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John Miller / / Categories: Exchange Online

Exchange Online Auto Attendants have not been turned off

Just when you thought you were out of the woods...

On February 25, 2020, I posted the blog “Exchange Unified Messaging Online (ExchUMO) Retirement is Imminent”. On February 28, 2020 Microsoft did in fact move all remaining users voice mail to Cloud Voice Mail (CVM). However, they did not move the Auto Attendants. For many customers, their ExchUMO Auto Attendants are still in ExchUMO.

Many customers recently received an email from Microsoft letting them know that their voice mail had been moved to CVM on the 28th. The surprise in the message was that the ExchUMO Auto Attendants had not been shutdown as originally announced. The new email states:

“In the following days, the EXUM and Auto Attendant services will go into a transitional period in preparation for shutdown and retirement. Both services will be completely retired by the end of March.”

At Enabling we were surprised by the lack of emergency requests to help clients move their Auto Attendants in the days after February 28. Apparently, this is the reason!

Given this new email, all of your ExchUMO Auto Attendants must be migrated to CVM by the end of March. This is an admin-driven migration; you will need to re-create the existing ExchUMO Auto Attendant call flows in CVM using the Teams portal.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, ensuring the proper operation of your Auto Attendants has become critical to many companies. Please do not wait on this! Please migrate your Auto Attendants as soon as possible. At Enabling, we are ready to help you with this process!

From my original blog, This will affect all clients who:

  1. Use Auto Attendants in ExchUMO
  2. Provide PSTN numbers and connectivity to those Auto Attendants through their on-premises Lync 2013 or Skype for Business deployments. This includes those using ExchUMO Auto Attendants with Cloud Connector Edition deployments.

Moving the Auto Attendants over to CVM is challenging. Another potential issue is the connection back to the on-premises deployments for the dial tone. 

  • Clients with Skype for Business (2015 or 2019) on-premises should be in good shape
    • They should verify that they have a Skype for Business hybrid configuration
    • Skype for Business hybrid configuration will allow them to assign on-premises phone numbers to the new Auto Attendants via hybrid voice
  • Clients with Lync 2013 have a bigger problem
    • Hybrid voice requires both a Skype for Business Edge and a Skype for Business Registrar
    • The Registrar must be a Skype for Business Standard Edition Pool or Enterprise Edition pool
    • The Skype for Business components must be added to their topology
      • They will NOT have to migrate their users to Skype for Business, they just need to have the Registrar and the Edge in their topology
      • Once they have the Skype for Business components are deployed, they will have to establish a hybrid configuration with Skype for Business Online
    • Clients using any of the ExchUMO features with a third-party PBX will not be migrated to cloud services because Microsoft does not support third-party PBX systems

Clients will also need the following:

  1. Acquire Office 365 Virtual User Phone Edition licenses – amount to be determined on a case-by- case basis
  2. On-premises DIDs for testing the migrated Auto Attendants

See Exchange Unified Messaging Online migration support for more details.

 Please contact Enabling Technologies for assistance.

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