C HAPTER
2
Using Your Cisco Unified
Communications System
This chapter discusses the basics of the Cisco Unity system operation. The basis of the
Cisco Unity system is, of course, managing calls. However, that is where its overall
similarity with traditional voice-messaging systems ends. The manner in which the Cisco
Unity system handles calls is of particular importance. Use of the Cisco Unity system
Telephone User Interface (TUI) is discussed in this chapter as an additional introduction to
the system.
The Cisco Unity system offers a diverse feature-set to its users. This diversity includes the
capability to receive voice messages in a Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes e-mail client
through the use of ViewMail for Outlook (VMO) or Domino Unifiec Communications
Services (DUCS). Also of interest in this chapter is a discussion of Cisco PCA.
Cisco PA, not to be confused with Cisco PCA, allows a subscriber to customize the method
by which calls are handled. Rule-sets are used in Cisco PA to specify how personal calls
should be treated when certain conditions are met and these rule-sets can be configured
through a web interface.
Using Cisco Unity
When you administer a Cisco Unity or PA system, you need to provide services directly to
end users of the system. To accomplish this, you must thoroughly understand the array of
available features and functions and how to properly deploy those features and functions.
You also need to gain comprehensive knowledge of various modes and facets of system-to-
user and user-to-system interaction. This first-hand knowledge of the technologies that are
being used will help you to support the system.
Knowing the extent of the form and function of a Cisco Unity or PA installation is important
because it helps you to reduce troubleshooting and the mean time to repair (MTTR) in an
outage or other user-support situation.
46 Chapter 2: Using Your Cisco Unified Communications System
To benefit fully from this section, it is recommended that you have the following prerequisite
skills and knowledge. (If you need a quick review, see the designated chapter, where you can
find more information on the topic.)
Knowledge of how calls are handled in a Cisco Unity system (See Chapter 5, “Unified
Communications System Customization”)
Knowledge of the interaction between Cisco Unity and Microsoft Exchange/Active
Directory and/or Lotus Domino (see Chapter 8, “Cisco Unified Communications System
Software”)
Managing Calls
When an inbound call arrives, it is processed by a telephone system like Cisco CallManager.
You can have a Cisco CallManager interact with the Cisco Unity system and pass along any
pertinent information that can be provided. This may include caller ID, name of the caller, or
other information. The information passed is dependent on Cisco CallManager and its
configuration. Once the Cisco Unity system receives the call, numerous possibilities can be
explored in handling the call.
Upon seeing that the call is not sourced from a configured Cisco Unity subscriber, the Standard
Opening Greeting is played to the caller. In cases where a subscriber-to-subscriber call is being
made, the caller simply hears the subscriber conversation as configured by the individual.
Understanding the TUI
When the Cisco Unity System receives a call from an outside caller, the caller hears the Cisco
Unity conversation, a prerecorded set of instructions and options that is made available to
callers and subscribers to meet the needs of each. The Cisco Unity conversation enables the
caller to access the Cisco Unity Automated Attendant, conduct subscriber searches using
directory assistance, use call-routing options, and play audiotext messages. Subscribers hear the
subscriber conversation, which enables them to enroll as new subscribers, send or receive
messages, record greetings, and change personal settings.
For subscribers, there are two types of conversations, the standard conversation and the optional
conversation. The standard conversation is the default subscriber conversation. The optional
conversation allows subscribers to hear message-retrieval menus that closely resemble
traditional voice-messaging choices with which they may be familiar. The optional
conversation needs to be activated to use it.
As a best practice, you should always configure an option to “0-out” during the personal
greeting or while in the Auto Attendant to get a human operator. There are a number of options
that can be configured using one-key dialing beyond the simple operator functionality.

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