messages using the Cisco Unified Communications Widget for Visual Voicemail on Cisco Unified IP Phones. Learn more about Visual Voicemail at:
  You can access Microsoft Exchange calendar through speech or the TUI.
  You can browse the calendar and accept, decline, or cancel an Outlook appointment.
  If you inadvertently disconnect while sending a new message, replying to, or forwarding a message, and if the message has at least one recipient or a recording, Cisco Unity Connection can save the message as a draft and allow you to return to finish the message on a subsequent call.
  You can review and recall messages sent over a period of time.
  When you hang up or your call is disconnected, bookmarks allow you to call back into Cisco Unity Connection and resume listening to messages without losing your place.

Speech-Enabled Messaging*

  Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection, a speech-enabled Automated Attendant for the enterprise, allows you to connect quickly with your colleagues using only your voice (available with Cisco Unity Connection v7.1.3 and later).
  You can speak your voicemail password.
  You can speak dates and times.
  You can use speech commands to play and process messages (play, record, reply, forward, delete, save, etc.).
  You can use speech commands to edit and manage your personal greetings.
  You can use speech commands to address messages to private distribution lists.
  You can use speech commands such as pause, resume, speed up, slow down, skip ahead, and skip back to provide rich and granular control of messages and prompts.
  Speech-enabled directory handlers allow outside callers to use voice commands to reach Cisco Unity Connection users.
  You can temporarily use touch tones to change setup options, and then return to speech-recognition mode.
  A speech command tutorial is available.
  You can customize speech-enabled directory handler greetings.

* Speech-enabled messaging is available for U.S. English only.

Call-Transfer Rules

  You can define rules to route incoming calls by caller.
  You can define rules to route incoming calls by time of day.
  You can define rules to route incoming calls by your calendar free or busy status (Microsoft Exchange only).

End-User Features

  If a call is dropped while you are recording a message, Cisco Unity Connection saves a draft message and you can continue recording where you left off during your next session.
  You can customize message-notification options, manage personal greetings, or change passwords with Cisco Unity Connection Assistant (the Cisco web browser-based personal administrator).
  You can select the conversation type: Full or brief prompts.
  You can record and then address a message, or address and then record a message.
  You can record a message for future delivery.
  You can record up to five personal greetings (alternative, busy, internal, off hours, or standard).
  You can manage an alternative greeting, set the expiration date or time, notify users when an alternative greeting is set, or require callers to listen to the full alternative greeting.
  You can forward calls directly to an alternative greeting (or other personal greeting) without ringing the phone.
  You can specify an after-greeting action; after a user greeting, callers can leave a message, sign in, or hang up, or they can be sent to call handlers, directory handlers, interview handlers, or other users.
  You can use flex stack to specify the order in which messages are presented over the phone: by urgency and then by last in, first out (LIFO) or first in, first out (FIFO).
  You can create private distribution lists and address messages to them through the TUI or GUI.
  You can provide message notification for new messages through devices such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Short Message Service (SMS), text pagers, and phone destinations.
  With a cascade message-notification feature, you can send additional notification types if a message is not retrieved.
  You can send notifications for messages from a particular user or phone number.
  You can select whether message counts are announced; totals, saved, and new counts are available.
  You can specify whether Cisco Unity Connection announces a transferred call.
  You can perform a supervised transfer for individual alternate contact numbers.
  You can view and play back messages using Visual Voicemail on Cisco Unified IP Phones. You can use soft keys on Cisco Unified IP Phones to access all messages, new messages, or messages from a specific subscriber or outside caller.
  You can use a Really Simple Syndication (RSS) reader to retrieve voice messages.
  You can perform a “live reply” to someone who left a message from an external telephone.
  With ViewMail for Microsoft Outlook (VMO) and ViewMail for IBM Lotus Notes (VMN) plug-ins, you can compose, reply to, forward, play, rewind, or pause messages directly from within the Outlook or Notes email client.
  You can compose, reply to, and forward messages by using IMAP clients.
  Through calendar integration with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace® 7.0, you can join a meeting that is in progress, hear a list of participants for a meeting, send a message to the meeting organizer or participants, and set up an immediate meeting.
  You can dispatch a message to a group, with the message being assigned to the first member of the group to listen to the message. When the message is assigned, it is deleted from all other users’ inboxes and becomes a normal message in the assignee’s mailbox.
  You have flexibility with support for partitions, search spaces, and search scopes.
  You can receive and forward fax messages through integration with the Cisco Fax Server.
  You can customize subject lines for messages received in any visual client that displays the subject message, such as an IMAP or RSS client.
  You can use a single phone number for both voice calls and fax transmissions.
  With the Voice Message Store and Forward feature, administrators, on a per-user basis, can forward voice messages to an external mailbox, making it easier for you to access voice messages on a mobile device.

