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Configuring Microsoft Exchange for Unity Connection Message Transcription (SpeechView)


Cisco introduced Message Transcription as an optional subscription service starting in Unity Connection 8.0(1). Cisco SpeechView converts voice messages to text and delivers the text version of the voice message to your email inbox, allowing you to read your voice messages and take [almost] immediate action. Note that this is a licensed feature which carries an annual subscription cost. (Partners only: The ordering guide shows a per-user part number of L-SPEECHVIEW-1YR).

The System Administration Guide does a fine job of explaining what the feature does, how it works from the perspective of Unity Connection, and the restrictions with it. The document, as of March 2011, does a less thorough job walking you through the configuration tasks necessary on the Microsoft Exchange infrastructure. This document, which is open to edits from anyone who can improve upon it, is intended to be a more illustrated configuration guide of what is termed Step Six: Configuring Your Email System to Route Incoming SpeechView Traffic to the Cisco Unity Connection Server.


There are four major steps to complete in Exchange:

  1. Create a mailbox with an Internet-facing SMTP address. Incoming mail to this will be forwarded to the contact.
  2. Create a contact with the stt-service SMTP address on the Unity Connection domain.
  3. Create a Send Connector which tells Exchange where to route mail for the contact.
  4. Allow unauthenticated mail relay on the Exchange server from Unity Connection. There are plenty of well written documents already available that explain this process.

Essentially you are configuring Microsoft Exchange to act as a mail relay that also translates the To SMTP address. If you have multiple Unity Connection servers or clusters (i.e. a Digital Network) further consideration is necessary to decide whether you will repeat this process for each cluster/server; or, create a proxy within the Digital Network.

The following steps and screen captures were taken from an Exchange 2007 deployment. You may need to adjust this process to fit your environment and Exchange version.

Part 1: Mail Contact

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console and expand the Recipient Configuration > Mail Contact node.
  2. Create a new contact. The following screen captures show you the end result, not the creation wizard. There is one key component to this configuration:
        1. The SMTP e-mail address must be set to stt-service@<Unity Connection SMTP domain>. An example is
          The SMTP domain is documented in Unity Connection Administration under System Settings > SMTP Configuration > Server. You will also need to know this when configuring the Send Connector in part three.
Figure 1-1 - Mail Contact General Tab


Figure 1-2 - Mail Contact E-Mail Addresses Tab


Part 2: Mailbox

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console and expand the Recipient Configuration > Mailbox node.
  2. Create a new mailbox. As always, a strong random password is recommended. The following screen captures show you the end result, not the creation wizard. There are two key components of this configuration:
    1. It has a valid external SMTP address (Figure 2-2). Be sure to authorize this address in your anti-SPAM product if necessary (e.g. Google Postini).
    2. That incoming mail to it is forwarded to the contact you will create (Figure 2-3). This mailbox's SMTP address is what you will provide on to Unity Connection when configuring the Configuring the SpeechView Transcription Service.
    3. (Optional) After everything is tested and working you may want to disable the human-facing user interface access such as Outlook Web Access, IMAP, etc (Figure 2-4). During the testing phase it can be useful to see whether the e-mail reply has at least made it to the Exchange mailbox or not.

Figure 2-1 - User Mailbox General Tab
Figure 2-2 - User Mailbox E-Mail Addresses Tab


Figure 2-3 - User Mailbox Mail Flow Settings Tab


Figure 2-4 - User Mailbox Mailbox Features Tab


Part 3: Send Connector

  1. Open the Exchange Management Console and expand the Recipient Configuration > Mailbox node.
  2. Create a new send connector. The following screen captures show you the end result, not the creation wizard. There are three key components of this configuration:
    1. The Address Space defined on the connector (Figure 3-2) must be equal or a superset of the Unity Connection SMTP Domain. If you have a Digital Network, the value you specify here may be influenced by whether you are configuring a proxy node or not.
      The SMTP domain is documented in Unity Connection Administration under System Settings > SMTP Configuration > Server.
    2. The Network (i.e. next hop) can be either an IP address or DNS-based (Figure 3-3). In either case the resulting IP addresses must match only the Unity Connection node(s) that should be processing SpeechView transcriptions for this address. Be very careful not to send replies from one public SMTP address to Unity Connection servers that are using a different address.
      If you choose DNS-based be sure that the MX records on your internal DNS servers match the Unity Connection server A records for the server(s) that should be getting the replies.
    3. Identify what Source Servers can forward the mail to Unity Connection (Figure 3-4).

Figure 3-1 - Send Connector General Tab


Figure 3-2 - Send Connector Address Space


Figure 3-3 - Send Connector Network Tab


Figure 3-4 - Send Connector Source Server


Unity Connection SMTP Configuration

You must add the Exchange servers specified as Source Servers on the send connector (Figure 3-4) to the trusted IP Address Access List on Unity Connection. If you forget to this Unity Connection will reject the SMTP session from the Exchange server which will prevent the transcribed message from making it back to Unity Connection. You can add the IP addresses in Unity Connection Administration under System Settings > SMTP Configuration > Server > Edit menu > Search IP Address Access List > Add New button.

Figure 4-1 - Unity Connection SMTP Server Trusted IP Access List


Also do not forget to set your SMTP Smart Host to a DNS or IP address of an Exchange server that is configured to accept unauthenticated SMTP relay. If you forget this step Unity Connection will never send the audio message for transcription in the first place.

Figure 4-2 - Unity Connection SMTP Smart Host


Not applicable

Remember that if you change the SMTP server address on a virtual server, you will have to re-license the server...

Rising star

Is there a reason you setup a mailbox and a contact instead of just a contact? A mailbox uses a CAL and a contact does not.

You need Exchange to accept the reply email from Nuance using the public SMTP address and then change the To header to the internal stt-service address in CXN's SMTP domain. To my knowledge you cannot accomplish that with only a contact.

Erick Bergquist
Frequent Contributor
Does this work with office 365? Existing environment is client has SMTP smart host which is IIS smtp virtual server (not exchange) relaying to office 365. The outbound speech view message gets delivered and Inbound message reaches unity on Stt-service address but the S/MIME attachment is truncated on unity it seems, possibly due to IIS SMTP virtual server. If we set the office 365 side to send the response transcription to our email we get the full S/.MIME attachment. Verified this By looking at the Stt service trace files and the attachment there is 5 lines versus the 40 or so in actual S/MIME attachment. Get bad padding, could not decrypt error also. Is there a better SMTP server/relay to use without doing full exchange? Office 365 from my understanding so far only accepts tls connections and needs an authenticated user. CUC VERSION 8.6.2a SU2. No single inbox use, just doing SMTP smart host (Unity not integrated with email system.) Thanks, Erick
Cisco Employee

It's also important for the Exchange servers to allow inbound messages addressed From:




Wasted 2 days on the Office 365 config, just to find out that it cannot be accomplished. Unity cannot accespt EHLO messages from Office 365 and in Office 365 we no longer can force a connector to use HELO. Cisco bug ID 


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