ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES CORP.
Implementing Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging
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The new unified messaging (UM) features in Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 give enterprise users
access to voice mail, e-mail, fax, and calendar information no matter where they’re located. Integrating
such an effective unified messaging system with existing enterprise phone systems is a highly
technical, complex process that can be time consuming and frustrating for many organizations. That’s
why more and more companies are relying on specialized system integrators like Enabling
Technologies to successfully implement Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging with Private Branch
Exchange (PBX) phone systems and IP telephony systems.
Over the past several years, Enabling Technologies has worked to help its customers with unified
messaging applications that specifically integrate with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. Enabling
Technologies now also performs end-to-end implementation of UM applications that integrate with
Exchange Server 2007. Enabling Technologies is using the new features in Exchange Server 2007,
along with its own experience in integrating unified messaging with PBX systems, to offer its customers
consolidated applications, stronger messaging features, better mobile access, and cost savings.
UM SUPPORT IN EXCHANGE SERVER 2007
Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging provides robust, interoperable, server-based tools that
integrate with workstation and mobile clients to give employees access to voice mail, fax, and e-mail
from wherever they are. With UM support in Exchange Server 2007, users can also manage their e-
mail, calendar, and personal contacts over the telephone.
Exchange Server 2007 UM delivers access through familiar products, such as the Microsoft Office
Outlook® messaging and collaboration client and Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access, a variety of
mobile devices, and ordinary telephones.
Specifically, the UM server carries data from a company’s phone system into the Exchange Server
2007 infrastructure. Because this server stores voice mail and faxes, companies do not need to use
separate systems for those messages. In addition, the UM server includes the speech-enabled
Automated Attendant, a feature that gives verbal responses to internal callers. The UM server also
operates Outlook Voice Access, which gives people access to their mailbox data over the telephone,
even when they are calling from outside of the company. These callers can also have e-mail, calendar
data, personal contacts, and other information read aloud to them in different languages through the
UM server’s text-to-speech function.
Deploying a UM solution also helps organizations improve and streamline existing processes, helping
them to prepare for future updates to telephony and communications systems.
Enabling Technologies, a specialized IT consulting and integration firm based in Baltimore, Maryland,
can assist companies with an Exchange Server 2007 UM deployment. Enabling Technologies is a
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that helps organizations install UM systems, in addition to speech-
enabled applications, instant messaging, and message networking, which unite voice messaging
between various disparate voice mail systems.
THE ADVANTAGES OF UM IN EXCHANGE SERVER 2007
By deploying a solution that is based on Exchange Server 2007 UM, organizations gain a number of
advantages around communication and information gathering. These include the following.
With enhanced support for UM in Exchange Server 2007, companies have the ability to consolidate
disparate applications. In fact, a single Exchange Server 2007 UM system can host multiple voice mail
user groups, each with their own unique set of configuration options. This makes it possible for
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companies to host multiple voice mail systems, with distinct settings, policies, and Automated
Attendant configurations, on a single server.
STRONGER MESSAGING FEATURES
Exchange Server 2007 UM offers Enabling Technologies customers much stronger unified messaging
features than they could receive previously. “With this new technology, our customers can have access
to their voice mail, e-mail, and fax in one centralized inbox,” says Demitri Patsilivas, Director of Sales,
Enabling Technologies. “They also have enhanced calendaring features and can use voice commands
to access the mailbox.”
BETTER MOBILE ACCESS
Exchange Server 2007 includes advanced mobility features, such as enhanced Office Outlook Web
Access that gives users the ability to check e-mail and voice mail messages through a Web browser.
Mobile users can also use Exchange Server ActiveSync® technology to access calendars, reply to and
track meeting invitations, and set Out of Office messages from mobile devices.
Exchange Server 2007 UM also supports site and server consolidation, reducing the total number of
servers that are required to provide voice mail and fax service. This consolidation can cut maintenance
and support costs, particularly for organizations that have remote or branch offices.
In addition, replacing individual offices’ voice mail systems with a single centralized system can
dramatically lower costs by eliminating the most expensive component: earlier voice mail hardware.
THE CHALLENGES OF INTEGRATION
Unified Messaging for Exchange Server 2007 features significant technological advancements,
beginning with the UM server itself. These technological aspects present challenges to companies that
are unfamiliar with how to integrate a UM solution with their existing PBX systems.
Let’s take a detailed look at the technical side of Exchange Server 2007 UM (See Figure 1). As
mentioned previously, Exchange Server 2007 UM is implemented by the unified messaging server role
of Exchange Server 2007. The UM server:
• Provides an entry point for data from a telephone system to the Exchange Server 2007
infrastructure. The UM server allows voice mail and fax messages to be stored in this
infrastructure rather than in separate systems.
• Contains logical objects that reflect the telephony infrastructure of the organization. A single
UM server can support multiple PBX systems by using numbering schemes that already exist
within the organization.
