Home > Articles > Cisco Certification > Introducing Cisco Unified Communications System Fundamentals

Introducing Cisco Unified Communications System Fundamentals

Chapter Description

This chapter introduces the Cisco unified communications system. To administer Cisco Unity and Cisco PA efficiently and effectively, it is important to have an understanding of the environment they inhabit and operate within. Understanding how calls route through the systems and what you can do with them as they travel is crucial to your ability to administer a Cisco unified communications system.

From the Book

Cisco Unity Fundamentals

Cisco Unity Fundamentals

$55.00

Understanding Cisco Unity Features

Cisco Unity administrators must be acquainted with the system features so that they can implement as much of the system's capacity as is required and possible. In addition, it is important that they know the difference between the standard and optional features. When implementing optional features at the level required by corporate messaging needs, the administrator can then choose the correct licensing to purchase.

Using Cisco Unity Standard Features

The standard features in Cisco Unity discussed in this section include (* = new feature in Cisco Unity 4.0):

  • Voice mail

  • Automated attendant

  • Audiotext application

  • System Administration web page

  • Cisco Personal Communications Assistant (Cisco PCA)*

  • Cisco Unity Assistant (CUA)

  • RSA (Rivest, Shamir, and Adelman) enhanced phone security

  • Cisco Unity Greeting Administrator (CUGA)*

  • FlexLM software security*

  • Live Reply*

  • Flex Stack*

  • 12- to 24-hour clock support*

  • Cisco Unity System Preparation Assistant (CUSPA)*

  • Cisco Unity Installation and Configuration Assistant (CUICA)*

  • DVD installation*

  • Multiple directory handlers*

  • SIP support*

  • Additional Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) voice board support

  • Digital networking

Voice Mail

Voice mail allows outside callers and internal users (called subscribers) to leave detailed, private messages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An outside caller records the message with their own voice, which eliminates misunderstood and inaccurate written messages and captures the tone of the caller's voice. Subscribers gain access and listen to their messages from any touch-tone phone. It allows subscribers to listen to their messages, send voice messages to other subscribers, and customize settings such as their personal greetings.

Voice mail saves time by allowing a caller to leave a message immediately, even if the person the caller is trying to reach is away or on the telephone. Voice mail allows a company to better manage its communications and its employees' time.

Automated Attendant

You can set up the automated attendant feature with Cisco Unity, which can make the answering and handling of calls in an organization much easier. Cisco Unity's automated attendant greets and guides callers through the system in a friendly and timely fashion. By doing this, it makes the messaging process as effortless as possible. Cisco Unity gives the caller the option to press a touch-tone key at any time during the voice-mail conversation to speak to an operator.

If the system is using the automated attendant feature and an external caller enters a subscriber's extension number from the opening greeting, the extension can be set up in Cisco Unity to ring that phone's extension. If the subscriber picks up the handset, the call connects. If there is no answer or if the extension is busy, the call routes to the subscriber's voice mailbox, where the caller receives the subscriber's personal greeting.

If a caller does not know the extension, the caller may be able to search the directory of subscribers (referred to as the Alpha Directory in Figure 1-8). If the system finds only one match, Cisco Unity connects the caller directly to the extension. If it finds more than one match, the caller can then choose the appropriate extension from the list given by Cisco Unity's automated attendant.

Figure 1-8 illustrates the call flow options of a caller using the Cisco automated attendant.

Figure 8Figure 1-8 Cisco Automated Attendant

Audiotext Application

Call handlers are the building blocks of the Cisco Unity system. A call handler is a set of call-processing instructions that tells the system what to do when a call reaches that particular system ID. All the entities on a Cisco Unity system, whether they are subscribers, the operator, the opening greeting, or some other user-defined box, are call handlers. Some of them are special cases, so they look different from a standard call handler. However, they are the same.

You can use call handlers to set up specialized call routing, create one-key dialing menus, or provide announcements of prerecorded information. Your call handlers can be as simple or as complex as you wish. One of the simplest applications is the delivery of prerecorded information (called an audiotext application).

When you use the automated attendant to answer incoming calls, you're really using a call handler. The Opening Greeting call handler, to which callers first dial in, can be very simple, or it can take advantage of some powerful features, such as one-key dialing. You can provide a menu of choices for incoming calls with one-key dialing. Callers press one touch-tone key to route their call to the department or service they want. In the background, the one-key dialing menu routes the call to a system ID, whether it is to another menu (another call handler), an extension, or any other system ID. One-key dialing is a shortcut to any listed system ID.

Figure 1-9 illustrates an example of an audiotext application tree.

Figure xxxFigure 1-9 Audiotext Application

Figure 1-9 is an example of an opening greeting call handler that uses one-key dialing to offer a menu of choices.

