Managing Unified Messaging Auto Attendants

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

When external users call in to the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging (UM) system, they can be presented with series of voice prompts to help them to move through the telephony menu system for an organization. The auto attendant is the collection of voice prompts that callers hear instead of a human operator when they call in to an organization that has Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging. This topic discusses how to manage auto attendants or Auto Attendant objects for Unified Messaging.

Auto Attendant Caller Interfaces

Either voice inputs or dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) inputs, also known as touchtone inputs, can be used by callers when the UM auto attendant answers the incoming call. Each caller is greeted by a message that was pre-recorded for the auto attendant. The caller is then directed to respond to the message prompts. The caller can respond by using the telephone keypad or, if Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is enabled on the UM auto attendant, the caller can use voice inputs to move through the menu system. When you are configuring a UM auto attendant, you can choose to enable ASR to only allow callers to input responses by using the telephone keypad or to allow both types of inputs from callers.


In some companies (specifically in East Asia), office telephones may not have letters on the keys of the telephone. This makes the spell-the-name feature that uses the DTMF interface almost impossible without a working knowledge of this mapping. By default, Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging uses the E.161 key mapping. For example, 2=ABC, 3=DEF, 4=GHI, 5=JKL, 6=MNO, 7=PQRS, 8=TUV, 9=WXYZ. When inputting the combination of letters and numbers, for example "Mike1092", the numeric digits are mapped to themselves. For an e-mail alias of "Mike1092" to be entered correctly, the user will have to press the numbers 64531092. Also, for characters other than A-Z and 0-9 there will not be a telephone key equivalent, and those characters should not be entered. For example, the e-mail alias "mike.wilson" would be entered as 6453945766. Therefore, there are 11 characters to be input, but only 10 digits will be entered by the user because the '.' does not have a digit equivalent.

UM Auto Attendants

By default, no UM auto attendants are created during the setup of Exchange 2007. After setup, you must manually create UM auto attendants. The configuration settings for UM auto attendants are made by using the Exchange Management Shell or the Exchange Management Console and can include language settings, customized menus, and other menu navigational settings.

For more information about how to use the Exchange Management Console to manage UM auto attendants, see the following topics:

For more information about how to use the Exchange Management Shell to manage Unified Messaging auto attendants, see the following topics:

Administrative permissions are required to manage the Exchange 2007 server that has the Unified Messaging server role installed. For more information about the permissions that are required to perform administrative tasks for Unified Messaging, see Required Permissions to Manage Unified Messaging.

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