Unity / Unity Connection or Microsoft Unified Messaging

Unanswered Question
Oct 13th, 2009

Does anyone have experience, or comments, on using Unity ro Unity Connection versus Microsoft Unified Messaging?

I have this problem too.
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dmotloch Tue, 10/13/2009 - 17:03

we are deploying Unity Connections 7.1x, works great for voice mail and basic VUI, menus, etc. Not the best for auto attendant -- our 20 year old Merdian Mail works better! :)

lindborg Tue, 10/13/2009 - 22:24

Care to provide details on your auto attendant comment?

dmotloch Wed, 10/14/2009 - 15:11

On 7.1.2ES19.32015-19 with the # key not working to terminate a dialing entry or the in-ability to set the number of digits makes the auto attendant much less useful for us.

We are a large health care deployment. We have all kinds of users calling our auto attendants. if the inter-digit timeout is too short the call transfers before they can finish entering all 5 digits ... if we adjust to 5 seconds inter-digit they have to wait 5 seconds after they enter the last digit before the transfer is initiated.

I understand there may be a fix for the # issue (coming soon?) that will make things work much better for us.

Bug ID for # prob is CSCtc54565

Thanks for all your help lindborg.

lindborg Sat, 10/17/2009 - 16:17

Just to follow up on the # terminate thing - you can use * today - it will immediately terminate the entry sequence of a string of numbers and take action on them. So 1234* will immediately stop when the star is detected and look for extension 1234.

you can still do transfer over ride and immediate terminate by hitting 1234#2*

that will force Connection to skip any transfer rule that may be active on the 1234 target handler/user.

dmotloch Sun, 10/18/2009 - 12:17

I've tested this and it works (*) to terminate calls. Now if I could only re-map # to = * for UC I'd be all set! :)

Out account team has already put in a feature request (apparently) for the # option -- I'll get the user group involved and see if we can get a little more attention on it.

Thanks again for your help on this.

MICHAEL HUBENY Wed, 10/14/2009 - 06:59

Do you have any mobile devices that access voice mail? I understand with Unity Conneciton, VM does not reside in outlook inbox but in a separate email folder, and a separate mobile applicaiton is necesary to retrieve VM on mobile devices (blackberry & iphone).

dmotloch Wed, 10/14/2009 - 15:22

with licenses you can use any IMAP client to get messages I believe. I haven't tried this yet....

Jonathan Schulenberg Sat, 10/17/2009 - 10:50

That is correct. Unity Connections does not store messages in the Exchange message store. You can use an IMAP client of your choosing to access them if you wish (VPN access as a minimum is recommended). If you want unified messaging, that is the original Unity product.

From the user's perspective it doesn't really matter. If the user is used to Unity, they dislike Exchange. The whining I have heard is more diffiult to navigate, less intuitive, etc. If the user is given Exchange from the start, they don't know any better. Last time I checked the major difference for voice mail is no MWI with Exchange; you need a third-party product to do that.

Each platform has its advantages right now. Identify what features are important to users and make your decision from there. Both Microsoft and Cisco are effectively giving voice mail away as a commodity now through Enterprise Agreements or Unified Workspace Licensing, respectively.

Disclosure: I'm a Cisco guy and as such am predisposed to recommend Unity or Unity Connections for the same reasons I recommend other Cisco UC applictions with UC Manager: single vendor, tested/validated compatibility, leverage each other's features, management products (CUOM, CUPM, etc) are built for them, etc. Every time I look at the roadmap, the BU is working on the few feature advantages that Exchange currently holds anyways.


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