In this example, pressing the touch-tone 1 routes the caller to the spell-by-name Cisco Unity directory (also known as the directory handler). Pressing the touch-tone 2 routes the caller to a call handler that is set up to play a list of job opportunities. Pressing the touch-tone 3 routes the caller to a call handler that is set up to offer a second layer of menu choices for the Homework Hotline and Community Announcements. There are two choices within that call handler in this example. When someone wants to check the Homework Hotline, they press the touch-tone 3, while the opening greeting is playing. Then, in the next call handler, they hear the second menu of choices, and they can press the indicated touch-tone button that routes them to the Homework Hotline list.

For more information about call handlers, refer to the Cisco Unity System Administration Guide, which you can find at Cisco.com by performing a search of the title.

System Administration Web Page

The Cisco Unity System Administration web page, shown in Figure 1-10, is a web-based console that provides a single point of administration. It is designed to be easy to use and simplifies some of the functions of Microsoft Windows 2000 and Exchange. This includes the creation of users in Active Directory and Exchange for subscribers. It does not require giving up Exchange administrative rights to administrators. The easily accessible console has an HTML interface using Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) to serve up Active Server Pages (ASPs).

Figure 10Figure 1-10 System Administration Web Page

ASPs are dynamic HTML structures. This allows Cisco Unity to hold a wide variety of data in many of the screens. For instance, the Subscriber pages can hold data on any of the subscribers (up to 7500 on the largest servers) on the system.

Cisco PCA

Cisco PCA is a feature that is enabled or disabled by modifying the class of service (COS) of a subscriber. This is a browser interface that has two components: the Cisco Unity Inbox and the CUA.

The Cisco Unity Inbox gives subscribers the option to listen to, compose, reply to, forward, and delete messages through a website. For Cisco Unity 3.1 and earlier, this was known as the Visual Messaging Interface (VMI). The CUA gives subscribers the option to customize their personal settings, such as recorded greetings and message delivery options, from their computers. On Cisco Unity 3.1 and earlier, this was known as the Active Assistant (AA).

The interface to Cisco PCA is a web browser that allows a Cisco Unity subscriber to collect and send voice-mail messages without using the telephone. The subscriber can use Microsoft Internet Explorer to access it through a web session. You can configure Cisco Unity to send an SMTP type of notification to an e-mail alias with an attached link to access the Cisco PCA Inbox.

Figure 1-11 illustrates the Cisco PCA, Cisco Unity Inbox.

The advantages of using the Cisco Unity Inbox includes:

  • It is groupware independent.

  • You can receive message notification via SMTP to groupware.

  • It leverages what users already know.

  • Voice messages are accessible on desktop PCs through Internet Explorer.

Figure 11Figure 1-11 Cisco PCA—Cisco Unity Inbox

CUA

The CUA is the second component of the Cisco PCA. Most voice-mail systems allow users to change the settings of their voice-mail account via a conversation that is available only over the telephone. Cisco Unity offers a fully functional telephone conversation for all users, but it also offers the CUA.

A subscriber can do most of the day-to-day maintenance of their account via a web browser. You enable a subscriber to use the CUA by modifying their COS on the Licensed Features page. Once the CUA is enabled, a subscriber can record their own greetings either over the telephone or by using a microphone on a multimedia PC; change their call-transfer and screening options; change a wide variety of message settings concerning notification, playback, and addressing; and change a variety of personal settings, including their recorded name, telephone password, and directory listing. The ability to change some of these settings is dependent on settings that can be made on a number of Cisco Unity administration pages.

Figure 1-12 illustrates the Cisco PCA, CUA.

Figure 12Figure 1-12 Cisco PCA—CUA

The advantages of using the CUA include:

  • It is easy to use.

  • It leverages what users already know.

  • It leverages the power of the desktop client.

  • Subscribers have another option with which to make changes to their personal settings for voice mail.

RSA Security or Enhanced Phone Security

Cisco Unity subscribers can be set up to use a secure login mechanism called the two-factor user authentication. The type of enhanced phone security is provided when working with the RSA SecurID system and Cisco Unity. The RSA SecurID system has two main components:

  • RSA SecurID Authenticators

  • The RSA Access Control Entry (ACE)/Server

The RSA SecurID Authenticators system and the RSA ACE/Agent assigns each authorized Cisco Unity subscriber an RSA SecurID authenticator. The authenticator generates and displays a new, unpredictable number every 60 seconds. This number, also known as a secure ID or token code, is unique to the subscriber. RSA offers authenticators as hardware, software, and smart cards. Each Cisco Unity subscriber who has an authenticator must have a user account on the ACE/Server.

