If you are referring to the ability to enter text characters where you would put numbers, that's probably support for URI dialling. It's new in 9.x, so not much use on 8.6.
The idea is (and this is kind of how SIP was intended to be used) that you can enter firstname.lastname@example.org as your common target for an email (from your PC/Outlook or whatever) but also put the same address in to a video endpoint or telephone and get an appropriate sort of connection.
It's not for sending email.
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