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Need to implement subscriber name-aliases

We have a customer, a collection agency, whose users need to be addressible both under their real name and under a "working name". We are looking for a way to have a subscriber have two different names in the directory. For this particular application it would be ideal but not completely required that the other name be a seperate subscriber profile like an Internet subscriber, so that we could customize the greeting but still deliver to the same spot. The customer is tight on licenses, so I'm not able to make them full subscribers and just forward all their messages.

I've tried to implement this a couple different ways using Internet subscribers. I first tried to use Unity networking format addresses to loop the message back to my own location with the right subscriber ID, but that didn't work (but I will admit to not trying very hard, so maybe it would). I also tried filling in the SMTP address of the right subscriber, but this made Exchange very angry due to Unity duplicating the subscriber's email address in the directory, and you couldn't deliver email to the subscriber anymore until it was removed. I don't know if this would have worked anyway due to voicemail attributes possibly being left off the message, but I was hoping it would work since the message was staying within the same Exchange box.

Has anyone successfully implemented this before? Am I missing a simple way to do this? I can't imagine it hasn't been asked for before, for instance, for women changing their name when they get married, to keep the old name in the directory for a while.

4 REPLIES
Cisco Employee

Re: Need to implement subscriber name-aliases

Yeah, having contacts (internet subscribers) forwarding their messages directly to a mailbox on Exchange is going to be tricky given the way the addresses are resolved and how you can’t disassociate the target address with the resolution address there – you _might_ be able to get tricky by installing the voice connector and using the custom “VOICE:alias@domain” address format to fool Ad/Exchange here but I don’t think I’d go that route (and I’m not sure it’d work flawlessly anyway).

I’d go the route where you create dummy internet subscribers and just give them bogus email addresses that don’t conflict with anything – setup their alternate greeting to be active and set it to blank and have the after greeting action be “send to greeting for” the subscriber in question. This way users can find them by a different name and extension but they’ll hear the same greeting recorded by that user and all messages go into one box.

If you want a separate greeting to be heard as well the best way to go about this would be to have the after greeting action go to a call handler instead that is setup to leave messages for the subscriber in question – user can still edit the greeting for this call handler if necessary using the “greetings administration” conversation but it’s a bit more of a hassle than just using their normal subscriber greeting.

Either way you can make this work such that outside callers use separate IDs and names to find users and leave them messages…

Re: Need to implement subscriber name-aliases

Sort of unrelated, but since it is being referenced here, thought I'd ask:

If you want a separate greeting to be heard as well the best way to go about this would be to have the after greeting action go to a call handler instead that is setup to leave messages for the subscriber in question – user can still edit the greeting for this call handler if necessary using the “greetings administration” conversation but it’s a bit more of a hassle than just using their normal subscriber greeting.

I used a trick like this for a customer the other day who wanted both an employee and a boss to receive voicemails simultaneously, transparant to the calling party. I setup the users' Greeting to Send To Call Handler instead of Take Message, and then on the CH I used a Blank Greeting and configured it to leave the message to a Public Distribution List (that consisted of the Employee and the Boss).

In this environment, the issue was trouble employee(s) who were deleting voicemails and claiming no one ever received them. They wanted to dump the voicemails off to either a boss or a spare mailbox where they would archive all of the messages. I could see an application for this for employees on vacation as well.

Is this a feature that is requested very often? Cloning a message as it's left and copying it to multiple receiving mailboxes?

I am picturing a choice down the left-hand side of a Subscriber's properties where I could pick alternate Subscribers to leave this message for -- similar to alternate extensions. In fact, I could picture that same concept being used for Alternate Names as well, solving this thread altogether. Do you hear these often?

Cisco Employee

Re: Need to implement subscriber name-aliases

The message "mirroring" thing is not something that comes up a heck of a lot primarily since what you describe here can be done fairly easily in Exchange and Domino itself - you can copy all messages for any mailbox to other mailboxes for the purposes you note (i.e. problem employees, folks being "monitored" and other big brotherly type things). For UM sites this is obviously where you need to do that sort of thing regardless - exposing such funtionality (and getting at such settings programatically) is more work than it's probably worth.

the alternate name thing is something that comes up from time to time for dealing with different spellings (i.e. "Robert" vs. "bob") or folks who got maried and the like. It'd be good to handle multiple name configurations but it's not on the plate at the moment (at least not that I know of from my low spot on the development totem pole here). I always tell folks to be sure to contact their account team and have them open a PERs request for features like this - the product folks decide development priorities largely on requests from the field - if they don't know it's something folks want it wont get moved up on the (very large) list of items that could be worked on.

Re: Need to implement subscriber name-aliases

In my own defense, this is a Unity VM customer who has Novell Groupwise and consequently knows nothing about Microsoft Exchange -- but knows a decent amount about Unity. Regardless, I agree at the Exchange/Domino level is a more elegent solution and I will keep that in mind in the future.

I'll be sure to contact someone about the product request; this thread is the result of a customer request posed to jasyoung and I, and I think the feature makes sense. As such I will request it.

Thanks for being so active on this forum.

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