Cisco UE Voice Mail Overview

Table of contents:

Cisco UE is a small-to-medium office or enterprise branch office voice mail system that you can use with either Cisco CME or Cisco CallManager as the call control agent for directing the calls and managing the IP phones. When deployed with Cisco CME, Cisco UE is a local, collocated voice mail system integrated into the same router chassis as Cisco CME. With Cisco CallManager, Cisco UE represents a distributed voice mail system with a centralized call control agent in the network. Because this book focuses on Cisco CME, this chapter covers only Cisco CME network deployments and operation in detail. If you are interested in how you can use Cisco UE voice mail in Cisco CallManager networks, consult for more information ( Cisco UE's voice mail capabilities are the same for both deployment choices.

Cisco UE is offered in two hardware form factors: a Network Module (NM-CUE) and an Advanced Integration Module (AIM-CUE). The Cisco UE hardware provides for a fully self-contained software and hardware system with an onboard CPU and operating system, memory, and storage capacity (a hard disk on the NM and compact Flash [CF] on the AIM). This relieves the router's processing of the tasks required to execute and manage AA menus and voice mail messaging. For this reason Cisco UE does not impact the router's performance at all.

The Cisco UE hardware draws power from the router chassis. All communication between the router and Cisco UE software is carried across the router's backplane. The Cisco UE module is inserted into the router, an IP address is assigned, and the system is active. This complete integration means that Cisco UE requires no external servers or cabling and only minimal configuration and setup to deploy as a fully functional voice mail system. Cisco UE provisioning and installation are covered in detail in Chapters 13 and 14.

Cisco UE requires a minimum of Cisco IOS software release 12.3.4T (Cisco CME 3.0) on the router, using the IP Plus or IP Voice minimum software image. The AIM-CUE was introduced later and requires Cisco IOS software release 12.3.7T (Cisco CME 3.1) or later. It is recommended that Cisco UE deployments use Cisco CME 3.2 (12.3.11T) or later.

The following sections further explain the following aspects of Cisco UE:

  • The mailbox licensing structure and how application parameters are controlled by licensing
  • The types of mailboxes offered by Cisco UE, including personal and GDMs
  • The concepts of users and groups, which underlie Cisco UE mailbox definition and operation

Cisco UE Licensing

Cisco UE offers an entry-level voice mail system that is cost-effective for offices requiring up to 120 total mailboxes. You can purchase mailbox licenses at the 12, 25, 50, and 100 personal mailbox levels. Future enhancements in Cisco UE releases beyond 2.1 may offer higher mailbox levels. The mailbox license you purchase equals the number of personal mailboxes on the Cisco UE system. In addition, you get a small number of GDMs with the license (the difference between the 100-mailbox license and getting 120 total mailboxes on the system). GDMs are discussed in more detail in the next section. Table 10-1 summarizes the Cisco UE system parameters controlled by the system license for Cisco UE software releases up to 2.0.

Table 10-1. Cisco UE Voice Mail Licensed Parameters for Cisco UE Up to Release 2.0

Hardware Form Factor


12-Mailbox License

25-Mailbox License

50-Mailbox License

100-Mailbox License


Personal mailboxes












Total mailboxes






Hours of storage












Default mailbox size (minutes)





AIM-CUE (512 MB)

Hours of storage










Default mailbox size (minutes)






Hours of storage










Default mailbox size (minutes)





As of Cisco UE release 2.1, several changes have occurred in the licensing parameters, and therefore to the information shown in Table 10-1:

  • The number of ports is no longer associated with the license. Instead, it depends only on the hardware module (NM-CUE or AIM-CUE) and the router platform where the module is housed.
  • There is no longer a fixed separation between the number of personal mailboxes and GDMs allowed per license. Instead, the total number of mailboxes per license remains the same as shown in Table 10-1 (for example, 120 for a 100-mailbox license), but you can configure any combination of personal mailboxes and GDMs up to that total.
  • An additional NM-CUE type (NM-CUE with 512 MB dynamic random-access memory [DRAM]) is introduced with more memory (DRAM) than the existing one (NM-CUE with 256 MB DRAM) for higher-end applications.

