Allow voice mail users to forward calls

The auto-response rule feature was first introduced in Exchange 2010. With this feature, users with voice mail enabled can manage the processing of their incoming calls. The way that telephone answering service apply to incoming calls is similar to the way that Inbox rules apply to incoming emails.

Auto Answer Rules are created and configured by the user with voice mail enabled using the Outlook or Outlook Web App. The rules are stored together with other voice settings in the user’s mailbox. Up to nine auto-response rules can be configured for each mailbox with unified messaging enabled.

These rules are independent of the Inbox rules that users configure and do not affect the consumption of the user-defined quota for type 2 rules.

By default, when a single messaging system and voice mail are enabled for the user, answering machine rules are not configured. If the voice mail system answers an incoming call, the caller will be prompted to leave a voice message.

Even if you do not receive such a request, this option remains available in any case.

If you only need the voice mail system to answer incoming calls and record voice messages, you do not need to create an answering machine rule. However, if you need to set conditions or actions, you can do so under Auto Answer Rules on the Voice Mail tab of the Outlook Web App.

Under Auto Answer Rules, you can create, modify, and delete Auto Answer Rules.

Structure of answering machine rules

The answering machine rules consist of two parts: conditions and actions. One or more conditions can be linked to a single answering machine rule. An answering machine rule is processed only if all the conditions of the rule are met. You can also link one or more actions to a single answering machine rule. They define the actions that subscribers can take when processing an answering machine rule.

The answering machine rules support the following conditions:

Incoming call from
time of day
employment calendar information
Enable or disable automatic responses for email

The following actions are supported:

to find me.
redirect the subscriber to another user
leave a voice message

If a custom greeting is recorded for an auto-response rule, the menu should be included in the greeting when setting up the rule. Otherwise, a single messaging system will not create a menu prompt that allows the subscriber to select an action.

After the playback of the customizable greeting, the server will wait for the subscriber to enter the variant. If the menu parameter is not included in the greeting, the subscriber will not be able to enter and the server will create an invitation with the question “Are you on the line?

Terms and conditions

The conditions are the rules that can be applied to an answering machine rule. Using a combination of conditions, you can create multiple answering machine rules that will be activated when the conditions are met. To create a default rule that applies to each call, you must create a rule without conditions.

There are three conditions that you can use when setting up answering machine rules.

These include the following:

Caller ID
time of day
employment information

Actions are used to define the actions to be taken when conditions are met.

There are two types of actions:

Find me
call transfer

adding the “Find me” action

If the caller selects “Find me”, the voicemail system tries to find you on the other two phone numbers and connect to them, if you answered.

You can specify the text to be read by the caller. For example, if you enter an “Urgent question” to let callers know that you want to select this action to discuss an urgent question with the user, your voicemail system will say, “Press the 1 key on the urgent question.

It is necessary to associate the action “Find me” with the number that the subscriber presses to select this action on the phone keypad. In the example above, the phone key 1 denotes the number that subscribers will press to contact you at one or more of the specified phone numbers.

Next, you need to specify 1 or 2 phone numbers to which the voice mail system will call. If two phone numbers are specified, the second number will be dialed if the user is unavailable at the first one. Each listed phone number is associated with the duration.

The duration is the period of time during which the voice mail system will dial the first phone number before moving to the next number. If the user cannot be reached, the voice mail system will return to the settings menu.

Once you have entered this information, click Apply to save the “Find me” action options.

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