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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

External Voice mail access, using Unity Connection

External voice mail access. Yes, often requested, hardly ever used in my experience. The solution described below is also good for VM that gets dumped on shared mail boxes, where people don't have the extension configured on the phone (for instance IVR overflow, or no agents logged in). This access will allow a user not only to listen to messages, but also to change greetings and other set up options. Again, very handy for changing greetings for shared mail box users

So pick a free number in your DID number range. You can feed this  into a translation pattern and translate it into a system number, please note that this is optional, you can also feed the number straight into a call handler. Let's assume we have chosen 1112 as the system number for external voice mail access (for instance when 1111 is you regular VM pilot point).

Below are the configuration steps:

1-Create a dummy phone and Call Forward all to Voice mail (CUCM)

I don't think this needs a lot of explanation. Just tick the CFWD ALL Voicemail box under the line configuration. What is important is that the extension on this phone's line will need to be 1112. 

So all this does it any inbound call to the external Voicemail access DID number, will now be delivered on your unity box (assuming this is already set up in terms of VM profiles and CTI ports etc. etc.).

2-Create a system Call Handler (CUC)
Add a new call handler to CUC and call it, for example "External Voice mail access". Some tweaking required here. This call handler will facilitate the playing of a message (essentially a greeting) that can be something along the lines of: "to access your messages, press *". After which the caller will authenticate and will be allowed access to his/her Voicemail box.  Very similar to pressing the envelope button on a phone. 

So going to the Greetings menu of our external voicemail access call handler, you can see that the standard greeting is a Recording (namely our personalised "to access your messages, press *).

Figure 1
Let's check the standard greeting, as this is the one that is active once a user dials into our 1112 number.

Figure 2- Standard Greetings configuration.

So the standard greeting should be set to "My personal greeting" in order for the recorded prompt  to be played (check recordings as encircled in figure 2)

To finish the configuration for this call handler, we will need to configure the user input, while the message plays. Remember the callers are asked to press * to get their messages. so go to the Caller Input for this greeting/call handler:

Figure 3 - Caller Input for the call handler

As can be seen in figure 3, pressing * triggers a redirect to a Conversation called "Sign-In", which is depicted in Figure 4.

Figure 4 - Caller input * to sign in.
OK, so that concludes the configuration of the call handler. Most of this is very generic stuff, but I just wanted to show the whole call logic from start to finish.

3 Create a forwarded Routing rule (CUC)

Remember that up to this point we still will not have access to our CUC call handler by dialing into 1112. This, because 1112 does not yet exist anywhere within Unity connection, not as a user and not as anything really. Because extension 1112's only role is to deliver a call into CUC, it shouldn't actually identify itself to CUC as a user. So to make sure our call handler from step 2 gets triggered we need to add a forwarded routing rule, that ties 1112 with our call handler

Figure 5 - Forwarded Routing Rule

Figure 5 shows, the routing rule condition, so a forwarded call coming from 1112. The call is send directly to the Call Handler "External Voice Mail access", well actually its greetings to be precise. 

Although the forwarded routing rule gets hits before the call handler, the call handler needs to be configured prior to the routing rule, because the routing rule will need to be able to refer to it.

How is this gonna work?
That's the easy bit, although there is nothing more painful than talking users through the unity, press #, settings menu, as I can never remember where the options are, anyway.  

Example, let say a user has a shared mail box with extension 4455 and wants to change the greeting, but doesn't have a 4455 extension on his phone and neither do his colleagues that he is sharing the extension with. He dials into 1112, gets prompted to press *. After that he enters 4455 (which is already set up as a user) and the PIN. This allows him to listen to messages as well as go through the set up options for 4455.

And that is all I got to say about that one.


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