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Auto Attendant

The auto attendant is a software system that answers calls, plays prompts or instructions, and then collects input from the caller as touch tones or speech. Auto attendants can direct a call to telephone numbers or named users or to entities (for example, departments) that the caller specifies, without intervention from a human operator.

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)

Automatic Speech Recognition is the technology that enables a computer to match human speech to a predefined set of words or phrases.

Call Answering

Voice mail Call Answering is the process by which a caller interacts with a voice mail system if the number they originally called isn't answered. Typically, the system will play a greeting or other prompt, and allow the caller to record a voice message.

Call Answering Rules

Call Answering Rules can be set by a user to determine the call answering behavior experienced by the caller. The user can specify conditions to be evaluated, choices to be provided to the caller, and actions (for example, transfer or leave a message) to be taken as a result of the caller's choice. The user can also record a greeting to explain the options, or take the default greeting created by the system for the specified options.

Conditional Call Forwarding

Conditional Call Forwarding can be set by a user to redirect incoming calls. The system evaluates the incoming call against the set conditions to determine whether and where to route the call.

Dial by Name

The Dial by Name feature allows a caller to spell a person’s name using the keys on a telephone (ABC=2, DEF=3, etc.). The person must be in the directory or in the caller’s personal contacts, and the name must be spelled as it appears there.

Message Waiting Indicator (MWI)

The Message Waiting Indicator is a signal that indicates the presence of one or more unread voice messages. For voice mail systems, this is often a lamp on the phone or a stutter dial tone.

Missed Call Notification

A Missed Call Notification is an e-mail message that is sent to a UM-enabled user that indicates that someone called but did not leave a voice message.

Outlook Web Application (OWA)

Also known as webmail, OWA is the web-accessible interface to Outlook Exchange. For some of the voice mail options, this is the only place you can set preferences.

Outlook Voice Access (OVA)

Outlook Voice Access is an interface that uses a series of voice prompts for accessing and processing e-mail, voice mail, calendar, and contact information using a standard analog, digital, or mobile telephone. Callers are authenticated before they can access their inbox or contacts. Outlook Voice Access also enables authenticated callers to navigate their personal information in their mailbox, place calls, locate users, and navigate the system prompts and menus using touchtone or voice inputs.


The PIN is a passcode that a user enters on the telephone to access their Exchange mailbox.

PIN reset

When a PIN or a password is reset, the system randomly chooses a new, temporary PIN or password. The user is required to change the temporary PIN the next time that they access voice mail through a phone (sign in to Outlook Voice Access).

Play on Phone

Play on Phone is a Unified Messaging feature that allows users to play their voice messages or play and record personalized voice mail greetings over a telephone.

Star Out

This is the action of pressing the * key to return to a higher level menu. A caller can “star out” when they are dialed in to a Unified Messaging auto attendant but they want to be able to get to Outlook Voice Access to get their e-mail and voice mail. You can press the * key at any time while the auto attendant prompts are being played.

Subscriber Access Number

A number that is configured in a PBX and on a UM dial plan that allows users to access their Exchange mailbox using Outlook Voice Access. In some cases, this may be configured to be the same number as the pilot number (also called a pilot identifier) on the PBX or IP PBX and the UM hunt group.

Telephone User Interface (TUI)

The Telephone User Interface is used to navigate the menus of a Unified Messaging system using touchtone (DTMF) inputs.

Text-to-Speech (TTS)

Text to Speech technologies are used to translate or convert typewritten text into speech.

Unified Messaging

Unified Messaging is the application that consolidates a user’s voice mail and e-mail into one mailbox, so that the user only needs to check a single location for messages, regardless of type. The e-mail server is used as the platform for all types of messages, making it unnecessary to maintain separate voice mail and e-mail infrastructures.

Voice Mail

Voice Mail is the system that records and stores telephone messages in a user mailbox.

Voice Mail Preview

The Voice Mail Preview feature provides text transcribed from the audio recording in the e-mail message to which a voice message is attached when it is delivered.

Voice Message

A Voice Message is an electronic message with a primary content of digitized audio.

Voice User Interface (VUI)

The Voice User Interface is the interface used to navigate the menus of a Unified Messaging system using speech input.