I'm a newbie when it comes to Unity and I'm curious about something. Why does it require Exchange or Domino? Are those applications basically just being used as a database for the messages? If so, why doesn't Unity just use a real database? What advantage is there to using Exchange or Domino instead of a real database?
They are used as the mail store. For unified, the messages are sent to users mailbox on company email server (exchange or notes) so they have same inbox for email and voicemail and can get to their email over phone if needed through unity and such.
There is a new product called Cisco Unity Connections which does not use exchange or notes, but SQL to store the messages.It's like a newer/updated Voice mail only server configuration with a lot more features, is faster/easier to setup and get going, etc.
I just took a look at this and it sounds like a great fit for our environment expect for the 1500-user limit. I believe we have that many mailboxes right now, but I may be wrong. The number may be a little less. Regardless, a 1500-user limit won't allow much growth.
The problem is that we're a Novell shop and I really don't want to have to learn to be an Exchange admin just to get voice mail. I got a lot of things to do already and I don't want to add Microsoft Exchange Administration classes to my list. :)
Exchange is only being used to store messages. Many customers purchase Unity w/o knowing Windows, Exchange, or SQL since the interface into Unity admin is through the web page.
Unity is no different from any other products you buy - you will have to learn how to maintain it or have a partner do it for you. This is the doc for maintaining Unity with the link provided for exchange portion.
I'm not worried about learning how to maintain Unity, but I don't want to have to learn Exchange. Ugh... I would prefer that the message store be completely transparent to me for the same reason that I don't want to have to learn Windows 2000 Server to maintain my PBX. ;-)
It sounds like it is mostly transparent so perhaps I'm overly concerned for no reason.
I may be meeting with the Cisco Unity Product Manager and a few members from his team in a couple of weeks. If we have that meeting, I'll ask a lot of these sorts of questions to get a feel for where they're headed.
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