Unified messaging features in Exchange 2013

Favad Qaisar 28 March 2013 0

Looking as a whole at the new features of the Exchange 2013, they include: support for multigenerational workforce, provide a more interactive user experience, help meet evolving client needs, provide a resilient solution and most important of all, integrate with Lync and SharePoint. This was about the new features added; talking about the improvements that have occurred in the new release, unified communication is the one that is of most significance in this regard. It has the same features as in Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2007 but it is no longer a separate server role instead it is a component of the voice related features. The major improvements in this regard include:

1)      Support for IPv6 has been added. Exchange 2013 Client Access and Mailbox servers fully support IPv6 networks.

2)      The voice architecture of Exchange 2013 is different than that of Exchange 2010.  In the previous versions of Exchange UM, all the components for Unified Messaging were included on a server that supported the UM server role. On the contrary, in Exchange 2013, all the Unified Messaging components are split between a Client Access server running the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging Call Router service and a Mailbox server running the Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging service.

3)      Support for UCMI API 4.0 has been added in it. This API supports a lot of new features such as using the same version of the Speech Engine for both Text-to-Speech (TTS) and Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). Not only this but the platform used from Exchange 2013 and .NET 4.0 has a single installer file which ensures backward compatibility with not only Exchange 2010 but also the previous releases as well. This latest build of UCMA also provides hot fixes and patches to solve previous erroneous bugs.

4)      Voicemail preview has been improved. This also includes grammar generation and linguistic improvements. UI improvements and enhancements have also been added which improve the user’s confidence and task performance accuracy rates.

5)      Enhanced caller ID support is another useful update as in the previous releases, a UM server that took a call used caller ID to try to look up the identity of the calling party. The latest release supports contact aggregation from external social networks.  These are placed in contact folder along with the user’s custom contact folders.

6)      Speech recognition and speech platform have also been enhanced. This latest release generates grammar for all the languages stored in it and stores it in its directories. So basically every mailbox server stores every possible grammar. These grammar files are used for speech recognition and are updated on a regular basis.

7)      Lastly a lot of new cmdlets have also been added to cater for the new functionalities.

Favad Qaisar (51 Posts)

I am a Unified Communications Engineer. Over the last 3 years, I have been working dedicatedly on OCS/LYNC and Exchange 2007/2010. I was responsible for getting my Company Microsoft’s Unified Communication Voice Certified Partner status. Occasionally, I like to share my experiences on the latest developments in the Unified Communications industry.

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