Cisco Support Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Welcome to Cisco Support Community. We would love to have your feedback.

For an introduction to the new site, click here. And see here for current known issues.


shared extensions, private mailboxes

We have the following scenario: a University residence room with two (or more!) roomates sharing one phone, i.e. one extension. We've been asked to provide multiple mailboxes per extension. I see two options:

(1) Use a call handler for the extension, and use the caller input to branch out to each private mailbox.

(2) Use a subscriber for the extension, and use the caller input to branch out to each private mailbox.

Option one saves on licences, but does not allow the user to modify the greeting via the phone. It also does not allow for a 'general' mailbox, i.e. press 1 for Jim, press 2 for Joe, or just leave a message at the sound of the tone for both of us.

Option two uses a licence up, but offers both the greeting modification via the phone and a general delivery mailbox.


1) Are there any preferences to either option 1 or option 2?

2) Are there any other ways to provide this?

3) Can I simply add a mailbox number to the shared extension as an easy way to create extensions users will dial, e.g. extension 5150 - Jim's extension to retrieve voicemail would be 51501 and Joe's would be 51502.

4) Can I prevent callers into Unity to dial this 'phantom' extension, i.e. when using Unity as an auto-attendant?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated

Cisco Employee

Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

Option 1 is the way to go.

- Unity 4.0(x) DOES allow you to record the greetings for a call handler from over the phone using the GreetingsAdministration conversation.

- You CAN do a general message for everyone by creating a distribution list with all the members of the room in it and having that be the message recipient for the call handler - so the caller would hear "press 1 for John, 2 for Stan, 3 for Jim or stay on the line to leave a message for everyone". It adds some overhead but is a nice option to have.

yeah, you can just add digits to the extension like that - I've also seen IDs like studen numbers used instead.

you can't have Unity ignore the student's mailbox ID but you can setup their transfer rule to not do anything and their greeting to be blank and the after greeting action to go back to the opening greeting call handler for instance - the effect would be to seem to the caller as though nothing had happened if they dialed the ID directly - you'd only be able to leave messages through the call handler setup for the room.


Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

Thanks Jeff. Some questions:

(1) How do clients access their call handler? Is it similar to dialing in their ID and entering a password?

Since setting up and maintaining the distribution lists might be an issue with us, I'm leaning toward option (2) using a subscriber rather than a call handler. Do you see any caveats? Aside from licences?



Cisco Employee

Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

You access the greetings administration conversation (this can be setup any number of ways including a special dial in number or a one key option off a greeting etc...) - you provide your login Id and PW over the phone and then you can select call handlers by Id that you want to adjust greetings for.

You don't HAVE to do the distribution list thing if you don't want to - you can just have a single subscriber be the message recipient for the general mailbox if you want - you have the same thing with subscribers so I see no advantage whatsoever of using subscribers other than you chew up a bunch of licenses you don't need to.


Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

Which login id and PW would this be?

Cisco Employee

Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

the only one you can enter over the phone - the same login Id (usually your extension) and phone password you use to log into your mailbox to check messages over the phone.


Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

Thanks - so then I assume you can assign the call handler to be owned by a number of subscribers rather than just one?

Cisco Employee

Re: shared extensions, private mailboxes

yes - you can assign a distirbution list as the owner and any member of that DL can edit greetings for it. This another reason to create a DL for users in the room as well as a nice option for leaving messages for all of the members of the room easily.

If you use a subscriber instead there's no easy way to leave the message for everyone and all users would have to remember a second set of login/PW IDs so they could log into that "fake" subscriber to change the greeting rather than just using their own ID/PW they use already.

I'm just circling back around on the public distribution list builder tool to update it and adding some new features by request - I'll bet I could fairly easily add the option to create DLs and populate them with subscribers already in the system by importing from CSV - not sure if you'll have such a CSV type file around that could be used or not but you can send me what you have off line to and I can think about how this can be done.

CreatePlease to create content