New Features : Exchange 2010 & Unified Messaging

You can consider this as part of previous post which talks about Outlook & voice mail. In this post, i just want to concentrate with respect to Exchange 2010 and its unified messaging features introduced. Exchange Server 2010 offers unprecedented flexibility over traditional voice mail systems that improve daily productivity by consolidating e-mail and voice mail onto one inbox. Unified Messaging also gives users unique and powerful new ways of accessing their information with a telephone, computer, or mobile device. It provides:

  • Triage voice mail immediately upon arrival via the Voice Mail Preview speech-to-text capabilities to act upon voice mail quickly and efficiently without a telephone or computer speaker.

  • Manage your voice mail and e-mail systems from a single platform. Enable end users to create customized greetings and individual call transfer options.

  • Manage Unified Messaging using scriptable commands to easily create customizable workflows.

  • Build highly available and reliable Unified Messaging infrastructures to match an organization's needs.

  • Light up the Message Waiting Indicator on your phone to announce the arrival of a new voice mail message.

Functional Descriptions

Voice Mail Preview:
Exchange Server 2010 will facilitate the cumbersome task of navigating through voice messages. With Exchange Server 2010 speech-to-text translation, the user can read the contents of the audio recording in the same fashion they would read an e-mail. Furthermore, if the resulting voice messages are opened using Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, the text of the voice mail preview will become "actionable". Recognized names, contacts, and phone numbers will all be identified with icons that the user can select to add contacts, call using Office Communicator, or send e-mail. To facilitate navigation of the audio, clicking in the text will cause the voice mail to jump to that word and continue playing.

Protected Voice Mail:
Exchange Server 2010 solves the problem of unauthorized distribution of the messages by securing the message content, specifying the users who may access that content, and the operations that they may perform on it. It uses Active Directory Rights Management Services to apply Do Not Forward permissions to voice messages that are designated either by the sender (by marking the message as private) or by administrative policy. This prevents the forwarding of protected voice mails in a playable form to unauthorized persons, whatever the mail client used.

Message Waiting Indicator (MWI):
Now with Unified Messaging, users are notified of the presence of new/unread voice mail by lighting the lamp and providing a count on their supported desk phone. Additionally, users can configure their text messaging notification account to receive the beginning content of the voice mail preview in the SMS.

Auto Attendant: 
Users are often looking for a person in an organization, but are unsure of the extension or exact phone information. Exchange Unified Messaging’s Auto Attendant enables users to easily navigate to the person they are trying to reach when calling an organization with either the telephone keypad or speech inputs to navigate the menu structure, place a call to a user, or locate a user and then place a call to that user. An auto attendant gives you the ability to:

  • Create a customizable set of menus for callers

  • Define informational greetings, business hours greetings, non-business hours greetings, and holiday schedules

  • Describe how to search the organization's directory and connect to a user's extension

  • Enable external users to call the operator

Call Answering Rules:
Unified Messaging enables users to have more control over their call flows. For a salesman, this could mean the difference between sending an important sales lead to his voice mail instead of finding him on his cell phone or home phone. Call Answering Rules present callers with custom greetings, Find-Me, and call transfer options, in addition to leaving a voice mail. Moreover, these rules can be preceded by conditions (such as caller-IDs, time-of -day and Exchange free/busy status), giving end-users greater control over how they can be reached over the phone.

Outlook Voice Access:
Users now have control over their Inbox with Outlook Voice Access via a telephone keypad or voice inputs. This enables anywhere access to their mailbox when a user is away from a computer or Internet-connected device. Now users no longer have need to worry about being late for appointments or being disconnected when traveling, as they can instantly call into their mailbox to manage their calendar, contacts, and e-mail.

Language Support:
More users can now listen to and interact with their e-mail and voice mail in their native language or dialect. Exchange Server 2010 offers a broad range of language support with support for 16 languages including three varieties of English, plus Mandarin, Cantonese, European and North American versions of Spanish and French, and several other European languages.

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