You use the RSA Database administrator program on the ACE/Server to create and maintain the user accounts. A user account contains the RSA alias and PIN, and information about the user authenticator. By using the information in a user account, the ACE/Server generates the same secure ID as the user authenticator.

In the Cisco Unity Administrator, you assign subscribers to a Class of Service (COS), which has the enhanced phone security enabled. By default, Cisco Unity uses a subscriber Exchange alias as the subscriber RSA alias. When logging on to Cisco Unity over the phone, subscribers enter an ID as usual. Then, instead of a password, subscribers enter a passcode, which is a number that combines the subscriber PIN and the secure ID displayed on the subscriber authenticator. The first time that a subscriber logs on, they need to create a PIN, unless they are already assigned one. In these cases, a subscriber needs to enter only a secure ID, instead of a passcode. Then the subscriber conversation walks the user through the process of creating a PIN.

Cisco Unity uses the ID to look up the user RSA alias, and then sends the RSA alias and passcode to the ACE/Agent installed on the Cisco Unity server. The ACE/Agent encrypts the RSA alias and passcode and sends it to the ACE/Server. The ACE/Server looks up the user account, and then validates the passcode by using the information stored in the account. The ACE/Server returns a code to the ACE/Agent, which in turn passes it along to Cisco Unity.

The ACE/Server return codes are as follows:

  • Passcode accepted—The Cisco Unity system allows a subscriber access to their messages.

  • Access denied—The Cisco Unity system prompts the subscriber to enter the passcode again. You may see this return code if the ACE/Server is unavailable.

  • Secure ID expired—The secure ID of the subscriber has expired and Cisco Unity prompts them to enter the next secure ID shown on the authenticator.

  • New PIN needed—A new PIN is needed and Cisco Unity prompts the subscriber to enter a new PIN.

CUGA

CUGA is a new feature in Cisco Unity 4.0. It allows any subscriber who is the owner of a call handler, or a member of a distribution list that is assigned as the owner of the call handler, to rerecord that call handler greeting over the phone using the telephone user interface (TUI), without using the System Administrator console. The new conversation component (called the Greetings Administrator) allows you to do this. The Cisco Unity System Administrator sets up a way for subscribers to access the Greetings Administrator conversation. Prior to Cisco Unity 4.0, an administrator needed to log on to the System Administration web page to modify call handler greetings.

With Cisco Unity 4.0, the administrator must define how secure they want to make Greetings Administration access. You can set this with a simple one-key dialing entry from any call handler greeting or a call routing rule configured to use Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS). The owner of the call handler needs the following information to use the Cisco Unity Greetings Administrator:

  • The phone number or call handler caller input to dial for access to the CUGA

  • The ID of the call handler owner

  • The password of the call handler owner

  • The extension of the call handler

Once a subscriber has this information, they can access the Greetings Administration conversation. This is a simple conversation that allows a caller to use touch-tone to control greetings and use the handset of the phone to perform items such as record and play back the greetings, enable or disable the alternate greetings, and determine which greeting is currently active for a call handler.

The RSA SecurID system is not available for subscribers who use the Cisco Unity Greetings Administrator to change call handler greetings using the TUI.

FlexLM

FlexLM is the new licensing-control method used by Cisco Unity 4.0. Before version 4.0, Cisco Unity used a security dongle that attached to the server via either a parallel or USB port. Cisco Unity now uses a software file licensing mechanism that removes the need for the external device. When you purchase Cisco Unity, the software license file is the control component that ensures you have all the features and capacity you paid for, while controlling your ability to make duplicate copies of Cisco Unity.

Each Cisco Unity server requires a separate and unique license file. The file is obtained from Cisco and added to the Cisco Unity system as part of the install process. You can change it at any time as part of an update/upgrade process. If the network interface card (NIC) fails on your Cisco Unity 4.0 server and needs replacement, you need to contact Cisco Systems to obtain a new license file. You can do this by contacting the Cisco licensing team at licensing@cisco.com and providing them with the original MAC address (physical address) of the NIC and the address of the new NIC. The e-mail should include an explanation of why you are switching the NIC. The licensing team will deactivate the license associated with the old NIC and issue you another license file for the new one.

Live Reply

Live Reply is a new feature in Cisco Unity 4.0 that enables Cisco Unity to immediately transfer a user to the subscriber who left a message they are listening to. Live Reply is a COS-controlled feature. When enabled, subscribers who are listening to messages by phone can act on a subscriber message by pressing 4-4 to have Cisco Unity call the subscriber immediately. If you are using the Optional Conversation 1, press 8-8 for this feature. Live Reply is disabled by default.

Cisco Unity dials the extension of the subscriber who left the message only when:

  • The subscriber who left the message is homed on the same Cisco Unity server as the subscriber who is attempting to reply.

