Building An Exchange Unified Messaging Lab (Part 6)

Posted on Posted in 2010, 2013, asterisk, asterisknow, exchange, pbx, unified messaging, voicemail, voip

Earlier parts in this blog have talked about VoIP, configured AsteriskNOW software PBX and configured inbound and outbound calls via the PBX. Now it is time to configure voicemail to be provided by Exchange Server 2013 and for the telephone users to be able to call Exchange an listen to their voicemail. In addition to listening to voicemail, when a user logs into Exchange Server via their telephone handset Exchange can read and the user change items in their mailbox (i.e. delete email, change calendar bookings) and direct calls to other users.

This blog article will look specifically at Exchange Server 2013. The preceding article repeats the steps here, but for Exchange Server 2010. So lets start by configuring all the required pieces on the Exchange Server.

Configuring Exchange Server 2013 Unified Messaging

The first thing to set up in Exchange Server 2013 with regards to Unified Messaging is the mailbox server role. Unified Messaging is automatically installed on the mailbox role. Once the role is installed go to the Voice area of Exchange Control Panel.

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By default Exchange is installed with the United States language pack. Download and install the correct unified messaging language packs for your country before you proceed further or Exchange will answer you in the wrong language. 

The first thing that you need to create is the UM Dial Plan with the correct number of digits (four in the case of this blog), set Unsecured for VoIP Security, enter your Country/Region code (for example 44 for the UK) and choose the language you want the server to answer callers in. Unlike Exchange Server 2010 you do not associate dial plans with servers unless you are using Lync Server as the PBX.

On the UM IP Gateways screen add a gateway for the IP address of your PBX.  Exchange requires TCP support and we covered the steps for configuring Asterisk in Step 3 to support SIP over TCP.

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If you are using a PBX that supports custom ports for SIP over TCP (Asterisk 1.8 does not support changing the TCP port for SIP) then remember to adjust the port in Exchange Server. You set the port if different from 5060 using Exchange Management Shell: Set-UMIPGateway –identity BlogGateway -Port 5065 for example.

You also need to select the dial plan you just created and a display name for the UM Gateway.

Unlike Exchange 2010, there will be nothing in the Event Viewer upon successful creating an IP Gateway. Also you are not required to associated the dial plan with a UM Server. The PBX should be configured to forward all calls to the front-end CAS array and CAS redirects the call to the Mailbox server that holds the users mailbox for answering by the Unified Messaging service.

Now that you have the initial configuration complete, go back to the UM Dial Plans screen and open the dial plan that you created earlier. You will need to associate a subscriber access number with this dial plan. This is the number that users will call to listen to their voicemail. Exchange Server will be informed of the dialled number when the PBX forwards the call to it, and so the number called must be associated with a mailbox or be the subscriber number. In other PBX systems, this number is often called the Pilot Number. In the lab we are building here, with a four digit dial plan, the chosen subscriber number is 8500.

To add the subscriber number click the configure UM dial plan button on the UM Dial Plan properties screen and change to Outlook Voice Access tab

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Change any of the the remaining properties as required before saving your changes.

Back on the UM Dial Plan screen edit the default UM Mailbox Policy as required. I would suggest for a lab environment that you have a 4 digit PIN and no requirement to reset it.

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For the purposes of the lab we are not going to configure the UM Auto Attendants and we will just use the default hunt group created.

The previous blog post covered these same settings for Exchange Server 2010. The next part, Part 7 will look at configuring users (mailboxes) to have valid unified messaging settings and then Part 8 will look at the configuration on the PBX to create a trunk to reach your Exchange Server and the settings to forward voicemail messages to the Exchange Server. These following posts look at the configuration mainly from an Exchange 2010 viewpoint, but will work for Exchange Server 2013.

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