Welcome to our screencast series on how to configure Unified Messaging (UM) in Exchange Server 2007. The first step in the Exchange Unified Messaging configuration process is to connect Exchange Server 2007 to a Session Initialization Protocol (SIP) gateway. In part one, Microsoft MVP Brien Posey demonstrates how to set up a SIP gateway, how to create a UM dial plan via the Exchange Management Console (EMC) and how to associate that new dial plan with your gateway.
What is Exchange Unified Messaging?
Unified Messaging (UM), a new feature in Exchange Server 2007, lets users receive voicemail and faxes in their Exchange inboxes along with traditional email messages. It also offers a feature called Outlook Voice Access (OVA).
Outlook Voice Access is a mechanism that allows you to dial into the Exchange Server with a telephone and use verbal commands to check your email and calendar, make appointments, send email and perform various other Exchange-related functions. (Note: OVA will be demonstrated in part three of this screencast series.)
What are the hardware requirements for an Exchange UM configuration?
Many Exchange administrators are intimidated by unified messaging not only because it requires knowledge of telephony, but also because it requires some special hardware. You must connect Exchange Server to a PBX system. This isn't a problem if you have an IP-based PBX system, since Exchange can communicate directly with it.
However, if you have a legacy PBX system (i.e., an analog PBX or a digital PBX that isn't IP-based), then you're going to need an intermediary device. Specifically, you're going to need a SIP gateway. SIP is the protocol that Exchange Server uses to communicate with the phone system.
In part one on how to configure Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2007, I'll use a SIP gateway from AudioCodes called the MP-114. This is the SIP gateway that Microsoft typically uses when it demonstrates unified messaging. The MP-114 gateway is easy to use and inexpensive. It only supports two phone lines, but the cost is around $400.
The MP-114 gateway will let you get a feel for how unified messaging works before you spend thousands or even millions of dollars on the hardware necessary for a full-blown enterprise-class unified messaging deployment.
VIDEO: HOW TO CONFIGURE UNIFIED MESSAGING IN EXCHANGE SERVER 2007
Part 1: How to set up a SIP gateway and create a UM dial plan in Exchange Server 2007
Part 2: How to customize an Exchange 2007 Unified Messaging mailbox policy
Part 3: How Outlook Voice Access (OVA) works in Exchange Server 2007
Do you have comments on this screencast? Let us know.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a five-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional award for his work with Exchange Server, Windows Server, Internet Information Services (IIS) and File Systems and Storage. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal website at www.brienposey.com.