  • The Transfer Incoming Calls to Subscriber's Phone setting for the subscriber who left the message is set to ring an extension or another number. (The Transfer Incoming Calls to Subscriber's Phone field is on the Subscribers > Call Transfer page on the Cisco Unity System Administration web page.)

Live Reply does not work if the message was left from an outside caller or a nonsubscriber. In addition, it does not work for Internet, Bridge, or AMIS subscribers. These are used for users that do not have mailboxes in the local message store. They are discussed in detail in Chapter 10, "Unified Communications Networking."

When Live Reply is enabled, it is not mentioned in the main Cisco phone menus. Consider telling subscribers that it is available. It is, however, referenced in the Help menu for the Cisco Unity phone conversation, the Cisco Unity User Guide, and the Cisco Unity at a Glance card.

Flex Stack

Flex Stack is a new feature that allows subscribers using the TUI to have their messages played back to them according to message type (voice, fax, e-mail), priority, or the order in which the messages were recorded (last-in, first-out [LIFO] or first-in, first-out [FIFO]). This feature can be set at a per-user level, so each subscriber can choose in what order they want their messages played back to them during the TUI message playback session. The Cisco Unity system administrator can set this up for each user, or subscribers can set the Flex Stack order themselves with Cisco PCA, depending on the COS they belong to.

12- to 24-Hour Support

Based on the needs of a given subscriber in a given application, the Cisco Unity system administrator can set up a subscriber account to use a 12-hour a.m./p.m. time format or a 24-hour military time format. Cisco Unity uses that time format when a subscriber who is using the TUI is checking messages, when Cisco Unity states someone left a message, or when the subscriber is setting up a message-delivery schedule. If using the 12-Hour clock setting, subscribers hear 1:00 p.m. when listening to a time stamp for a message left at 1:00 p.m. If using the 24-Hour clock setting, subscribers hear 1300 when listening to a time stamp for a message left at 1:00 p.m.

CUSPA

CUSPA is a new Cisco Unity 4.0 tool developed to help simplify the process of making a server ready for Cisco Unity software installation. CUSPA checks the server for all Microsoft Windows components and applications that are needed by Cisco Unity and provides semiautomated installation for what is missing.

CUSPA is discussed in more detail in Chapter 8, "Cisco Unified Communications System Software."

CUICA

The CUICA is a launch pad for the various wizards that you must use to complete Cisco Unity software installation and configuration. These wizards include: Cisco Unity Permissions Wizard, Cisco Unity Setup Program, Cisco Unity Install License File Wizard, Cisco Unity Service Configuration Wizard, Cisco Unity Message Store Configuration Wizard, and Cisco Unity Telephony Integration Manager. The CUICA interface enforces dependencies by guiding the installer through the wizards in this order. The interface also provides the installer with updated status as each wizard is successfully completed. This is run after CUSPA.

CUICA is discussed in more detail in Chapter 8.

DVD Installation

Cisco Unity comes with ten CD-ROMs for all of its software. You can now order the software either on one DVD or ten CD-ROMs. Because the computer industry is moving toward making DVD drives the standard on all PC platforms, Cisco Systems offers the option to its customers to take advantage of the computer resources available. Presented with the choice to insert one DVD or to put in ten CD-ROMs sequentially, the simpler, streamlined method seems destined to be the favorite. CD-ROM sets of Cisco Unity are still available to accommodate those servers that do not have a DVD drive installed.

NOTE

You need Microsoft Windows 2000 Server software if you did not order the part number that includes Windows 2000.

Multiple Directory Handlers

The multiple directory handler feature provides a way to quickly and effectively perform directory searches for systems that have a large number of subscribers. You can use this feature for call routing where Cisco Unity provides centralized call processing in branch office deployments or headquarters.

On a new installation, Cisco Unity 4.0 comes with one default directory handler. A subscriber is listed in it as long as the subscriber's profile has three components:

  • A correctly spelled text name

  • The recorded name of the subscriber

  • The List in Phone Directory box checked

All subscribers who meet those requirements are listed in the default directory handler. Prior to Cisco Unity 4.0, only one spell-by-name directory handler was available. In Cisco Unity 4.0, you can build as many directory handlers as you need. You can choose the subscribers that will be available in each directory handler based on local Cisco Unity server, location, COS membership, distribution list membership, or dialing domain membership. This enables you to provide segmented directories for departments, branch offices, outside sales people, or whatever other classification makes sense in a corporate setting.