System Administration Overview

  Cisco Unity Connection supports digital networking for up to 100,000 users within an enterprise and up to 20 servers or active-active cluster server pairs, including cross-server login, cross-server transfer, and cross-server live replay.
  Cisco Unity Connection is scalable to 250 ports and 20,000 users per server. Refer to the Cisco Unity Connection Supported Platforms List for details at:
  High-availability support is achieved through an active-active redundancy configuration, which also supports up to 500 ports in the server pair.
  You can use advanced Cisco Unity Connection to Cisco Unity networking to allow both solutions to be networked together transparently.
  Cisco Unity Connection supports the synchronization of user information using LDAP with Microsoft Active Directory 2000, 2003, and 2008; Sun One; Sun iPlanet; and Netscape Directory Server, enhancing your deployment and administrative options.
  Cisco Unity Connection allows for separation of an active-active pair across data centers (geospatial separation), providing greater deployment options for the enhanced reliability of high availability across the WAN.
  Cisco Unity Connection supports Voice Profile for Internet Messaging Version 2 (VPIMv2), which allows networking of up to 10 Cisco Unity, Cisco Unity Express, or third-party voicemail systems, allowing users on each of these systems to transparently reply to, forward, and exchange voice messages.
  Phone-system integrations include any phone system that provides a serial data link (Simplified Message Desk Interface [SMDI], Message Center Interface [MCI], or Message Digest Algorithm 110 [MD110] protocol) to the master PBX IP media gateway (PIMG) unit (serial integration through analog PIMG or T1 IP media gateway [TIMG] units).
  Use TIMG units for in-band integration with Avaya Definity G3.
  Use TIMG units for in-band integration with Avaya S8500 and S8700.
  Cisco Unity Connection integrates with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Cisco Integrated Services Routers using QSIG.
  Cisco Unity Connection integrates with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and leading traditional telephone systems, even simultaneously (using the PIMG or TIMG).
  Cisco Unified Communications Manager 4.1(3) and higher, Cisco Unified Mobility Advantage, and Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator are supported.
  Cisco Unity Connection natively supports SIP proxy servers, designated SIP phones and clients, and SIP-capable access gateways.
  Cisco Unity Connection provides a browser-based system administration console and tools for easy installation and maintenance.
  City and Department fields are available for administratively defined contacts.

System Administration Features

  Alternate extensions are configurable by the system administrator or user.
  Alternate key mappings for message retrieval can help you transition from traditional voicemail systems.
  Custom keypad mapping allows administrators to create TUIs for specific user needs.
  Automatic gain control provides consistent message volume playback levels.
  Handlers provide building blocks for Automated-Attendant and intelligent call-routing functions.
  Call handlers accept calls, play recorded prompts, route calls, and accept messages.
  Directory handlers manage the way that callers search the directory.
  Interview handlers collect and record input from callers.
  You can customize directory handlers with a voice greeting.
  You can configure per-user message-handling actions to determine how messages of specific types are handled in the system, such as “accept the message”, “reject the message”, or “relay the message”.
  Caller ID is supported.
  Call screening is configurable.
  Class of service (CoS) controls user access to features.
  Administrators can create users individually or in bulk.
  Administrators can import users from Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
  Messages are day and time stamped.
  You can perform a directory search by spelling a username; you can enter up to 24 letters.
  You can log in to the TUI without entering your ID.
  Representational State Transfer-based APIs for provisioning and messaging allow integrations with existing corporate provisioning tools or messaging clients.
  Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 supports IPv6 addressing with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (7.1(2) or later) phone system integrations using SCCP and SIP. The addressing mode is configurable by port group.
  Encrypted SCCP, Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP), and Transport Layer Security/SRTP (TLS/SRTP) for SIP facilitates Cisco Unified Communications Manager integration.
  SIP support includes the following:
   TLS/SRTP: Cisco Unified Communications Manager SIP trunk integrations support authentication and encryption of the Cisco Unity Connection voice messaging ports.
   Keypad Stimulus Protocol (KPML): For Cisco Unified Communications Manager SIP trunk integrations, administrators can configure the integration to send dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) keystrokes in the Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) media stream (in-band) or in a SIP message (out-of-band).
   Port multiplexing: SIP integrations (such as for PIMG, TIMG, or Cisco SIP Proxy Server) can share the same SIP port on the Cisco Unity Connection server.
  Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Versions 1, 2, and 3 are supported.
  Event logging is supported.
  Full mailbox warning is supported.
  You can create folders within a mailbox for inbox, deleted items, sent items, and draft items.
  Installation is simple and quick.
  A list of observed holidays is configurable.
  You can configure how Cisco Unity Connection handles messages that are interrupted by disconnected calls.
  MWI is supported, including enhanced MWI that displays a constant message count on certain Cisco Unified IP Phones.
  Multiple administrative levels allow you to control access to pages in the system administration GUI by CoS (read, modify, or delete rights).
  Music on hold (MOH) is supported.
  Nondelivery or delivery receipt reason details are presented in the GUI inbox.
  You can specify the public distribution lists to which new users will be added.
  Restriction tables are configurable.
  You can exclude return receipts.
  The system schedule is configurable.
  Self-enrollment allows you to set your password, record your voice name, and specify your directory listing.
  A status monitor allows for real-time administrator status of telephone ports, reports in progress, and system configuration.
  System broadcast messages for officewide announcements are supported.
  System greetings are configurable.
  The system offers 12- and 24-hour clock support for time stamps.
  The system time clock adjusts automatically for Daylight Savings Time.
  A TUI greetings administrator (Cisco Unity Connection Greetings Administrator) is supported.
  LDAP directory integration allows users to be quickly imported, synchronized, and authenticated within the directory.
  You can create up to nine mailbox stores in addition to the default mailbox store that is created when Cisco Unity Connection is installed.
  You can simulate abbreviated extensions by using prepended digits for call handlers and user mailboxes.