• Provides a customizable, speech-enabled Automated Attendant service that answers internal
and external phone calls and automates dialing through integration with a company’s Global
• Runs Outlook Voice Access, which gives employees telephone-based access to inbox data by
using speech or touch-tone recognition. Outlook Voice Access also offers text-to-speech
functionality to read e-mail, calendar data, personal contacts, and directory information back to
The Exchange Server 2007 UM server handles interactions between telephone callers and the rest of
the messaging system. This server role accepts call requests from the PBX system, answers calls for
voice mail and fax calls, delivers Outlook Voice Access services to subscribers' records, plays back
voice messages, receives faxes, and hosts the Automated Attendant.
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Handling Incoming Calls
When an outside caller places a call to the system, the call is routed to the recipient’s phone by using
the public switched telephone network or internal telephone lines. If the called number is a direct-dial
extension, the PBX system may ring the desired extension or may transfer the call to the pilot number
of the Exchange Server 2007 UM server. The protocol that is used to accomplish this transfer depends
on the type of PBX system. If the PBX system is an IP-PBX, it establishes a session with the UM
server by using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP); after the session is set up, the live voice traffic is
transferred by using the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). If the PBX system is a traditional PBX,
the circuit-switched call data is sent to the voice over IP (VoIP) gateway, which establishes a session
with the UM server by using SIP, and then translates the call and forwards the voice data to the UM
server by using RTP.
The original called party information is maintained as part of the supplementary signaling information
when the call is transferred. When the call arrives at the UM server, the called party information and
the PBX source of the call are used to look up the user and retrieve the user’s mailbox greeting. The
UM server retrieves the user’s welcome greeting, plays it, and records any message that the caller
might want to leave.
The UM server handles faxes in a similar method to voice call answering. All users’ accounts are
enabled for fax by default. The organization can provide one fax number for all users or individual
numbers for each user. When a fax is sent to a dedicated number, the PBX system transfers the call
directly to the UM message search group.
Outlook Voice Access
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For Outlook Voice Access, subscribers call the UM system directly. There is no called party information
in this case because the calls are not redirected by the PBX system from another called party. The UM
server answers these calls by using a main menu that asks users to identify their mailbox numbers,
and then it allows them to log on.
Automated Attendant objects are configured similarly to voice users. In the PBX system, a dedicated
number is given to the Automated Attendant. This number is set up in the PBX system to always
redirect to UM. When an incoming call arrives at the UM server, the called party information is used by
UM to identify that the call is addressed to a particular Automated Attendant object. From there, the
greetings and menus of that Automated Attendant are played to the caller.
Integration with PBX and IP Telephony Systems: A Complex Process
Companies that want to integrate Exchange Server 2007 UM with their existing PBX or IP telephony
systems face a complex process that involves integrating different communications methods and
systems. Today’s UM environments are usually tied to specific proprietary PBX phone systems.
Integrating Exchange Server 2007 UM to these earlier systems is very technical and time consuming.
As such, it requires an experienced organization that is capable of removing the complexities and risks
that are associated with moving voice mail and faxes to Exchange Server 2007. It also requires an
organization that has special expertise in integrating PBX phone systems with UM applications.
Specifically, many companies need assistance with the process of implementing the voice integration
component of Exchange Server 2007 UM with their existing infrastructures.
For example, companies often require a VoIP gateway to be constructed to fully enable Exchange
Server 2007 UM to integrate with their PBX systems. This involves taking the circuit-switched data that
enters the infrastructure through the organization’s existing PBX system and converting it into Internet
Protocol (IP) voice data. Building the VoIP gateway that allows Exchange Server 2007 UM to
communicate with PBX systems is a technical process that many companies do not want to handle
Other technical challenges add to the overall complexity of an enterprise UM rollout. These include dial
plan integration, collapsing multiple enterprise messaging systems into one integrated system, and
integrating UM with multiple phone systems.
HOW ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES SOLVES THE
Because of its close working relationship with Microsoft, Enabling Technologies was invited in 2006 to
join the Microsoft Unified Messaging Partner Advisory Group. This group was specifically formed to
help develop the unified messaging features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. “We have specialized
in unified messaging for five years, and when Microsoft entered the marketplace with this technology, it
was a natural fit for us,” says Herr. “We were already familiar with the concepts and integrations
required, and Microsoft looked to us because of our expertise in integrating PBX phone systems with
unified messaging applications.”
Enabling Technologies consults with companies that are looking to implement Exchange Server 2007
UM, helping with the wiring and programming of new and existing applications with Exchange Server
2007 UM. Since participating in the Unified Messaging Partner Advisory Group, Enabling Technologies
has partnered with Microsoft on numerous successful beta installations of Exchange Server 2007 with
UM support. As a result, Enabling Technologies has demonstrated that it can provide customers with
services and applications that take full advantage of the new UM features of Exchange Server 2007.
