Brian Burns / / Categories: Collaboration, Voice, Cloud, Productivity, Exchange Online

Exchange UM Online is retiring – what now?

Happy Retirement pic

As I am sure you are aware by now, Microsoft announced this month that Exchange Unified Messaging online will be retired in February of 2020. Cloud Voicemail and Auto Attendant services (hosted in Azure) will replace Unified messaging moving forward.

What does this mean for your organization? That depends on how you use Exchange Online Unified Messaging  today:


 - Voicemail Only Skype or Lync 2013 on-premises: Relax, if you are already in a hybrid this is going to be a breeze! Microsoft will lead the charge on migration of these services to Cloud Voicemail. See below for the features that will no longer be available.

 - Auto-Attendants from Skype or Lync 2013 on-premises: Start cataloging and diagramming your Auto-Attendants, you are going to have to recreate them in Auto-Attendant Services.  We can help if you would like assistance with the discovery and creation of auto-attendants.

 - Voicemail and / or Auto-Attendants from MS Teams or Skype Online: No changes are needed, you are already using Cloud Voicemail and Cloud Auto-Attendant services!

 - Voicemail and / or Auto-Attendant supporting a PBX: If you are using an on-premises PBX for connectivity, you probably are very aware of UM’s impending retirement. If not, it is time to start serious planning for the next steps. You will need to either:

  1. Migrate all voice services to Microsoft PBX (Teams, Skype For Business Online, Skype for Business Server) or
  2. Choose a new Voicemail provider such as XM Connect for your existing PBX. Contact Enabling Technology Sales today to dig deeper in to the options, and start planning this migration.

 - Fax integration: No longer supported. A replacement Fax solution such as XMedius FAX (Enabling’s recommended Fax Solution provider) will be required. 

 - Exchange UM On-Premises:  This scenario is supported for now, as long as the users and mailboxes are also on-premises. It is highly recommended that you start planning next steps ASAP, especially if migration to cloud services is in your plans. 

Some features that are supported in Exchange UM Online today are not yet (or possibly not ever) available. Here are some of those features:

  • Fax integration
  • 3rd-Party PBX Support
  • PSTN Dial-in access to voicemail
  • Outlook Voice Access
  • Record personal greetings (PSTN) - play on phone
  • User setting to disable transcription
  • Sending a voice message to a group of users
  • Voicemail notification using SMS
  • Play on phone (PSTN)- to play message
  • Protected/ private voicemail
  • Change recording duration time limit
  • Disable/enable missed call notification
  • Customize text message for enabled users
  • Transfer to PSTN number externally (expected Q2CY19)
  • Extension dialing (expected CY19)
  • Mailbox for AA callers to leave a message (expected CY19)


If any of the features listed above are mission-critical, you will need to plan accordingly to replace them. Contact Enabling Technologies today to find out how we can help!

For more information on the migration steps, timeline, and requirements visit:


Work with our team of Cloud Computing Consultants who have done this so many times they know all of the “minefields” to prevent missteps.