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Autoattendant - Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series - Cisco Smart Business Communication Systems



The Automated attendant (AA) is an automated system that answers incoming calls, then transfers the calls based on menu options that the caller selects from their phone touch tone keypad. Businesses use the AA to handle most if not all incoming calls to eliminate the need for having a live operator to handle incoming calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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 UC500 Software pack 4.2.6 and below (CUE 2.3.4), the prompt limit is 2 minutes per prompt and 25 prompts per language
  3. With UC500 Software pack 4.2.7 and above (CUE 3.2.1), 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 the UC520, 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


Practice Labs

First Look Lab #3
Practice lab goes over how to configure Autoattendant to answer all incoming calls from the PSTN.


SBCS Tutorial - How to customize auto attendant (AA) on UC520(VOD)


Configuration Guides

Autoattendant Options

Auto Attendant Design Considerations

Configuring Autoattendant to route calls to Basic ACD groups

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

Guidelines for configuring Autoattendant outside Cisco Configuration Assistant

Unity Express Custom Scripts Quick Start Guide, e-mail alias for custom autoattendant script questions.


Verifying the Auto-attendant configuration

  1. From an IP phone on the system, dial the Auto Attendant extension. In the sample below, the extension is 198
  2. If your system is configured for DID, dial the Auto Attendant PSTN number from the PSTN. In the sample below, the PSTN number is 4085551988
  3. When you dial into the Auto Attendant, verify that the initial message you hear matches the recording you selected in the Menu Prompt dialog. In the sample below, the recorded message is "AAWelcome.wav"
  4. When you dial into the Auto Attendant, verify that your call is transfered to the appropriate destination based on your touch tone entry. In the sample below, when you press 9 the call should be transfered to 918005551212.


Setting up UC500 for troubleshooting Autoattendant issues

When possible, you should try to perform troubleshooting during non-business hours to minimize the performance impact on your system. Doing your troubleshooting during non operational hours also makes it easier to isolate and find a root cause to eventually resolve the issue.

Sending the log files captured using the steps listed below to your Cisco support contact would be your best option to start troubleshooting Auto attendant issues.

  1. Collect the UC500 configuration by generating the CCA troubleshooting log
  2. Collect Auto attendant configuration CLI and debugging information using Windows Hyperterminal

A. To ensure debugs do not adversely affect the UC500 performance, prior to step 12 of the guide, add the below:
UC500#config terminal
UC500#(config)logging console informational
UC500#(config)logging buffer 100000 debug
UC500#(config)service sequence-number
UC500#(config)service timestamp debug date msec

B. Clear the UC500 log to insure you capture only the information required:
UC500#clear log
Clear logging buffer [confirm]

C. Capture the Auto Attendant configuration
UC500#service-module integrated-Service-Engine 0/0 session
UC500-CUE> show running-config
After the screen stops scrolling, enter following command: UC500-CUE> exit

D. Enable debug commands to troubleshoot calls to and from the Auto Attendant
UC500#debug ccsip messages
UC500#debug voip ccapi inout

E. Make the test calls to the Auto Attendant. Once you have completed the test calls, enter following
UC500#un all

F. Proceed to step 12 of the Hyperterminal guide
G. For step 13 of the Hyperterminal guide, enter the following
UC500#terminal length 0
UC500#show logg
H. Finish the remaining steps in the guide to generate the Auto Attendant troubleshooting log.


How can I record custom prompts for my AA?

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.

What is the difference between the Auto attendant Extension and the Auto attendant PSTN number?

The Autoattendant Extension is the number used to route incoming calls from analog FXO trunk and IP phones to your autoattendant. The Autoattendant PSTN number is the number used to route incoming calls from BRI, PRI and SIP trunks to your autoattendant. The PSTN number should match the direct-inward-dial (DID) number that a caller from the PSTN would dial to reach your autoattendant. Typically, the DID number(s) would be purchased from your trunk provider.

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.