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Unity - Move user to existing mailbox


Hi all, I have a question about moving users from one mailbox to an existing mailbox on one Unity server. How do you move a user from one mailbox to an existing mailbox without deleting and recreating the mailbox that you intend on moving them to? Let me give you an example...


User 1 has extension 1234.

User 2 has extension 5678.

User 3 has extension 9012.

User 1 quits and User 2 takes User 1's position. User 2's extension is now 1234. User 3 is moved into User 2's position, so their extension is now 5678.


All users are integrated with Active Directory. What we typically do is delete User 1 and 2's mailbox, update AD for User 2 and 3 to reflect the new extension, sync with Unity, and then recreate the 1234 mailbox with User 2's info. We then recreate the 5678 mailbox for User 3. We do it this way because you cannot have one user with two mailboxes (or at least that is what Unity says when we have tried).


The problem with this method is that it is cumbersome, time consuming, and it deletes voicemails that may not need to be deleted. I know you can get around it by telling the end user to take care of the voicemails, but that then delays the change by a day, days, or even quite longer.


I ran into the discussion linked below, with the user posting the exact problem I have, but it is unresolved.


I attempted to run COBRAS, but could not move beyond the first step because the Next button is grayed out. We have only one Unity server with one failover; I don't have another server to move mailboxes to. I don't know if that's the issue, or if it's grayed out because I haven't made a backup. I watched the COBRAS video and the presenter said it didn't matter.


So am I headed in the right direction with COBRAS, should I look elsewhere, or is my current method the best method (I don't see how)?

4 Replies 4

Chris Deren
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Hall of Fame Master

Besides the process you outlined I don't see a quicker way as the application was not designed for what you are doing, as typically voicemail is tied to a user and messages for many reasons (i.e privacy) are tied to the user as well. Most organizations simply give new users new extensions with new voicemail and existing users keep existing extensions when they move to different roles and dont shuffle them around, what is your reason for doing this?

Our reason for shuffling extensions is this: as a higher edu, most of our extensions are highly publicized, not just on the web, but also in print. If we were to tie the extension to the user (my suggestion) and not the position (our practice), we would have to re-print tons of material each time a user moved positions or departments. In a higher edu org, users moving is pretty prevalent.


While it makes sense to do what you suggest on the technical side, it doesn't really make sense from the business side. I would think a lot of companies do it this way. I wouldn't know though.


So I'm out of luck?

Why not keep the mailbox account local rather than integrating with LDAP and keep aliases generic, would be an easier conversion this way?

Honestly, it was originally set up this way. It was then thrown in our hands. When we set up new mailboxes we import from AD and it pulls pertinent information. I inherited admin of the system because I seemed to have more of an understanding of it than others. I also have no formal training on it even though I have begged for it.


I just recently converted half of our accounts to being LDAP integrated because they weren't working with Jabber. That was the solution. Jabber functionality is a higher priority than my ease of management, again, unless you have another solution.

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