Exchange Unified Messaging Online migration support

In reference to the announcement on February 8, 2019, Microsoft is retiring the Exchange Unified Messaging Online (ExchUMO) service by February 2020. This article offers a summary of what affected customers should know and do to plan for their business continuity.

ExchUMO is deployed by customers for voicemail, Auto Attendant, and/or fax integration services. Microsoft plans to help these customers migrate to its cloud-based services that support thousands of customers already on Skype for Business Online and Microsoft Teams.

Voicemail is primarily a Microsoft-driven migration; admin involvement and/or investment might be required for a subset of customers. Auto Attendant is an admin-driven migration; you will need to re-create the existing ExchUMO Auto Attendant trees in the Cloud Auto Attendant cloud service. Customers who are consuming any of the ExchUMO features with a third-party PBX will not be migrated to Skype cloud services because they do not support third-party PBX systems. A retirement plan for third-party support was announced last year in this blog, and customers in this deployment model can migrate their users to one of Microsoft’s Unified Communications platforms/services or acquire a third-party voicemail and/or auto attendant solution for these users. Fax integration is not supported in the cloud-based services; customers will need to migrate to a third-party solution.

Who is affected?

Customers who are consuming any of the following features from Exchange Unified Messaging Online service are affected:

  1. Voicemail service
  2. Auto Attendant service
  3. Fax integration

Note

Customers who are using any of the Exchange Server on-premises with Unified Messaging are not affected.

Learn more about the user and admin experience impact in User experience impact.

Migration plan overview

Microsoft has identified various customer deployments that are consuming features from ExchUMO and will be helping customers migrate based on the following plan.

Customer group Timeline Details
Customers who are ready to migrate

Features to migrate:
  • Voicemail
March – May 2019 Examples:
  • Customers with simple voicemail deployment and usage
  • Customers that have all requirements established for Microsoft to execute the migration
    Customers with prerequisites

    Features to migrate:
    • Voicemail
    • Auto Attendant
    May – December 2019 Examples:
    • Hybrid configuration is not established/completed
    • Hybrid PSTN numbers are not set up
    Customers who require admin involvement & customer investment

    Features to migrate:
    • voicemail
    • Auto Attendant
    • Fax integration
    By February 2020 Examples:
    • ExchUMO service is consumed by 3rd party PBX
    • Customers with PSTN Subscriber Access requirements
    • Customers on SFB 2010 (not-supported)
    • Fax integration

    Migration steps

    1. Get informed

      Familiarize yourself with the blog announcement and this article to plan a smooth migration for your users. See Check Skype for Business voicemail and options for details on the Cloud Voicemail capabilities.

    2. Establish a Skype for Business hybrid topology

      If you do not have a Skype for Business hybrid topology established, you need to do that to enable a smooth migration of your voicemail users. See Configure Skype for Business hybrid for more details.

      Note

      You do not need to migrate your users to online for the voicemail service migration. However, for on-premises users to leverage the cloud-based voicemail service, a hybrid topology is must be established.

    3. Plan your Auto Attendant migration

      Admins can start migrating their Auto Attendants from ExchUMO to the Cloud Auto Attendant at any time. See Set up a Cloud auto attendant for more details. Microsoft plans to deliver additional Auto Attendant capabilities that customers consider critical for their migration by March 2019. Admins should evaluate the feature set and migrate their Auto Attendant instances accordingly. For feature-list comparison, see the ExchUMO and Azure cloud-based services feature matrix.

    4. Plan for your voicemail post-migration validation and testing

      Voicemail migration is Microsoft driven; Admins are not required to do anything, given that the pre-requisite hybrid topology is established. Microsoft will perform the required validation and testing to make sure users’ voicemail migration is not disrupted; however, admins are encouraged to perform testing and validation on their side. See Suggested test plan and post-migration validation for admins for a recommended test plan.

      Note

      Lync Server 2010 is not supported. If you are in a 2010 server deployment, you should plan a server upgrade or consider migrating your users to Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business Online.

    5. Monitor the Admin Notification Center

      Look out for a notification in the Admin Notification Center with further details and timeline regarding your users' voicemail migration. Notifications will be sent at least 30 days before your migration period.

      Note

      If you received a notification with your users’ migration timeline and would like to postpone your migration for a business-critical reason, you can do so by contacting Microsoft Support. Note that you cannot postpone your migration beyond the retirement date, February 2020. For customers who may have more questions, please contact your account team or Microsoft Support. Customers already using Office 365 can submit a support case through the Office 365 Admin portal.

    6. Consider opting in starting from May 2019

      You can opt in for an early Voicemail service migration by May 2019 (if you have not received a migration notification), to align your migration with a license annuity or admin staff vacations, or to avoid business-critical periods. Details on the opt-in process will be updated in this article before May 2019.

