Cisco Unity Connection 10 integration with Microsoft
We just recently upgraded from Unity 8 to Unity Connection 10, mainly because Cisco never was able to provide us with a suitable Viewmail client that would work with Outlook 2010. After the upgrade we have noticed certain things not working between Unity and Microsoft. Specifically to date:
Unable to forward voicemail using Outlook 2010 rules - This was a pretty surprising discovery. Many of our users utilized this and to discover it no longer worked caused me to have to do some research and explaining. Yes, I know that we can set up Unity to deliver a voicemail to another mailbox, but it isn't the same. In our environment we have help desk personnel who rotate on-call. It was much better to give them permissions to a common mailbox to change the forwarding rules than to give them permissions to make account changes on Unity Connections.
Renaming accounts in Active Directory breaks the association between it and Unity Connections - This was a surprise as well. Upon renaming our user accounts in Active Directory due to marriage, divorce, or even some service accounts to be more descriptive, Unity believes the account to be deleted and can no longer sync. I opened a TAC case and, if I understand it correctly, once an account is created you cannot change the following attributes without it breaking the association: - samAccountName - mail -employeeNumber - telephoneNumber - userPrincipleName Mail and telephone number???
What is everybody else doing out there with Unity Connection 10 when you have a username, telephone, etc. change?
I also have found that in order to record/play greetings I have to use Java 1.7.21. Anything older or newer will not work.
Where the second issue is really hurting us is that when we were running Unity 8 we had Exchange mailboxes that were voicemail only. Now we want those mailboxes to be used for email as well, retaining the voicemail messages that were in there. With Unity 8 we could rename the accounts to reflect the change. When we try to do this with Unity 10 it breaks the association with AD.
Limitations of using WebDav with integrated messaging in Connection vs. super user mail access on Unified in Unity pose some challenges here (the synic would suggest that those challenges are no accidental by our friends at Microsoft) – given support limitations we have to use what they provide and clients do not get triggers on message events down some paths. To be clear this was squirly in Unity as well – if something came into the inbox we got a notification event, if the client then went and moved it on us, interesting notification “hangers” could happen – while you could make it work, it wasn’t clean.
The LDAP limitations are not in Unity’s control (these are done at the platform level from the Call Manager support team) – I can’t speak to their “uniqueness” identifier routine that would determine a user was gone from the directory when any of those properties change – samAccountName makes sense given it’s the unique identifier used to find them but the employee number and phone number don’t make sense.
As a side note – having users go in and change mail forwarding rules and such for agent handling is a pretty ugly hack – in Unity or Connection, neither system was setup to support shared mailboxes even though folks seem to go down that path anyway since it's what they're used to. Seems to me using dispatch messaging functionality in Unity Connection is a cleaner solution – it has logic that allows multiple users to get messages left for a distribution list in their own mailboxes, leveraging their own notification schema etc… the first user in that group to “accept” the message gets the copy – it’s removed from all others. This way you don’t have to be going in and yanking around client side message forwarding rules all over the place when agents come on/off the line (which I would imagine sometimes gets forgotten) – using dispatch messages might be a cleaner method requiring less ongoing manual updates. It also lets you find out who is responding to messages (or not) and how quickly which you can’t do once the message copy is getting tossed around by the client side. Just a thought.
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