Spotlight on Exchange 2010: Voice Mail Preview – Part 1: Introduction


Voice Mail Preview will literally transform the way that you look at voice messages in Exchange.

Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) makes it easy to manage your voice messages by delivering them in your Inbox. You can then use many types of Exchange mail client software to review your voice mail. Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Web Access (OWA), Outlook Mobile (and other clients connected via Exchange ActiveSync) and, of course Outlook Voice Access (the speech access interface in Exchange UM) are examples of the ways that you can now retrieve voice mail.

Figure 1. Exchange UM voice mail in the Inbox

If you're using a visual mail client such as Outlook to review your voice mail, it's great to see at a glance the message details (date/time, length) and the number or name of the sender. In Outlook and OWA, you can even add your own text in an Audio Notes field. This permits you to annotate the message so that you can see what it's about, should you return to it later. You can also search for the message by one or more words in the note, as you're used to doing for e-mail.

People who have used the Audio Notes feature since Exchange 2007 have surely sometimes wished that the annotations could be generated automatically.

In Exchange 2010, the Voice Mail Preview feature will do this, and more. By the time that a voice message arrives in your Inbox, UM can insert a Preview. This is machine-generated text that is derived from the voice recording. You can usually gain a good sense of the recorded content by looking at the Preview. Text in the Preview is indexed, so you can search for voice messages without Audio Notes. You can add additional information or make corrections through the Audio Notes field, if required.

Figure 2. Voice Mail Preview (sample message)

Figure 2 shows an example of an actual voice message with a Preview, which I received recently. Some of the text in the figure has been obscured to protect the identity of the caller. In this case, the caller was a telemarketer and I was able to glance at the message (which arrived while I was in a meeting and unable to play the audio) and decide that it was (how shall I put this?) not at all urgent.

In later articles in this series, I'll look at Voice Mail Preview in more detail, describing additional capabilities, how it works, and some limitations.

- Michael Wilson

Comments (11)
  1. J.Birkett says:

    Do I spy OCS presence beans in the voice mail preview? If so very cool :)

  2. Michael Wilson (MSFT) says:

    (Re: J.Birkett’s comment)

    All will be explained in part 2 ;-)

  3. Savi Thomas says:

    Looks good, I have a different question though.

    I can connect phone call to Exchange 2010 Beta UM, UM accepts the call, but I cannot hear the greeting messages. Call with auto attendant will last for around 34 seconds and disconnects. Any idea. I have a production 2007 UM in place, which is working fine.

  4. Michael Wilson (MSFT) says:

    Savi,

    Please post general questions on Exchange UM to the UC forum at:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/exchangesvrunifiedmessaging/threads

    In the post, please describe the phone/PBX/gateway arrangements that you’re using to connect to Exchange UM.

    Thanks.

  5. Savi Thomas says:

    Thank you Michael, I will do it.

  6. Pavel Nagaev says:

    Will this work with Russian language?

  7. Michael Wilson (MSFT) says:

    Pavel,

    Thank you for your question. We had hoped to ship Voice Mail Preview capability for all UM languages. Unfortunately, we could not obtain enough voice mail in some languages to allow us to tune the speech recognition engine to the required level of accuracy.

    We are currently finalizing the list of languages in which we will support Voice Mail Preview when Exchange 2010 UM is released, but Russian will probably not be in the list. However, we will support speech recognition in Russian for Outlook Voice Access.

  8. Pauld says:

    Awesome!

    Is that voicemail preview widget in OWA the Windows Media Player plug-in for IE, or is it a Silverlight/Flash widget?

  9. Michael Wilson (MSFT) says:

    The screen shots are from a pre-release version of Outlook 2010. Outlook Web Access in Exchange 2010 also features an inline media player control. However, OWA and Outlook handle Voice Mail Preview slightly differently.

  10. Juerg Stadelmann says:

    Hi Michael,

    in recent Exchange 2010 UM evaluation testings, I I found an issue in Exchange 2010 with SIP MWI (un-solicited NOTIFY), causing Interop issue with certain IP-PBX’s.

    Exchange 2010 seems to use a mal-formed (invalid or none-rfc3261 compliant) SIP URI in the FROM: Header.

    when Exchange 2010 sends the unsolicited NOTIFY for MWI, it puts it’s own FQDN in the FROM Header.

    that’s ok so far but Exchange 2010 does NOT divides the FQDN into the User-Portion and Host-portion (user@host) as per RFC3261

    as example : Exchange 2010 UM puts something like this in FROM Header : FROM:exch2010um.contoso.com

    however, a correct URI would look like exch2010um@contonso.com, exch2010um@192.1.1.1 (IP-Addr) or something like mwi@exch2010um.contoso.com

    that’s at least true ’til 14.00.0532.009 (R4/public beta)

    this is causing issues on some IP-PBX’s who validate the FROM Header in incomming packets as well. packets are being discarded due to invalide SIP Header (SIP URI)

    will this be fixed in RC or RTM ?

  11. Juerg Stadelmann says:

    Hi Mike

    in recent Exchange 2010 UM evaluation testings, I figured out Exchange 2010 UM accept the current SIP ‘history-info’ header standard to recognize diverted number if someone is trying to leave a message.

    that’s a great achievement from ExCh07 UM which only supported the old/superseded Diversion-Header only) to recognize diverted number

    But … Exchange 2010 UM does not seem to support/accept ‘P-Asserted-Identity’ to identify the subscriber when a user is trying to dial into its own UM Box to listen/retrieve messages.

    From my testing’s, Exch2010 only identifies the subscriber properly if subscriber number (calling-party) is sent in (old/supersede) ‘Remote-Party-ID’.

    This causes an issue for subscriber access if ‘Remote-Party-ID’ is not present/missing but ‘History-info’ is used and in most newer IP-Telephony Products.

    In that case, Exch2010 looks at the History-Info Header which obviously does NOT show the subscriber number (since it’s direct call, not diverted) but the UM Pilot Access Number.

    (as per rfc3325, the 1st listed entry in history-info is the initial called party number (Targeted-to-URI) which is in that case the subscriber access number (pilot number)

    With this, Exch2010 answers with the standard announcement ‘sorry, the person you are trying to reach does not have a valid voicemailbox in our system …).

    Questions :

    Since ‘Remote-Party-ID’ (draft-ietf-sip-privacy) has been supersede/replaced by the P-A-I (RFC3325), is there any intension from MSFT to support P-A-I instead ? (or better both, for backward compatibility)

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