Cisco Unity Connection Characteristics

Authentication and Synchronization

With Cisco Unity Connection (mid and large size environment) we have different options than we did for Unity Express, because we can authenticate and synchronize just like we could with the Communications Manager to an External LDAP server. This could be Microsoft Active Directory or any Open LDAP compliant service or server that’s out there. We use these same integrations that we would with the Communications Manager and we could create a local database, we could bring it from Communications Manager or we could do Digital Networking Nodes with Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unity, so we could tie into Cisco Unity too. We have a lot of different options, but just understand synchronization versus authentication again. With synchronization, users can be synchronized in from LDAP Compliant Server List, the Communications Manager, the Unity Connection or the Cisco Unity product. Remember synchronizing just says, okay as users are created out there, they are going to be imported if you will into my solution. Management of the passwords is the key here. Authentication, means not only what I synchronize people in, because I highly recommend you synchronize, everybody in when you are doing authentication from an External Server, but you make sure that the user understands that the authentication process is handled by that External Server. So, in other words, it is really the password changing that can get a little confusing to the end user and I wouldn’t explain to them or we are been synchronize and authenticated from Active Directory, so you need to change your password in Active Directory. I would just tell them, if you want to change your password when you log in to your computer that is where you change your password for your Administrative options within unity. Its kind and nice, because now we do not have separate passwords that people have to remember and write down on sticky notes everywhere in their offices, everybody can see them or under their computers nobody ever looks into the laptop or keyboard for that information, but with authentication we can authenticate to the LDAP Servers such as Active Directory, another Unity Connection or unity server or we could do it locally. Local authentication is going to maintain the password again locally, so now we are back to two passwords. We are back to a password that we might change for our computer systems and then a password that we manage for our voice mail log in access to the GUI pages.

Administrator Enabled User Login

As an administrator, if we want to allow users to login, we have to go out and create passwords for them. This means that I’m not synchronized with may be Active Directory. So, I would go in and I would choose edit, password settings, then I choose the web application password setting. Now I go in and I would set the appropriate passwords. Now, every user is a member of a class of service group, what this does is, this allows you to give them access to different applications. You could say that the user web interface would have access to Unity Connection, the Unity Connection inbox, the assistant, call transfer rules, the Cisco Unified Client. In other words, you can allow them to go in and manage things through their web pages or kind of take that away. So, with Unity Connect, we would go in and choose Unity Connection class of service membership. This is where we could view the members of class of service. We can list all of the members, we can see who they are, and then we can make sure that they have appropriate permissions.

Cisco Unity Connection Assistant

Unity Connection Assistant is web tool that lets out end users change how they collect or interact with their callers. So, we can do things like manage our personal preferences such as adding an alternate spelling of a name, may be we go by shortcut, may be we could change the recorded name, adding alternate names or numbers, or change the directory listing status. Those are some of the options that you have for personal preferences. We also can have the end users have several Cisco Unity Connection passwords. We have a phone password which is a PIN, because that’s what you would dial on the keypad and that password is used to log into the Cisco Personal Assistant Website to access the web tools and the password for external service accounts as well such as, the meeting place or Microsoft Exchange. So, the Cisco Unity Connection System could be configured to use again LDAP authentication for the password or the Cisco Unity Connection System could be configured to use a local password, so those are the different options that you have, but your end user can enable different greetings, specify how long they want the greeting to be enabled. They can also go in and configure personal contacts to store their names and numbers for people that are in the global service and they have private list that could create groups of voice messaging recipients such as, may be I am an in charge of marketing, so everybody who is in the marketing group, if I want to send that a message, “Hey, we’re going to have a meeting and we want you to bring this, this and this, meet me in the conference room at 1 o’clock”, you can do that by accessing that group option that would let you send that message out to everybody.

Cisco Unity Connection Inbox

An end user can visually manage their voice mail and what I mean by this is that they have the Cisco Unity Connection Inbox Web Tool that’ll list their voice mail messages or any that we’ve received may be we have already listened to them and we can click on the icon and that will allow us to sort and delete messages on the page. We could even compose and listen to voice mail messages. This is kind of neat, so that they could do it through the Unity Connection Inbox and manage all of their voice mail messages as well as on/or listening in on the telephone user interface.

Personal Call Transfer Rules

Users also have the ability to set up some screening options for their voice mail system. If I have a message or a caller coming in and may be I’m in a meeting and it’s from 10 to 11, I can identify that I have this meeting going on and that I want to transfer all the calls to the voice mail or I could even send it to another telephone number. So, may be while I am in the meeting I have assistant or another co-worker that’s going to take all my calls while I am attending this meeting. So, we can set rules to transfer calls to a phone number, a series of phones or to a mail base paging address, or we can even send them to an SMS messaging service. We can go in and we can setup personal contact list and this contact list is what we can use to route incoming calls as well as to place outgoing calls. We can set up caller groups and these callers can be organized into groups in order to apply may be one rule to multiple callers. I do not have to recreate all of these different groups or recreate the rules multiple times and then I have a personal destination. This is where the end user can create a directory of contacts phone numbers and this is what the Cisco Unity Connection can use to route those incoming calls. I have a listed numbers there in other words, may be it is my cell phone, my home phone, may be another office phone, and now I can go in and toggle or tell it based on the time of day or certain action to go ahead and send those calls to those numbers I have created.

Telephone User Interface

Remember end users always have the TUI – The Telephone User Interface. This allows them to get in, listen to their messages, and interact with the voice mail systems, so they have the option of listening to their new saved or deleted messages. They can make changes to some of their preferences just like you traditionally could with all of the voice mail systems like you can now.

Cisco Visual Voicemail

With Unity Connection you could also manage your voice mail solution from your IP Phone. We have to configure the phone service, that gets installed when updating the Cisco Unity Connection Server to the release required for the visual voice mail and then it is a phone service that gets added at that point and it needs to be configured as an Administrator.

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