Table 10-2 summarizes the number of ports supported on the various hardware modules as of Cisco UE release 2.1.

Table 10-2. Cisco UE 2.1 Port Support

Hardware Form Factor


Number of Ports







AIM-CUE (512 MB and 1 GB CF)

Cisco 2600XM series and the Cisco 2691


AIM-CUE (512 MB and 1 GB CF)

Cisco 2800, 3700, and 3800 series


A valid license file must be present on the system at all times to determine the system parameters and identity controlled by licensing.


The features described in this chapter are generally applicable to Cisco UE release 2.1, except where noted. Not all of these features are present in earlier releases. Consult the Cisco UE documentation on ( for details on features in various releases.

Licenses are installed on Cisco UE using package (.pkg) files. Chapter 13, "Cisco IPC Express General Administration and Initial System Setup," discusses how these are used during the installation process. In summary, the following are the package files corresponding to the licenses available for Cisco UE release 2.0:

  • cue-vm-license_12mbx_cme_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_25mbx_cme_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_50mbx_cme_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_100mbx_cme_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_12mbx_ccm_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_25mbx_ccm_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_50mbx_ccm_2.0.1.pkg
  • cue-vm-license_100mbx_ccm_2.0.1.pkg

Separate license files exist for Cisco UE used with Cisco CME (the license files that contain cme in the name) and Cisco UE used with Cisco CallManager (the license files that contain ccm in the name).

Personal and General Delivery Mailboxes

Cisco UE voice mail lets subscribers defined on the system receive voice messages when they are unavailable to answer calls, because they are busy or away from the phone when the call arrives. The voice mail system allows subscribers to access each voice message and then skip it, play it, save it, or delete it, or reply to the sender. Subscribers can also compose and send messages to other subscribers on the same voice mail system or across the network to a voice mail system at another location.

A personal mailbox is associated with an individual subscriber. Only this person can access the mailbox to review the voice messages. The subscriber logs into the mailbox with a personal identification number (PIN) to retrieve or compose voice messages or change personal parameters, such as a greeting or spoken name. Calls to the subscriber's phone are forwarded using the call forward busy (CFB), call-forward-no-answer (CFNA), or call-forward-all (CFA) Cisco CME features to the voice mail pilot number.

A general delivery mailbox (GDM) is associated with a group of subscribers. It allows callers to leave messages for a function of your business, such as your customer service desk or the sales department. The caller does not know any employees within that business function and does not care who in the group responds to the voice mail as long as the matter he or she is calling about is taken care of. For example, suppose you own or manage a grocery store and a customer calls the bakery with an order for a birthday cake. Any employee in the bakery can retrieve the message, enter the order into your computer system, and return the customer's call or send an e-mail to confirm the order. The employee's identity is unimportant to the caller.

Any subscriber who is a member of the group associated with the GDM, has equal rights to access the GDM to retrieve, reply to, forward, save, or delete the messages left in the GDM. When a member of the group saves a message, it is available for other members of the group to hear (as a saved message). If a member deletes a voice message, no one else has a chance to listen to it. Messages in the GDM are not sent to everyone's individual mailbox. The GDM is not a broadcast mechanism; it is a shared mailbox.

A subscriber does not log into a GDM directly. To access a GDM, a subscriber must be a member of the group associated with the mailbox. The subscriber logs into his or her personal mailbox first. From there a special menu branch (menu item 9) allows the subscriber to access messages in all the GDMs of which he or she is a member. A single subscriber can be a member of multiple GDMs and can select the appropriate GDM from a menu list. To prevent multiple subscribers from trying to listen to and delete the same message, only one subscriber at a time can be active inside a GDM.

Up to Cisco UE release 2.0, the maximum number of GDMs on the system is defined by the license installed on the system, as shown earlier in Table 10-1. As of release 2.1, only the total number of mailboxes is counted against the system license, and any number of personal and GDMs up to the total can be defined.