  A host intrusion prevention system, the Cisco Security Agent standalone agent, protects Cisco Unity Connection servers from worm and virus attacks; an optional Cisco Security Agent management console is available.
  Password and PIN security policy options to enforce expiration, complexity, reuse, and lockout are supported.
  Call-restriction tables to prevent toll fraud are supported.
  Security event logging and reports of failed login and account lockouts to help prevent unauthorized PIN use are supported.
  Secure, private messaging prevents the playing of private messages accidentally forwarded outside the enterprise.
  A message aging policy for secure messages automatically deletes all secure messages that are older than the specified number of days.
  Message aging policies can be set on a per-user basis.
  Secure RTP and signaling encryption provides for secure communication between Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Communications Manager.
  A user telephone PIN reset feature in Cisco Unity Connection Assistant reduces help-desk calls and operating expenses.
  Support for Secure HTTP (HTTPS) provides for secure web access to Cisco Unity Connection and allows for playback of secure messages within Microsoft Outlook.

Voice Quality

  G.722 and Internet Low Bitrate Codec (iLBC) voice codecs are supported (advertised or “on the line”). G.711 mu-law, G.711 a-law, and G.729 are also supported.
  System-level recording is available for linear pulse code modulation (PCM), Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) 6.10, G.711 mu-law, G.711 a-law, G.729a, and G.726 through system-based transcoding resources.


  Call Handler Traffic Report
  Distribution Lists Report
  Events Report
  Outcall Billing Report
  Port Usage Report
  Users Report
  User Message Activity Report
  System Configuration Report
  Transfer Call Billing Report
  User Access Activity Report
  User Lockout Report
  Message Traffic Report
  Port Activity Report
  Mailbox Store Report
  Dial Plan Report
  Dial Search Scope Report
  For a full list and description of reports, refer to the Cisco Unity Connection System Administration Guide at:


The Cisco Unity Connection TUI, end-user GUI, and TTS engine are available in the following languages:
  Arabic (no TTS)
  Chinese (Hong Kong, Mandarin TUI with simplified and traditional Chinese GUI, simplified Mandarin TTS, but no traditional Mandarin TTS)
  English (U.S., U.K., and Australian)
  English TTY
  French (European and Canadian)
  Portuguese (Brazilian and European)
  Spanish (European and Latin American)
  Turkish (no TTS)


All user and interoperability functions are offered under a single, low-cost user license that you can use for either voicemail or integrated messaging. Port capacity, failover and redundancy licensing, and Speech Connect for Cisco Unity Connection are included in this base license.

System Requirements

The Cisco Unity Connection system runs on the Cisco media convergence servers, or their equivalents. You can mix Cisco Unity Connection Inbox, IMAP, and Cisco Unified Personal Communicator message access in a single deployment. Refer to the Cisco Unity Connection Supported Platform List for hardware configuration and scalability requirements:

For a full, updated list of supported email clients, web browsers, and desktop operating systems for use with Cisco Unity Connection, please visit:

Ordering Information

To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page and refer to Table 2. To download software, visit the Cisco Software Center at:

Table 2.       Ordering Information

Product Name

Part Number

Cisco Unity Connection Release 8.5


Please refer to the Cisco Unity Connection Ordering Guide for detailed information about part numbers, descriptions, and packaging options (Cisco Partner access required):

This product is a part of Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing. Please visit for more information and to determine whether Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing is appropriate for your customer.

Customers running Cisco Unity Connection 8.0 can download the Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 upgrade software from the Cisco Software Center at:

Cisco Services

Cisco Unified Communications Services allows you to accelerate cost savings and productivity gains associated with deploying a secure, resilient Cisco Unified Communications Solution. Delivered by Cisco and our certified partners, our portfolio of services is based on proven methodologies for unifying voice, video, data, and mobile applications on fixed and mobile networks. Our unique lifestyle approach to services can enhance your technology experience to accelerate true business advantage.