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Northwestern University

New Unified Messaging Service is Available

Northwestern is continuing its Collaboration Services initiative this year with the availability of a new Unified Messaging service. Unified Messaging combines email, voicemail, calendar, and contacts into your Exchange mailbox, and allows you to manage all of these services from your computer, tablet, smartphone, or telephone. Specific improvements include:

Why is this change occurring? Is it possible to keep the existing voicemail service?

A key driver for the transition is that the existing voicemail system, which is over twenty years old, has become unsupportable and is being retired. This does require all existing voicemail account to be migrated to the new system.

Do I need to use the Microsoft Outlook application to listen to voicemails on my computer?

No—you will receive voicemail as emails with MP3 attachments, regardless of the email application you use. 

Should I get a headset to listen to voicemails on my computer?

A headset may be suitable if you work in a shared space and/or want to ensure privacy when listening to voicemails. You can also call 8-8888 (312-908-8888 from off-campus) to listen to your voicemails more privately.

What happens to voicemails for a phone number that is shared by multiple people?

Each voicemail-enabled number needs to be associated with one NetID. As a result, all voicemails for a single number will go to one person's email account. Voicemails can then be forwarded to other people as needed. If you share a phone number with one or more people, you may want to consider either adding phone numbers for individuals or an additional shared email account for all voicemails to deliver to.

Why does the text transcription looks nothing like the audio message?

The text transcriptions are based on speech recognition software, and should not necessarily be considered accurate in place of the audio message. I recommend listening to the audio message to get an an accurate representation of the sender's intent.

When and how will voicemail accounts be migrated?

Weinberg IT and NUIT will migrate existing voicemail accounts to the new Unified Messaging service over the next 4-6 weeks.

No changes to your computer or visits from Weinberg IT will be required as part of this migration.

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