SIP Support

SIP is the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) standard for multimedia calls over IP. SIP is a peer-to-peer, ASCII-based protocol that uses requests and responses to establish, maintain, and terminate calls (or sessions) between two or more endpoints. Cisco Unity accepts calls from a proxy server and direct invites from a SIP-enabled endpoint (for example, a SIP IP phone). Cisco Unity relies on a proxy server or call agent to authenticate calls. SIP uses a request/response method to establish communications between various components in the network and to ultimately establish a conference (call or session) between two or more endpoints. A single call may involve several clients and servers. A unique phone or extension number identifies users in a SIP network.

The unique SIP address uses the format sip:userID@domain, which is similar to an e-mail address. The user ID can be either a username or an E.164 address. When a user initiates a call, a SIP request typically goes to a SIP server (either a proxy server or a redirect server). The request includes the caller's address (From) and the address of the called party (To).

When someone initiates a call, a SIP request is normally sent to a SIP server. This can either be a proxy or redirect server. The request includes the calling party's address (who it is coming from) and the called party's address (who the call is going to).

SIP messages are in text format, which uses the ISO 10646 in UTF-8 encoding. SIP messages also contain a start line, which specifies the method and protocol, several header fields that state call properties and service information, and an optional message body that contains a session description.

Cisco Unity supports the following SIP functions:

  • User Agent Client (UAC)

  • User Agent Server (UAS)

  • Proxy Server (only third-party servers)

For more information on SIP support with Cisco Unity, go to Cisco.com and perform a search for "SIP Compliance for Cisco Unity."

EMEA Voice Board Support

Cisco Unity supports several new voice boards: the D/120JCT-LS and D/120JCT-Euro revision-two cards and the D/41JCT-LS and D/41JCT-Euro cards.

To make Cisco Unity 4.0 integrate with more European circuit-switched telephone systems, these new voice boards have been added to the list of supported voice boards. Different voice boards are necessary because varying voltages and wiring patterns are used in different parts of the world. The Cisco Unity Installation Guide provides an appendix on voice boards that gives technical and setup information. This guide can be found at Cisco.com by performing a search of the guide's name.

Digital Networking

In Cisco Unity, networking is the general term for messaging between a Cisco Unity server and other messaging systems (including another Cisco Unity server). There are several forms of networking, which are all dependent on the kind of servers involved as targets for messages. Digital networking is available as a standard feature; all other forms are optional. If an organization has multiple Cisco Unity servers and they all have access to the same global directory, then digital networking allows messages to pass between servers easily. If there is a networked telephone switch also attached to these servers, it would be possible for outside callers to search the directory of any Cisco Unity server they call in to, select a subscriber on any other Cisco Unity server, and leave a message to the subscribers.

Digital networking is explained in more detail in Chapter 10.

Using Cisco Unity Optional Features

The optional features in Cisco Unity that are discussed in this section include the following:

  • Unified Messaging (UM)

  • Integrated Faxing—integrate with popular third-party fax servers (Exchange only)

  • Text-to-speech feature

  • Localized versions

Unified Messaging

Cisco Unity delivers UM via ViewMail for Outlook (VMO) and Domino Unified Communications Services (DUCS). This give users better access to, and management of, all of a subscriber's messages—e-mail, voice mail, and fax. VMO integrates with Microsoft desktop clients such as Outlook 98, 2000, and XP. DUCS is an IBM Lotus–developed client software package that enables UM features to function on the Lotus Notes client.

Cisco Unity provides an intuitive GUI that is accessible from any networked PC. With just a click of the mouse, subscribers can access e-mail, voice mail, and fax messages, and reply to, forward, or save them in public or personal folders within Exchange/Outlook. The icons accompanying those messages make it easy to distinguish between e-mail, voice, and fax communications, saved and new messages, and the priority (normal, urgent, and private) with which you receive messages. You can view your faxes on screen and print them from any networked PC, or forward them to any fax machine from a touch-tone telephone. Subscribers can download all types of messages and work with them off line, and apply Inbox Assistant rules to streamline communications management.

In addition, UM enables you to listen to your e-mail over the phone with an optional text-to-speech (TTS) engine. When integrated with a supported third-party fax server, you can also forward fax messages to a location where you may be staying. Cisco Unity unites traditionally independent communications methods so that employees can work more efficiently.

