Unified Messaging

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

In Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, the Unified Messaging server role is one of several server roles that you can install and then configure on a computer that is running Exchange 2007. Unified Messaging (UM) is new to the Exchange product line, and its introduction brings new concepts that may not be familiar to an Exchange administrator.

Unified Messaging combines voice messaging, fax, and e-mail messaging into one store, accessible from a telephone and a computer. Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging integrates Exchange Server with telephony networks and brings the Unified Messaging features to the core of Exchange Server. The following figure illustrates the relationship between an organization's telephony network components and the Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging system.

Figure 1   The relationship between telephony components and Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging

Overview of Exchange Unified Messaging Topology

Currently, most users and IT departments manage their voice mail and fax messages separately from their e-mail. Voice mail and e-mail exist as separate inboxes hosted on separate servers that are accessed through the desktop for e-mail and through the telephone for voice mail. Fax messages are not received into a user's inbox, but are instead received by stand-alone fax machines or a centralized fax server. Unified Messaging offers an integrated store for all messages and access to content through the computer and the telephone.

Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging provides a single point of message administration for Exchange administrators in an organization. The features within Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging enable an Exchange administrator to:

  • Manage the voice mail, e-mail, and fax systems from a single platform.

  • Manage Unified Messaging using scriptable commands.

  • Build highly available and reliable Unified Messaging infrastructures.

The Unified Messaging server role in Exchange 2007 lets users access voice mail, e-mail, fax messages, and calendar information that is located in their Exchange 2007 mailbox from an e-mail client such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access, from a mobile device that has Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync enabled, such as a Windows Mobile® powered smartphone or a personal digital assistant (PDA), or from a telephone.

Unified Messaging in Exchange 2007 gives users features such as:

  • Call Answering   Call answering includes answering an incoming call on behalf of a user, playing their personal greeting, recording a message, and submitting it for delivery to their inbox as an e-mail message.

  • Fax Receiving   Fax receiving is the process of submitting a fax message for delivery to the Inbox. The fax receiving feature lets users receive fax messages in their Inbox.

  • Subscriber Access   The subscriber access feature enables dial-in access for company users. Company users or subscribers who are dialing into the Unified Messaging system can access their mailbox using Outlook Voice Access. Subscribers who use Outlook Voice Access can access the Unified Messaging system by using the telephone keypad or voice inputs. By using a telephone, a subscriber or user can:

    • Access voice mail over a telephone.

    • Listen, forward, or reply to e-mail messages over a telephone.

    • Listen to calendar information over a telephone.

    • Access or dial contacts stored in the global address list or a personal contact list over a telephone.

    • Accept or cancel meeting requests over a telephone.

    • Set a voice mail Out-of-Office message.

    • Set user security preferences and personal options.

  • Auto Attendant   An auto attendant is a set of voice prompts that gives external users access to the Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging system. An auto attendant lets the user use either the telephone keypad or speech inputs to navigate the menu structure, place a call to a user, or locate a user and then place a call to that user. An auto attendant gives the administrator the ability to:

    • Create a customizable set of menus for external users.

    • Define informational greetings, business hours greetings, and non-business hours greetings.

    • Define holiday schedules.

    • Describe how to search the organization's directory.

    • Describe how to connect to a user's extension so external callers can call a user by specifying their extension.

    • Describe how to search the organization's directory so external callers can search the organization's directory and call a specific user.

    • Enable external users to call the operator.


    Installing and running the Unified Messaging server role in a virtualized environment is not supported.

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