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Auto Attendant - Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series - Cisco Smart Business Communication Systems


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The UC520 leverages Cisco Unity Express software to provide Auto Attendant(AA) services. The standard automated attendant services provided with Cisco Unity Express simplify self-service for callers by allowing them to quickly reach the right person without the assistance of an operator 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, with the option to return to an operator at any time when greater assistance is needed.

Each AA service consists of prompts and scripts. The AA Prompt plays prerecorded greetings for incoming calls. The AA gives callers options to specify their choices and based on caller inputs, performs tasks for the incoming call. The AA Script is responsible for receiving input, making decisions, and performing tasks.

The UC500 supports the following capacities for Auto Attendant(AA)services:

  1. 5 AA services per system
  2. With CUE 2.3, the prompt limit is 2 minutes per prompt and 25 prompts per language
  3. With CUE 3.0, the prompt size limitation is increased to 60 minutes. You can have any number of prompts as long as the total size of the prompts is less than 60 minutes.

The default Automated Attendant service, provided with Cisco Unity Express, includes a welcome prompt followed by an option to search the local directory using either the dial-by-name feature or the dial-by-extension feature.

Two additional AA scripts have been introduced in the UC500 software bundles:
AA_transfer.aef (included in UC500 software bundle release 4.2.1 and later)
AA_SBCS_v01.aef (included in UC500 software bundle release 4.2.5 and later)

Features included in AA_transfer.aef:
a) Opening Greeting prompt, welcomes the caller and guides him through the available options
b) Collect user input from 0-9
c) For each user input define a call transfer destination. This destination could be an internal extension, a hunt-group, voicemail, or an external phone number

Features included in AA_SBCS_v01.aef:
a) Time of the day routing - different call handling for business hours and after hours
b) Business hour greeting prompt, welcomes the caller and guides him through the available options
c) After hour greeting prompt, welcomes the caller and guides him through the available options
d) Collect user input during Business hours - options 0-9,*,#
e) Collect user input during After hour - options 0-9,*,#
f) Dial-by-extension-anytime - can be switched ON/OFF
g) Dial-by-name - can be trigger by specifying the dial-by-name-digit parameter
h) For each user input define a call transfer destination. This destination could be an internal extension, a hunt-group, voicemail, or an external phone number

Configuration Guides

Unity Express Custom Scripts Quick Start Guide

Auto Attendant Design Considerations

Configure and Manage the Cisco Unity Express System Auto Attendant Services Routers

Cisco Unity Express 2.3 Guide to Writing and Editing Auto Attendant Scripts

Cisco Unity Express 3.1 Guide to Writing Auto Attendant Scripts using Editor Express

Configuring Auto Attendant Using CCA 1.5 - This VoD covers how to configure Auto Attendant using CCA 1.5.

How to customize auto attendant (AA) - This SBCS Tutorial VoD goes through the steps of using Cisco Unity Express GUI on UC520 to configure and customize auto attendant (AA) for a given business.

Training & Labs

FIRST LOOK LAB:PBX, Voicemail and Auto Attendant This lab covers how to configure Auto Attendant and voicemail features using CCA 1.5.


Can the UC 500 support multi-language as in press 1 for English 2 for Spanish?

This can be supported Outside of CCA. For Auto Attendant, you can possibly use 2 different scripts to handle prompts in 2 different languages. Have a main script that will take user input for English/Spanish (1 or 2) and then based on user input, forward the call to the script with prompts recorded in appropriate language. CUE supports up to a maximum of 5 scripts. So, this may not scale too well if you have more than 2 languages.

Is multi-tenant support available through Auto Attendant?

Is it possible to set up an AA for company 1 when a call come into their main number and a different AA for company 2 when a call comes into a different phone number?
This can be supported Outside of CCA by using CUE GUI and IOS/CME CLI. You will need to configure 2 different Auto Attendants (AA) with two different triggers (or callin numbers). The incoming calls need to have Direct-inward-dial (DID) enabled. You can then point one of the DIDs to the first AA and the other DID to the second AA. One limitation of multi-tenant support is having different directories for the two companies. There will not be any way to distinguish the employees between the two companies.

I want my calls to go to operators during normal working hours and to Auto Attendant during after hours. How can this be done?

This can be supported Outside of CCA by using CUE GUI and IOS/CME CLI. You will need to configure "Night Service" feature. Refer to following URLs for configuring this feature:
With this feature enabled, configure all the incoming calls to be routed to a dummy phone-number. Configure this phone with a "call-forward all" pointing to operators' hunt-group and a "call-forward night-service" pointing to the trigger for the AA.

Configuring Custom Prompts for AA using CUE

Configuring a custom prompt for your system's AA consists of three simple steps.

  1. Enable and configure the Administration via Telephone system for prompt configuration.
  2. Record your prompts.
  3. Set your AA to use one of these prompts using CCA.

Enabling Administration via Telephone

  1. Connect to the CUE webpage (default url is and login.
  2. Go to System -> Call-in Numbers and click on Add.
  3. Select 'promptmgmt' from the Application drop down menu.
  4. Choose a new extenstion number appropriate to your dial plan to use for prompt management (our example: 777). Enter this in the Call-in Number field and click the Add button.
  5. Next go to Configure -> Groups and click on Add.
  6. Enter a Group ID and name for the group and select Administration via Telephone under Capabilities, then click Add.
  7. Now go to Configure -> Users and select the user you wish to have the ability to record prompts.
  8. If the user does not already have a pin number, enter one now.  Note that a pin number is necessary to access the feature.
  9. Click on groups and then Subscribe as member.  Click find and select the group you just created.  Click Select row(s).
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 for all users you wish to let record prompts.
  11. Now SSH into the UC500.  At the global configuration prompt enter the following commands (replace 777 with the desired extension number):

dial-peer voice 2009 voip

  description **cue prompt management number**

  destination-pattern 777


  session protocol sipv2

  session target ipv4:

  dtmf-relay sip-notify

  codec g711ulaw

  no vad

  • Note that is the default ip address for CUE.
  • At this time, only the g711 codec is supported.

Recording Your Prompts

  1. From any phone dial the extension that has been configured for Administration via Telephone.
  2. When prompted, enter the extension and pin matching a user authorized to record prompts.
  3. Follow the instructions to record new prompts or to edit existing ones.

Use CCA to set AA Prompt

  1. Log into the CUE webpage once more.
  2. Go to System -> Prompts and select the prompt you wish to use, then click Download.  If prompted by your browser, select a memorable location to save the file to.
  3. Open CCA and connect to the UC500.
  4. Choose Configure -> Telephony -> Voice -> AA & Voicemail and next to Menu Prompt click on Browse.
  5. Select the audio file just downloaded then click Apply.

Where can I get assistance for my custom scripts?

You can send email to, a free forum for CUE autoattendant questions.

Cisco Unity Express 3.0 FAQ


Can the Unified 500 Series VoIP phone system do Park and Page (automated page announcement) for a selected option through the auto attendant? Thanks!