Integrated Faxing

One of the other features of Cisco Unity is Integrated Faxing when using Cisco Unity UM with Exchange. With one of the approved fax server/software solutions, you can configure Cisco Unity to call you, send a numeric page, or send a text page to alert you of a new fax. When you are using the TUI, Cisco Unity can be set up to state how many new faxes you have and offer to send them to a fax machine telephone number you specify. You can forward a fax message to another subscriber or reply with a voice message if the fax message was from another subscriber. Subscribers can also send their e-mail messages to a fax machine. The third-party fax solutions that are qualified for Fax Integration with Cisco Unity are the following:

  • Biscom FAXCOM for Microsoft Exchange, Version 6.19 or later

  • Captaris RightFax Version 6 or later

  • Esker FaxGate Version 7 or later

  • Fenestrae FAXination Version 4 or later

  • Interstar LightningFAX Version 5.5 or later

  • Omtool Fax Sr. Version 3 or later

  • Optus FACSys Version 4.5 or later

  • TOPCALL, all versions

For more information on Cisco Unity fax integration, go to Cisco.com and perform a search for Article ID: 4628, "Cisco Unity Supported Third-Party Fax Integrations."

Text-to-Speech Feature

The TTS feature enables you to hear your e-mails over the telephone. Cisco Unity reads the text portion of an e-mail message to you and provides other information such as the name of the sender (if the sender is a subscriber) and the time and date that the message was sent. This is a COS option that the system administrator can set up. The text-to-speech feature is available for up to 36 sessions, based on the platform you use. Cisco Unity supports the RealSpeak engine only. In addition, Cisco Unity no longer supports the TTS3000 speech engine with Cisco Unity 4.0. The RealSpeak engine is now available in many languages; its speech is regarded as among the best, if not the best, in the speech-synthesis field. The TTS engine can be installed for several languages. You can install up to nine TTS languages with Cisco Unity 4.0.

Localized Versions

The Cisco Unity system architects designed the localized components so that Cisco Unity can easily localize into whatever languages the market demands. Cisco Unity is available in English with several different prompt sets, depending on the locale of the server. It is also available in fully localized versions for French, German, and Japanese. In a fully localized version, all prompts, administrative interfaces, TTS engines, and documentation are in the native language, with prompts spoken by a native language speaker. Partially localized versions are available in Dutch, Norwegian, two varieties of Spanish (Columbian Spanish and European Spanish), two varieties of Chinese (Chinese Mandarin and Taiwan Mandarin), Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, and Korean. Partially localized versions always have the prompts, recorded by a native language speaker, and often have TTS engines in the native language. The administrative interfaces and documentation of partially localized versions are in the English language.

The number of languages that you can load and use for phone and GUI languages depends on how many languages you are licensed for. For example, if a company has two language licenses, but four languages are installed, Cisco Unity allows only two languages to be loaded and used at any particular time. You do have the option to choose which languages to select at any given time. Figure 1-13 illustrates the Cisco Unity 4.0 localized components.

Figure 13Figure 1-13 Cisco Unity 4.0 Localized Components

 

NOTE

The following are some considerations related to the languages supported for Cisco Unity. Chinese and Japanese text to speech requires special settings. You can find more information about this on the Cisco Unity System Administration Guide. Also, although the user Help and user documentation is translated into French and German, the Cisco Unity Administrator Help is not available in these languages.

Using Cisco Unity Optional Networking Features

The main goal of networking in Cisco Unity is to deliver messages from a Cisco Unity server to a target messaging server and from the target to a Cisco Unity server. This can be either between Cisco Unity servers or from a Cisco Unity server to a third-party messaging system. The experience that a user has is very simple: they leave a message for someone who is a subscriber on the system, and the subscriber receives it. The user does not need to know what type of server the subscriber resides on or the communications protocols and software setup that are required to transfer the message. This is all transparent to the user.

The optional networking features in Cisco Unity that are discussed in this section include the following:

  • Networking with the Audio Messaging Interchange Specification, analog (AMIS-a) protocol

  • Voice Profile for Internet Messaging (VPIM) protocol

  • Bridge networking (Octel analog)

AMIS-a Networking

Cisco Unity can be set up to use AMIS when the target messaging server is another voice-mail server that supports the AMIS-a specification. This provides an analog method for transferring voice messages between different voice-messaging systems.

AMIS-a support is available when integrating with Microsoft Exchange. You can use AMIS networking to assist customers in transitioning their legacy voice-mail systems to an IP telephony solution. The industry-standard protocol provides a way for disparate voice-mail systems to exchange messages. The protocol uses DTMF to address and control format, and analog voice to transfer messages. The originating system sets up the call, establishes a connection over the telephone network, and then sends data frames as DTMF tones and voice data as audio to the destination system. The destination system sends response frames as DTMF tones. For each subscriber that is located on another voice-mail system, you add an AMIS subscriber to Cisco Unity. These subscribers are accessible through the Cisco Unity directory.

An AMIS subscriber has similar attributes to an Exchange custom recipient. AMIS subscribers do not impact Exchange licensing counts because its message store resides on the other voice-mail system. If you have several Cisco Unity servers that are using the same directory and are networked together, only one Cisco Unity server requires licensing for AMIS networking.

