I’ve just enabled Outlook Voice Access here in HCT.
This comes after a day of testing with the UM Test Phone.
Outlook Voice Access is a new feature in Exchange Server 2007 that lets users dial a number from any telephone (anywhere in the world) to access their email, calendar, voicemail, and address book. Users dial a predefined phone number, and Exchange server answers the call. Users can login to their mailbox by entering their telephone extension number (stored in AD or Exchange) and their secret PIN number. The PIN number can be auto-generated or specified by the administrator for first time use. On the first use, users can be forced to change their PIN.
The menu is interactive and is speech enabled – you can actually say voice commands and Exchange will do things for you. It’s really exciting. Here’s a sample dialog between me and my server:
I dial the subscriber access number
Exchange Server: Welcome . You are connected to Microsoft Exchange. To access your mailbox enter your extension. To contact someone press the # key.
I enter my extension number
Exchange Server: Shijaz Abdulla, Please enter your PIN, then press the # key. If this is not your mailbox press the * key.
I enter my PIN and press the # key.
Exchange Server: You have no new voice messages and no new email messages. Please say voicemail, email, calendar, personal contacts, directory or personal options.
I wait for sometime and Exchange gives help on each of the above options.
Exchange Server: Opening your mailbox.
Exchange Server: First, a message from Saifudheen CEV, titled Test, arrived today at 9.56 AM
This is a test message
Exchange Server: "Next, a message from Varghese Varghese, titled Antigen uninstallation, arrived today at 9.49 AM
Me: "Main Menu"
Exchange Server: "Sure. Please say voicemail, email, calendar, personal contacts, directory or personal options."
Exchange Server: "Sure. And which day shall I open?"
Exchange Server: "Opening today’s calendar"
First, a meeting that you organized from 10 to 10:30 titled "exam" with no location specified. You can say ‘Attendants details’, ‘Previous’, ‘First’, ‘Last’, or ‘More Options.’
Exchange Server: "I heard you say Goodbye, do you want to end this phone call?"
Exchange Server: Thank you for calling. Goodbye!
See the Call Reference Guide to see all the Voice navigation options.
This is certainly an Exchange Server feature that wont be missed by users. And it adds visibility for any Exchange 2007 Upgrade project – so consider enabling UM as part of your Exchange upgrade. The upgrade from Exchange 2003 to 2007 is not "just another email server upgrade"!
Configuring Outlook Voice Access
Setting up the Exchange UM Test Phone
Preparing for Unified Messaging – Part 1
Preparing for Unified Messaging, Part 2
Preparing for Unified Messaging, Part 3
Preparing for Unified Messaging, Part 4