In part 1 of Single Inbox in Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 with Microsoft Exchange, I introduced some reasoning behind an upgrade from version 8.0 to 8.5 to take advantage of Single Inbox. In this post I’ll provide some more detail for each of the three steps and a brief summary.


Upgrading the CUCMBE server, while it may seem daunting on the surface, was actually quite easy. The version 8.5 image file has to be downloaded from Cisco and saved on an FTP server. From the CUCMBE Unified OS Administration web page, click Install/Upgrade and direct the web page to look for images on your FTP server. Select the appropriate image, select option to restart later manually, and click Install. The server will copy the image to the local hard drive, create a new 8.5 installation in a new partition, and then wait for you to switch versions. The beauty of the process is that 8.5 installs on its own partition. This means that should the 8.5 switch not go as well as you might hope, you can still switch back to 8.0. Restart and switch versions either in the web interface or over a Telnet connection.

Cisco Unity Connection Single Inbox -Switch to version 8.5

Cisco Unity Connection - Switch to version 8.5

Active Directory account

Now an Active Directory (AD) account needs special permissions to Exchange mailboxes. Of the three major steps, getting the correct mailbox permissions may be the hardest. I say this because getting the correct syntax for your environment may take some trial and error. That was the case for me. Once the correct syntax is worked out, the task is easily accomplished using the Add-ADPermission cmdlet in Exchange Management Shell (EMS). Please refer to the article, Configuring Cisco Unity Connection 8.5 and Later and Microsoft Exchange for Unified Messaging for more information specific to your environment (login required).

Enable Unified Messaging

If you’re a football fan, getting to step three is like the last two days of the lockout. We just have a couple more items to handle. Unity needs to have the Unified Messaging settings configured so it can use the AD account to synchronize with Exchange. Each user needs configuration added to utilize that connection.

Cisco Unity Connection Single Inbox - UMServiceConfig

Cisco Unity Connection Administration

To setup Unity, configure Unified Messaging Services by adding new UM settings. Specify a display name, authentication mode, and protocol the account should use to interact with client access web services. The service settings also need to include the Exchange version, account settings, and which service capabilities to use. For my purposes, I simply enabled Synchronize Connection and Exchange Mailboxes (Single Inbox). Click the Test button to verify settings.

Now that Unity has settings to use for synchronization, accounts need to be enabled. This is done by adding new Unified Messaging Account settings. When configuring this, make sure the Account Information section uses the Primary SMTP Address for the user. Enable Synchronize Connection and Exchange Mailboxes (Single Inbox) on this screen as well. Click the Test button to verify settings.

At this point, Single Inbox is enabled and each configured user should see new voice mail in their Outlook Inboxes.

In summary, version 8.5 was able to meet our needs. The syntax getting the Unified Messaging account setup to synchronize with Exchange was the trickiest step. Having said that, the Cisco documents I referred to previously provide all the information needed to complete successfully. Each document has several links to additional documentation that may be relevant to your environment.


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