The following are supported AMIS-compliant voice-messaging systems with Cisco Unity 4.0(x):

  • Active Voice Repartee

  • Avaya Interchange with AMIS-analog Networking Gateway

  • Avaya INTUITY AUDIX

  • Avaya Octel 100 Messaging

  • Avaya Octel 250/350

  • Centigram Voice Mail

  • Nortel Networks Meridian Mail

  • Siemens PhoneMail

AMIS networking is explained in more detail in Chapter 10.

Voice Profile for Internet Messaging

VPIM networking in Cisco Unity for Exchange allows different voice-messaging systems to exchange voice, fax, and text messages over the Internet or any TCP/IP network. VPIM is a digital standard that is based on the SMTP and Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (MIME) protocols. Messaging servers digitally transfer voice, text, and fax messages between each other. VPIM networking may allow organizations to save long-distance charges on messages between target servers because those messages are traveling over a TCP/IP network rather than over more costly PSTN lines. As with AMIS networking, if you have several Cisco Unity servers that are using the same directory and are networked together, only one Cisco Unity server requires licensing for VPIM networking.

Supported VPIM-compliant voice-messaging systems with Cisco Unity 4.0(x) include:

  • Mitel/Baypoint NuPoint Messenger (formerly known as Centigram Series 6)

  • Nortel CallPilot

  • Nortel Meridian Mail with Meridian Mail Net Gateway

  • Avaya Interchange (supported only with Cisco Unity 4.0(x) in the voice-messaging configuration)

VPIM networking is explained in more detail in Chapter 10.

Bridge Networking

Cisco Unity uses a Cisco Unity Bridge server to communicate with remote Avaya Octel messaging systems. The Cisco Unity Bridge server is like a networking gateway that resides between Cisco Unity and an Octel system or Avaya Interchange on an Octel analog network. Cisco Unity sends VPIM messages to a Bridge server via IP. The Bridge server in turn, communicates to the OctelNet nodes using the Octel analog networking protocol. The Bridge server does this via analog lines connected to a Brooktrout TR114 four-port card installed and configured inside the Bridge server. The Bridge must be installed on its own dedicated server and it can communicate with up to 998 Octel servers. You can configure up to 24 analog ports per Bridge server. The messages are delivered in real time via these analog ports to the target OctelNet nodes, so delivery of 100 hours' worth of messages takes 100 hours of port transmission time.

Using Cisco PA Standard Features

The Cisco PA features discussed in this section include the following:

  • Follow Me

  • Name dialing using a personal address book or corporate directory

  • Name synchronization with a personal address book and Exchange contacts list

  • Mail browser

  • Web-based user administration

  • Web-based system administration

  • Rules-based routing

  • Speech recognition

Follow Me

The Follow Me feature is a special rule type that uses speech recognition to immediately redirect all callers to an alternate destination (telephone), over a specified period of time. For example, a user could route calls to a hotel room telephone during a business trip. You can also activate predefined rules from any phone.

Name Dialing

Name dialing is a powerful PA voice-recognition tool that allows PA users to simply say the name of the person to whom they want PA to transfer them. You can also set up name dialing for outside callers to be able to say a person's name and have PA transfer them to that person. For example, if you say "Call Mike Davis," PA searches the corporate directory and personal address book to see if it can find a match and place the call for you. You can also limit PA's search to just your personal address book when you dial by name, which improves the accuracy of the dialing by searching fewer names.

Name Synchronization

Name synchronization allows users to synchronize their personal address book with their Exchange contacts list. Just as with a personal address book, the contacts list may contain business associates or friends of the user who are not normally listed in the corporate directory. If you synchronize your Exchange contacts with your personal address books, the contacts become part of the personal address book and Cisco PA can then access them for verbal dialing through speech recognition or rules-based routing. The personal address book entries can also become part of your Exchange contacts list.

Mail Browser

Cisco PA also allows access to Cisco Unity through verbal commands. By using the voice-recognition feature, a user is able to access Cisco Unity, listen to, send, skip over, save, or delete messages. PA can also recognize commands given through your touch-tone keypad. After PA is set up, you can start using this feature by simply dialing into PA and saying "voice mail."

Web-Based User Administration

Cisco PA web-based administration comes in two forms: the user and the administrator's interfaces. Figure 1-14 illustrates the Cisco PA User Web Administration Console.

