Prompts

This topic describes Cisco Unity Express prompts and custom prompts.

  • Five default prompts exist for auto-attendant operations:
  • Administrators can upload their own prompts.
  • Prompt format for files must be *.wav with G.711 mu-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit, mono with a file size limit of 1 MB.
  • Error checking is performed on the file format during upload.
  • The custom prompts capacity (MB/minute) per installed language is 125/250.
  • You can install a maximum of five languages at one time.

A prompt is simply an audio file. To view a list of voicemail prompts, choose System > Prompts. There are five system prompts that are available. These prompts are shown in the figure.

The administrator can also create a WAV file with the following properties:

  • G.711 mu-law, 8 kHz, 8 bit, mono.
  • The file cannot be larger than 1 MB (about 2 minutes).

After recording new WAV files, upload the prompt files to the Cisco Unity Express module. Error checking is performed on the file format when it is uploaded from the GUI. Cisco Unity Express provides the built-in AvT, which lets administrators record customized prompt files directly to the module by using a phone.

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Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant Configuration Checklist

This topic describes the steps to configure a new Cisco Unity Express auto-attendant.

  • Configure Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express with a dial peer for the auto-attendant.
  • Prepare the script via the script editor or via Editor Express.
    1. Create and upload required prompts.
    2. Upload offline scripts to Cisco Unity Express.
  • Add an application on Cisco Unity Express.
    1. Associate the script with the application.
    2. Set the number of ports and the pilot number for the application.
  • Test the application by calling the pilot number.

Perform these steps to configure a new Cisco Unity Express auto-attendant.

Cisco Unity Express Script-Editing Options

This topic discusses the Cisco Unity Express script-editing options.

The table shows a comparison of the Cisco Unity Express Editor and the GUI editor.

Editor Express GUI Cisco Unity Express Editor
Directly configures Cisco Unity Express in real time. Configured offline on a PC and uploaded to Cisco Unity Express.
Provides only basic script features such as modifying prompts, dial-by-name, dial-by-extension, and transfer. Advanced script creation. Includes adding new variables for complex scripts.
Simple, easy to use, and intuitive menu. More complex. Step-by-step creation of scripts.
No debug. Not required due to simple menu interface. Script validation and detailed online or offline debugging.

Editor Express is a simplified web-based GUI editor with fewer options compared to the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor, which is based on Microsoft Windows.

Editor Express provides high-level steps that enable administrators to create or modify auto-attendant scripts that can be opened and viewed using the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor. These high-level steps are the equivalent of a set of steps in the full-featured script editor. For example, features such as dial-by-name are represented as one option using drop-down menus.

The PC-based Cisco Unity Express Editor provides advanced script creation and troubleshooting. Administrators can add new script variables to store and use (for example, the calling number during the call). Scripts can be tested and verified offline before uploading them to Cisco Unity Express.

Editor Express provides only basic script features such as modifying prompt, dial-by-name, dial-by-extension, and transfer. Script changes are applied directly to Cisco Unity Express in real time when the script is saved. Troubleshooting script issues is difficult because Editor Express does not provide any script debugging; on the other hand, the script editing is easy and standardized with basic steps.

When you create a new script, Editor Express also provides a basic script template that can be customized. It is possible to save incomplete scripts and return to them later. In a few situations in which an incomplete script is saved, it might not be usable with the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant. For example, if a script requests a transfer without providing the number, Cisco Unity Express Editor sends an error message and does not allow the user to save the script.

Editor Express uses the same *.aef file format as the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor. Therefore, administrators can use the full-featured script editor to open and modify a script that is generated by Editor Express. However, the reverse is not true. Administrators cannot use Editor Express to open and modify a script that is generated by the full-featured Cisco Unity Express Editor.

Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant Features

This topic describes the features of the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant.

Cisco Unity Express script-editing options:

  • Scripts prepared online or offline:
    1. Online using Editor Express in Cisco Unity Express GUI
    2. Offline using Cisco Unity Express script editor for PC and uploaded to the Cisco Unity Express system
  • Maximum of 16 custom auto-attendant application scripts
  • Large maximum number of steps per auto-attendant script
  • No limit on the number of nesting levels within each auto-attendant script

Administrators can create an auto-attendant script file by using either of the following methods:

  • Offline: Use the Cisco Unity Express script editor PC software and upload the script to the Cisco Unity Express system. The Cisco Unity Express script editor is a full-featured script editor that runs on Microsoft Windows PCs.
  • Online: Use the Cisco Unity Express GUI (Editor Express), which allows simple script editing in the Cisco Unity Express system.

In addition to the default system auto-attendant, Cisco Unity Express supports a maximum of 16 custom auto-attendant applications.

Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant Operation Example

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant operation by using an example with three auto-attendants.

  • Three call-in numbers are configured, each with a different auto-attendant application assigned to it.
  • The general auto-attendant manages calls to 555-1000.
  • In addition, you may link from 555-1000 to the other auto-attendants.

Enterprises commonly have multiple phone numbers and want a different auto-attendant for each department or location. This setup allows an enterprise to customize the interaction with the caller based on the dialed number. You can also associate multiple phone numbers to run the same auto-attendant. If additional customization is required, a custom script can be constructed and associated with a phone number.

The figure shows an example with a general auto-attendant and two groups. Each group requires a different auto-attendant. A separate call-in number is used to direct the call to the correct auto-attendant script for each group:

  • The call-in number 555-1000 is associated with the general auto-attendant with a greeting such as “Welcome to Cisco Systems …”
  • The call-in number 555-2222 is associated with a specific auto-attendant with a greeting such as “Welcome to the sales group …”
  • The call-in number 555-2233 is associated with a specific auto-attendant with a greeting such as “Welcome to the support group …”

You may link the general auto-attendant to other groups.

Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant Overview

This topic describes the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant.

  • Answers calls and allows callers to self-direct by entering an extension or name or by dialing 0 for the operator.
  • Created and customized in the Cisco Unity Express script editor or in Cisco Unity Express Editor Express.
  • Can be administered via TUI: Record auto-attendant prompts from a phone or a computer with a microphone.
  • Provides EAG: Alert callers to temporary schedule changes caused by unexpected events.

The Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant plays messages that callers hear when they dial the auto-attendant trigger number, and it provides prompts to guide callers to specific extensions or employees.

Cisco Unity Express can have more than one auto-attendant application per system at the same time. This configuration allows callers to dial different numbers to reach different departments or locations with their own sets of prompts and menus. If the default system auto-attendant is not usable, customize your own auto-attendant. This option allows you to use custom prompts and custom call flows in the auto-attendant.

Within the auto-attendant, it is often desirable to have a message that is set up to play at the beginning of the auto-attendant script during an emergency. This feature allows the administrator to toggle the EAG on and off through the TUI by using a phone and dialing the AvT number. The EAG is recorded through the TUI or recorded offline and uploaded into the system. If uploaded, it must have the filename AltGreeting.wav.

If active, the EAG is played before the welcome greeting of the system auto-attendant. If the EAG is included in custom auto-attendant scripts, a call to a subflow to checkaltgreet.aef must be inserted in the script. If the EAG is deactivated through the TUI, the current prompt (AltGreeting.wav) is deleted. If the EAG is activated through the TUI, the recorded prompt is stored as AltGreeting.wav.

Introduction

Many businesses require an automated system for processing inbound calls. For example, when customers call the business number, they hear a welcome message and are prompted to press telephone buttons for different services. This type of service is referred to as an automatic attendant or auto-attendant. In this section, we describe the Cisco Unity Express Auto-Attendant applications and options.