A physical phone need not be associated with a GDM, but an extension must be associated with the mailbox to forward calls to voice mail. If the GDM's extension appears on any phone (perhaps as a secondary button on the phones of the employees in the department associated with the GDM), message waiting indicator (MWI) is set on this phone (or phones) when new messages are left in the GDM. A GDM does not automatically turn on MWI on every group member's phone, unless all group members have an appearance of the GDM's extension on their phones.

Users and Groups

Cisco UE defines a user profile to contain the parameters of a voice mail subscriber. A user is associated with a personal mailbox. Figure 10-1 shows a typical user profile defining the user's name, extension, and password.

Figure 10-1. Subscriber User Profile

Using the tabs across the top of the screen, you can see the user's profile, the groups he belongs to, and his mailbox definition, as shown in Figure 10-2.

Figure 10-2. Subscriber Mailbox Definition

Cisco UE defines a group as lists of users or members. If a mailbox is associated with a group, it is a GDM. Only one member can log into a particular mailbox, including a GDM, at any one time. Groups can have multiple members and multiple owners, and these designations afford an employee different privileges. The same employee might be both a member and an owner of the group.

  • A group member can log into the GDM and manage its voice message content.
  • A group owner can make changes to the group membership.

For example, assume that the customer service hotline in your office is extension 3050 (mapping to a Public Switched Telephone Network [PSTN] number of 444.555.3050). User1 and User2 are the employees who staff this functionone on the morning shift and the other on the afternoon shift. User1's personal extension is 3001, and User2's is 3002. The customer service group profile is shown in Figure 10-3.

Figure 10-3. Group Profile

The customer service group is defined containing User1 and User2 as well as User10, who is the supervisor. User10 is defined as both a member and an owner of the group, as shown in Figure 10-4. Being a member of the group means that User10 can staff the customer service function if required, because User10's group membership allows login access to the GDM associated with extension 3050. Being an owner of the group means that User10 also has access rights to change the group's membership.

Figure 10-4. Group Membership Definition


The terms user and subscriber are used largely interchangeably in this chapter. In general, the term user is preferred, because that is how the Cisco UE graphical user interface (GUI) and command-line interface (CLI) address the profiles of people who are configured on the system. The term subscriber is used in this chapter to specifically indicate someone who has a mailbox on the Cisco UE system. User is a more generic term that includes subscribers, but it also includes people who have user definitions on Cisco UE but do not necessarily have mailboxes.

Subscriber Features

Part I: Cisco IP Communications Express Overview

Introducing Cisco IPC Express

Building a Cisco IPC Express Network

Cisco IPC Express Architecture Overview

Part II: Feature Operation and Applications

Cisco IP Phone Options

Cisco CME Call Processing Features

Cisco CME PSTN Connectivity Options

Connecting Multiple Cisco CMEs with VoIP

Integrating Cisco CME with Cisco CallManager

Cisco IPC Express Automated Attendant Options

Cisco IPC Express Integrated Voice Mail

Cisco CME External Voice Mail Options

Additional External Applications with Cisco CME

Part III: Administration and Management

Cisco IPC Express General Administration and Initial System Setup

Configuring and Managing Cisco IPC Express Systems

Cisco IPC Express System Configuration Example

Part IV: Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Basic Cisco IPC Express Features

Troubleshooting Advanced Cisco CME Features

Troubleshooting Cisco CME Network Integration

Troubleshooting Cisco UE System Features

Troubleshooting Cisco UE Automated Attendant

Troubleshooting Cisco UE Integrated Voice Mail Features

Part V: Appendixes

Appendix A. Cisco IPC Express Features, Releases, and Ordering Information

Appendix B. Sample Cisco UE AA Scripts

Appendix C. Cisco Unity Express Database Schema


Cisco IP Communications Express(c) CallManager Express with Cisco Unity Express
Cisco IP Communications Express: CallManager Express with Cisco Unity Express
ISBN: 158705180X
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 236 © 2008-2020.
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