Figure 14Figure 1-14 Cisco PA 1.4 User Administration, Welcome Page

A PA-enabled user can perform the following:

  • Create and modify destinations (phone numbers and e-mail-based paging addresses where a user wants to be reached)

  • Create and modify destination groups for you can be reached in multiple numbers

  • Create and modify callers in the Cisco PA address book

  • Create and modify groups of callers

  • Create and modify rules and rule sets

  • Activate rule sets

  • Create and modify dial rules

  • Test call-forwarding rules

  • Test dial rules

  • Turn on/off call forwarding all (CFA) and screening capabilities

  • Turn on/off authentication when calling from a personal destination

  • Set a Cisco Unity mailbox number

  • Create nicknames to simplify name dialing

  • Select a time zone

  • Set name-dialing preference for speech recognition

  • Set name-dialing preference for automatic additions to the personal address book

  • Reset spoken name

  • Select a call-pickup timeout

  • View the name of the user who is currently logged in

  • Select language/locale for GUI and speech-recognition engine (North American English, British English, French, French Canadian, or German)

Web-Based System Administration

PA system administrators can use the web administration interface to perform the following:

  • Set a central Cisco PA system call-in number

  • Load-balance calls

  • Configure Cisco PA redundant servers

  • Configure Cisco PA to access an LDAP directory

  • Configure Cisco PA to access Microsoft Exchange 5.5, Exchange 2000, and Exchange 2003

  • Configure one or more languages/locales

  • Provide information, warning, and error messages

  • Provide system and error reporting

  • Manage the Cisco PA system control center

Figure 1-15 illustrates the Cisco PA 1.4 System Administration, Server Configuration page.

Figure 15Figure 1-15 Cisco PA 1.4 System Administration Page

Rules-Based Routing

The Cisco PA rules-based routing is a powerful tool that allows users to redirect calls to their phone based on certain rules. The rules can be set by a schedule (time of day, day of week, or range of dates), and/or calls from certain individuals or a group of individuals. PA can redirect calls to mobile phones, home phones, or voice mail, or it can even try more than one destination.

Figure 1-16 illustrates Cisco PA call-routing examples.

Figure 16Figure 1-16 Cisco PA 1.4 Call-Routing Examples

Figure 1-17 illustrates the Cisco PA 1.4 User Administration Rule-Sets page.

Figure 17Figure 1-17 Cisco PA 1.4 User Administration, Rule-Sets Page

You can create the rules through the User Administration console, and you can activate or deactivate them by voice commands over the phone.

Speech Recognition

The speech-recognition feature allows callers to speak commands to Cisco PA. This includes dialing a person by telling Cisco PA, for example, to "call Mary Lane"; activating or deactivating a predefined Rule-Set; accessing, listening to, and deleting Cisco Unity voice or e-mail messages; and even sending an e-mail page to a colleague.

Cisco PA also allows a user to work within Cisco Unity through verbal commands. The user is able to access Cisco Unity and listen to, send, skip over, save, or delete messages using voice commands.

Figure 1-18 illustrates Cisco PA 1.4 speech-recognition examples.

Figure 18Figure 1-18 Cisco PA 1.4 Speech-Recognition Examples

Using Cisco PA Optional Features

Cisco PA optional features discussed in this section include the following:

  • Localizations

  • IP Phone Productivity Services: CalendarView and MailView

Localizations

Cisco PA is now available in a localized format for the following languages:

  • French (full)

  • German (full)

  • French Canadian (TUI and ASR only)

  • British English (TUI and ASR only)

With a full localized version, the TUI (also known as the conversation), automatic speech recognition (ASR), and the web-based administrative interfaces are all available in the targeted language. This is the case with English, French, and German. The French-Canadian and British English localizations provide the TUI and ASR.

IP Phone Productivity Services

IP Phone Productivity Services brings the power of Cisco PA to Cisco 7940, 7960, and 7970 IP display phones. The CalendarView feature allows users to view their appointment calendar by day or by week. They can respond to meeting requests or change their responses. As a reminder, IP Phone Productivity Services can provide notification of upcoming appointments by phone display or pager. It also allows you to log in to any 7940/7960/7970 Cisco IP Phone in a Cisco CallManager cluster for access, including any desk, coworker's office, conference room, or lobby phone.

The MailView feature allows users to access their voice-mail and e-mail messages in their Cisco Unity mailbox without dialing the voice-mail server. They can listen to their voice-mail messages and then reply to, forward, or delete them. They also can read, forward, or delete their e-mail messages and see whether the message is read or unread.

Also available with IP Phone Productivity Services is the ability to synchronize the personal address book with the Microsoft Exchange contact list through the IP phone display. You may also activate or deactivate Rule-Sets, or confirm a certain Rule-Set is active.

Figure 1-19 illustrates the Cisco PA 1.4 IP Phone Productivity Services available on 7940 and 7960 Cisco IP display phones.

Figure 19Figure 1-19 Cisco PA 1.4 IP Phone Productivity Services

4. Chapter Summary | Next Section Previous Section