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Enabling Technologies offers its customers a range of services to ensure that implementation of
Exchange Server 2007 UM proceeds smoothly. These services include:
• Project management and consulting on the rollout of Exchange Server 2007 UM
• Integration assistance with earlier PBX and IP telephony systems
• Message migration from earlier voice mail systems
• Building automated caller applications for voice mail Automated Attendant
• Message networking dial plans for integrating with earlier voice mail systems
• Advanced system administration and end user training
• Disaster recovery and business continuity solutions for Exchange Server 2007
• Technical support service with business day and around-the-clock maintenance programs
• System monitoring, alarming, and reporting with remote access troubleshooting
Although Exchange Server 2007 contains powerful new UM features, many organizations still need
help integrating this new technology with their existing PBX systems. In fact, Microsoft recommends
that companies that are deploying Exchange Server 2007 UM receive help from a UM specialist to
ensure the smooth transition from an earlier voice mail system to the new UM environment. Such a
specialist will have the technical experience that is required to do the work.
Enabling Technologies engineers possess detailed knowledge about PBX systems and Exchange
Server 2007. In addition to its familiarity with the UM features of Exchange Server 2007, the company
has years of experience building and implementing VoIP gateways that help customers solve UM
Building a VoIP Gateway
The Exchange Server 2007 UM role can communicate with two distinct types of PBX systems. IP-PBX
hardware directly implements VoIP capability. When a PBX system receives an inbound call, the
system is responsible for ringing the selected extension and, if the call is not answered, using its own
call coverage configuration to determine where the call should go next. Assuming that the coverage
configuration specifies transfer to Exchange Server 2007 UM, the PBX system routes the call from the
original destination extension to the group that is configured to point to Exchange Server 2007 UM. In
the case of an IP-PBX system, the call is directly connected without a gateway. However, that is not
the case for traditional PBX systems.
Most PBX systems do not directly provide VoIP services, but instead use earlier, proprietary, circuit-
switched protocols to transport phone traffic. These PBX systems require the use of a special VoIP
gateway that translates between circuit-switched protocols and packet-based Internet protocols that
are compatible with the VoIP network stack that exists in Exchange Server 2007 UM.
To enable the UM features of Exchange Server 2007, Enabling Technologies engineers take circuit-
switched data that comes into PBX systems and convert it into IP voice data, creating a VoIP gateway.
This gateway is responsible for converting the call data from circuit-switched to packet-switched
protocols. Exchange Server 2007 UM uses Session Initiation Protocol for call setup and signaling, the
Real-time Transport Protocol for voice sessions, and the T.38 (fax over IP) protocol for fax data.
Exchange Server 2007 also supports the use of the Transport Layer Security protocol to secure and
authenticate communications between the PBX system or gateway and the Exchange Server 2007 UM
Configuring the Gateway
The IP/VoIP gateway has several different ports or interfaces that need to be properly configured to
enable seamless communication between a PBX system, the VoIP gateway, and the Exchange Server
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2007 UM server on the network. Companies that are configuring the gateway need to know whether
the gateway device is analog, digital, or analog and digital. If the gateway interface that connects to the
PBX system is analog, the appropriate settings need to be properly configured to enable the gateway
to communicate with the Exchange Server 2007 UM server.
Enabling Technologies engineers have experience configuring interfaces to communicate with PBX
systems, as well as configuring the local area network connection or network interface for the gateway.
This knowledge, along with the company’s experience in UM integration with PBX and VoIP systems,
makes Enabling Technologies the right choice for companies that need assistance with Exchange
Server 2007 UM deployments that require PBX integration.
Integrating voice mail and fax messages with e-mail and calendaring systems offers some valuable
benefits, including reduced costs, improved productivity, and greater ease of use. Exchange Server
2007 UM helps deliver these benefits to companies by unifying voice mail and fax traffic with other data
items in a user’s existing inbox, making all of these data items available to users in a variety of ways.
By allowing for centralized deployment and management of all unified messaging services, Exchange
Server 2007 lowers the cost of providing voice mail and fax services while also delivering services
such as voice access to calendar items that are not available on other systems.
The new UM features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 give computer, telephone, and mobile device
users access to voice mail, e-mail, fax, and calendar information no matter where those users are
located. However, many organizations need technical assistance when integrating Exchange Server
2007 UM with their existing PBX systems. Because of its partnership with Microsoft on the
development of Exchange Server 2007 UM and its history of unified messaging expertise, Enabling
Technologies can help build, configure, and implement VoIP gateways that integrate with the
Exchange Server 2007 UM server. Enabling Technologies will use its extensive data and telephony
integration experience to help an organization to capitalize on the new UM features in Exchange
Server 2007. This experience smoothly translates into consolidated applications, stronger messaging
features, better mobile access, and cost savings.
About Enabling Technologies
Enabling Technologies is a specialized IT consulting and integration company based in Baltimore,
Maryland. Formed in 1992, the company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and has offices in the
United States, Canada, and Europe. Enabling Technologies customers conduct business in the
government, legal, financial, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, education, and medical industries.
Enabling Technologies helps its customers incorporate unified messaging systems, which integrate e-
mail, voice mail, and other messaging applications into one primary mailbox that is accessible from
computers, telephones, and mobile devices. The company also specializes in speech-enabled
applications, instant messaging, and message networking, which unites voice messaging between
various disparate voice mail systems.
Phone: (800) 923-4310
This white paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published May 2007
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