Deploying Exchange Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 (Part 11)

by [Published on 17 March 2011 / Last Updated on 17 March 2011]

This article goes through the steps of testing the integration between OCS and Exchange Server 2007.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

Introduction

In our previous article we went over the process to integrate OCS and Exchange Server 2007 Unified Messaging, in this article we will check out how the collaboration and integration works between Exchange Server and Office Communications Server.

To simplify the explanation of this integration, we are going to create a telephone number range for our environment and it will be 6667778XXX, where the last three digits will be the extension of our users. The following Table (Table 01) shows all objects that we are going to create in our UC environment and their respective numbers.

Object

Phone Number

Exchange Voice Mail Subscriber Access

+16667778100

Anderson Patricio

+16667778150

Lidiana Patricio

+16667778151

Table 01

Enabling Users for Enterprise Voice

In our article series we don’t have a mediation server in place and are not connecting to the PSTN world; however we are integrating OCS and Exchange. The only difference for a real world scenario would be the capability to place and receive calls from the PSTN.

When we have just a Front-End Server and users enabled for OCS, the user has its Communicator like the one depicted in Figure 01, and the user will be able to do Instant Messaging, search on the Address List, start Live Meeting, Share Desktop, Send File, Start a Call, Start a Video etc…


Figure 01

Based on fake telephone numbers that we have defined in the beginning of this article, we are going to enable the first user to Enteprive Voice and associate a number in the E.164 format (e.g.: +123456789). In order to do that, we need to log on a server with the OCS Administrative Tools intalled, and then open Active Directory Users and Computers, right click on the designated user that we want to enable and click on Properties. Click on Communications tab, and click on Configure button at Telephony Settings section. Select Enable Enterprise Voice, and on the Line URI field let’s add the number using the format tel:+1<number> as shown in Figure 02. Let’s also associate the user to our Location profile which is Toronto.apatricio.local.


Figure 02

After enabling the user for Enterprise Voice, we can go back to Communicator where a new button on the right side should be available (Figure 03), if we click on this button a whole new section opens that allows us to control incoming calls. It also means that we are able to place calls to PSTN (if available) as well.


Figure 03

In the same section we can find other OCS users in the organization, we can also type in numbers to call PSTN numbers and use the full numbers such as, +16667778100. The use of letters in OCS for example, 416-1STRING is also possible. In the previous article we created a Normalization rule which cn be standard feature dialing numbers. For example, our Internal Normalization rule says that all numbers starting with 1 and followed by 2 numbers will be normalized for the E.164 format, an example of the normalization in action can be seen in the Figure 04.


Figure 04

As soon as the number is normalized it will show up on the list and on the right side of the entry an icon of a phone will appear. When we click on that icon the call will start, as shown in Figure 05.


Figure 05

Enabling Users for Unified Messaging

Next step of our integration process is to enable our users for Unified Messaging. A user PIN is the code used to access their OVA (Outlook Voice Access). The OCS Communicator will recognize the Unified Messaging capabilities of these users and they will be able to call Voice Mail and change their greetings. Also, any other user can leave them a Voice Mail straight from the Communicator.

To enable a mailbox for Unified Messaging, the following steps can be used:

  1. Open Exchange Management Console
  2. Expand Recipient Configuration
  3. Click on Mailbox
  4. Right click on the desired user, and click on Enable Unified Messaging
  5. On Introduction page. Select the current policy that was created during the UM Dial Plan which is Toronto Default Policy, and click on Next. (Figure 06)


Figure 06

  1. On Extension Configuration page. Let’s assign his extension number which is 150, this number is the last 3 (three) digits of his full number that we assigned to the user in the previous section. Click Next and Finish. (Figure 07)


Figure 07

Enabled users will receive a welcome message from Microsoft Exchange containing the Phone number to access Voice Subscriber, its PIN number and extension as shown in Figure 08.


Figure 08

The user opens Office Communicator and right clicks on the Voice button on the right hand side where two new items will appear: Call Voice Mail and Change Greetings, as shown in Figure 09.


Figure 09

Another cool feature that is the result of the integration is the ability to leave a Voice Mail from Microsoft Office Communicator. In order to do that, just right click on the contact, and then click on Voice Mail, as shown in Figure 10.


Figure 10

On the other hand the integration also works for Missed Conversations/Calls and Voice Messages, for example the user who received the Voice Mail from previous tasks will be warned as you can see in Figure 11.


Figure 11

Another cool feature is to configure any new incoming calls to be redirected. Any Enterprise Voice user can forward any Communicator call or incoming call from PST to go straight to the Voice Mail. How can we do that? It’s a piece of cake, just click on the Phone button, and click on Forward Calls To and then Voice Mail (Figure 12), and from now on any incoming call is going straight to the user Voice Mail.


Figure 12

Conclusion

In this article we went through some new capabilities that integration between OCS and Exchange can bring to the end-users. Also, even without using PSTN connectivity you will be able to test your Unified Communication environment integrating Exchange and OCS.

If you would like to read the other parts in this article series please go to:

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