    Appendix

    ExchUMO and Azure cloud-based services feature matrix

    Service Feature level Feature Notes Cloud VM/AA ExUMO
    VM Service Features Support 3rd-party PBX Including all features provided to 3rd party PBX such as MWI (Message Waiting Indicator) using SIP notify messages from Exchange UM Online N Y
    VM Service Features Support Skype for Business Server   Y Y
    VM Service Features Support Microsoft Teams Y N
    VM Service Features eDiscovery and Hold For security and compliance Y Y
    VM Service Features Exchange Rules support For security and compliance Y Y
    VM User Features PSTN Dial-in Access Subscriber access N Y
    VM User Features PSTN Outlook Voice Access Subscriber access N Y
    VM User Features Dial-in using an authenticated endpoint Calling the voicemail service to listen to voice messages and change voicemail settings Y Y
    VM User Features User setting to disable voicemail Y Y
    VM User Features User setting to change the personal greeting Y Y
    VM User Features User setting to create an OOF greeting Y Y
    VM User Features User setting to change the default language Y Y
    VM User Features User setting to overwrite default greeting with TTS Y N
    VM User Features Record personal greetings (authenticated device) Y Y
    VM User Features Record personal greetings (PSTN) - play on phone N Y
    VM User Features User setting to disable transcription N Y
    VM User Features Transcription Y Y
    VM User Features Visual voicemail on all endpoints With user control to play, delete, message waiting indicator, and status-toggle, on all supported endpoints Y Y
    VM User Features MP3 audio file format in Outlook Y Y
    VM User Features Variable speed play control Y Y
    VM User Features Forward a voicemail Forward a received voicemail to other users Y Y
    VM User Features Sending a voice message to a group of users Voicemail broadcast N Y
    VM User Features Voicemail notification using SMS Users can receive an SMS when they have a new voicemail N Y
    VM User Features Supported greeting languages Details here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/what-are-phone-system-auto-attendants Y Y
    VM User Features Call answering rules Y Y
    VM User Features Play on phone (PSTN)- to play message Call me on my cell to listen to the voice message N Y
    VM User Features Play on phone (Auth)- to play message Call me on my authenticated device Y Y
    VM User Features Shared mailbox between multiple users Y Y
    VM Caller Features Caller experience - protected voicemail The caller can choose an option to mark a recorded message as protected N Y
    VM Caller Features Caller experience - private voicemail The caller can choose an option to mark a recorded message as private N Y
    VM Caller Features Silence detection N Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Server-level protected voicemail Tenant-admin can configure a service-level rule to mark incoming voicemail as protected Y Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Change recording duration time limit CVM hard coded to 5 minutes N Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Change silence detection timeout N/A Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Change number of input failure CVM: hard coded to 3 N Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Change the default language Y Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Disable/enable transcription Y Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Disable/enable missed call notification N Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Help Microsoft improve voice mail preview Y Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Customize text message for enabled users N/A Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Transcription profanity masking Y N
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Voicemail policy Y Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features Web portal administration CY19 Y
    VM Tenant-Admin Features PowerShell Y Y
    AA Service Features AA support 3rd-party PBX N Y
    AA Service Features Support Skype for Business Server Y Y
    AA Service Features Support Microsoft Teams Y N
    AA Service Features Dial by name, DTMF input Y Y
    AA Service Features Dial by name, speech input Y Y
    AA Service Features Multi-language support Language details here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/what-are-phone-system-auto-attendants Y Y
    AA Service Features Transfer to operator, CQ, or a user Y Y
    AA Service Features Transfer to PSTN number internally (DID RNL) Y Y
    AA Service Features Transfer to PSTN number externally Q2CY19 Y
    AA Service Features Business hours Y Y
    AA Service Features Menu options IVR menu options Y Y
    AA Service Features Assigning an cloud PSTN number to AA Y N
    AA Service Features Assigning an on-prem PSTN number to AA Y Y
    AA Service Features Custom user selection Enabling callers to reach customized list of organization users Y Y
    AA Service Features After-hours and holidays treatment Y Y
    AA Service Features Custom greeting using text to speech Y Y
    AA Service Features Extension dialing Reaching a user by dialing their extension CY19 Y
    AA Service Features Mailbox for AA callers to leave a message CY19 Y
    AA Service Features Multiple PSTN number assignment to an AA Y Y
    AA Tenant-Admin Features Web portal administration Y N
    AA Tenant-Admin Features PowerShell cmdlets Y Y
    Fax Service Features Fax integration N Y

    Suggested test plan and post-migration validation for admins

    When testing voicemail functionality after your users have been migrated, make sure to consider the following scenarios:

    • Validate voicemail access across all endpoint types in your organization: apps and IP phones.
    • Validate with sample users that the configured personalized greetings are played to callers.
    • If your organization has a legal or compliance requirement to disable transcription for users, make sure it is disabled post migration. For more details, see Set up Cloud Voicemail.
    • If you have previously configured Exchange VM policies and rules, make sure they are effective.
    • Familiarize yourself with the Cloud Voicemail service PowerShell cmdlets for changing user settings.

    User experience impact

    The following is an end user voicemail migration experience overview.

    Experience Change in user experience
    Email notification No change
    No email is sent to users notifying them about voicemail account activation/migration.
    Access to previous messages No change
    Users will have access to their previous voicemail messages in all supported endpoints.
    Receiving VM in outlook, SFB Apps No change
    Users will continue to receive their voicemail messages in all supported endpoints.
    Transcription Enhanced
    CVM transcription has a much higher accuracy rate and supported languages than ExchUMO.
    User setting New experience
    Users will be able to change their preferences from a User Setting Portal (USP). Users can access their USP from a hyperlink in their voicemail email, or the User-Settings button on their SFB client; https://aka.ms/vmsettings.
    Features Please see the feature-set comparison for details.
    Outlook rules for VM messages No change
    Previously created rules will apply to CVM messages after migration.

    User management and provisioning in CVM

    Skype for Business new users will be automatically provisioned for voicemail in CVM service when created. No additional admin work or license is required to provision new users for voicemail. See Set up Cloud Voicemail to learn about managing the policies for existing and new users.

    Admin Auto Attendant management experience

    See Set up a Cloud auto attendant to learn more about configuring and managing auto attendants.