Microsoft is retiring Unified Messaging (UM) in Exchange Online and replacing it with Cloud Voicemail and Auto Attendant services.  This impacts voicemail processing and Auto Attendant in Exchange Online for all customers using these workloads. The following servers connecting to Exchange UM Online will be transitioned by Microsoft to Cloud Voicemail on or before February 2020:

  • Lync Server 2013
  • Skype for Business Server 2015

Please note this announcement refers to Unified Messaging which is the processing of voicemails and Auto Attendant in Exchange Online. Storage of voicemails will continue to be supported in Exchange Online and Exchange on-premises Servers.

Customers using the above-mentioned servers to connect to Exchange UM Online will be transitioned to Cloud Voicemail by Microsoft. The transition timing will vary depending upon how your company has utilized the UM features. Over the course of this calendar year, we will selectively notify customers via the Office 365 Message Center of their coming transition. The first group of customers will be notified in February 2019 and then can expect to be transitioned in March 2019. The experience for each customer will be transparent – Microsoft will switch your users over to Cloud Voicemail and perform the necessary validation and testing. Customers who have received a transition notification and would like to request postponement can do so by submitting a request via the support tool in the Office 365 Admin Portal. Please remember that final retirement date is February 2020. Lync 2010 Servers connected to Exchange Online Unified Messaging will not be transitioned or supported with Cloud Voicemail. Customers using this topology must upgrade to Skype for Business Server prior to February 2020 for continued voicemail support via Cloud Voicemail. The benefits of Cloud Voicemail are many. Cloud Voicemail uses Azure services based in the Microsoft Global Network to provide flexibility and scalability. It harnesses additional modern platform services such as Cortana, Graph, and AI to enhance those core experiences. Being native to the cloud allows for a single support model for all voice modalities including Skype for Business on-premises, Skype for Business Online, and Microsoft Teams. As we update Cloud Voicemail, all customers benefit regardless of platform. Cloud Voicemail also supports Microsoft voice architectures including Phone System, Calling Plans, and Direct Routing meaning it works great today and is ready for tomorrow’s innovations. Cloud Voicemail also adds additional countries to its regulatory compliance list making the technology available to more customers. And finally, Cloud Voicemail has successfully been at work since 2016 processing millions of calls per month for cloud customers. Customers using Auto Attendant in Exchange UM Online are required to upgrade to Cloud Auto Attendant before February 2020. Administrators will need to recreate their auto attendants in Cloud Auto Attendant and switch their phone numbers over to them. Microsoft plans to introduce enhancements to the Cloud Auto Attendant service in Q1-CY2019 to provide customers with the necessary features to migrate their Auto Attendants from Exchange UM online, such as Hybrid Number support, multiple number support, transfer to PSTN, and more. See Set up a Phone System auto attendant to learn more about creating Auto Attendants. For further information on this retirement, please visit our support article. Exchange Team
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It would be nice if Cloud Voicemail supported....

-Direct Routing (I don't want to port my number to MSFT as a service number)

-Subscriber Access Numbers

-Zero Out

-Shared Voicemail Boxes

-Temp/Holiday Greetings

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- Direct Routing with CVM is supported, there's a known issue when Media Bypass is enabled, and its being fixed

- Subscriber access: there's no plan as of today to support this in CVM

- Zero Out: is a feature we are introducing this quarter, its currently in preview and planned to be available before the end of March 2019

- Shared Voicemail: this is a road-map item that we're currently designing, no timeline yet to share. However, current workaround that customers use for Auto Attendant and Call Queues will not break when customers migrate to Cloud Auto Attendant, which is configuring a user with immediate forward to voicemail.

- Holiday greetings: is already supported for CVM. Users can configure an Out of Office specific greeting to be played all the time, while Auto-reply is active, or based on their calendar.

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100% agree!! I wish I was an option about two years ago, and my organization would be on Exchange online already. We had to postpone our exchange go live because our on-prem UM wasn't going to be supported without adding E5 or phone system to all users. Sadly that delayed our project significantly as we went with a third-party voicemail provider.
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@Waseemh - Thank you for the response.

To further clarify my previous statement when I mentioned Direct Routing, the scenario I was thinking about was using an Auto Attendant. Today if you create an Auto Attendant in the Legacy SFBO M365 Admin Center, the only phone number one can choose is a service number (# ported to Microsoft). The Auto Attendant documentation on docs does not reference Direct Routing anywhere, only using a service number. The Direct Routing documentation on docs only references setting up subscriber (User) numbers, not service numbers (Auto Attendant, Call Queue, Audio Conferencing DiA#). What if we want to keep our on-prem SIP Trunk for all numbers?

If I take my on-prem PBX and try and Direct Route to an M365 Auto Attendant configured with a Microsoft Service number my SBC recieves a 404 not found from Microsoft.PSTNHub.SIPProxy. This is my definition of Direct Routing to a service number and this does not work in my tenant.

Subscriber Access number in my opinion goes along with shared mailboxes which also goes along with the customized / scheduled greeting. Branch office/Retail store scenario where the main office number has a voicemail box, ideally just a shared voicemail box. Certain users within the branch may need to dial in to set a customized greeting "we are closed Wednesday due to in climate weather and the pending blizzard". Keep that message for 1 day or a set schedule and then have it revert back to a standard greeting. The same could apply to a holiday.

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@WiscoED Direct Routing support for Auto-Attendant is also a planned enhancement that we are delivering in Q1CY19, check out the support article link in the blog for more details on that. Holiday schedule for AA is available today as well, you can change that along with the greeting message using the Administrator web portal. There's no support though to do that by dialing in from a PSTN number.
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Stop Luftes dhe Varferise ne Bote !
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Is this a big bang migration, or can this be testing/piloting before all users are moved to Cloud Voice mail? At least TechNet documents looks abit big scary bang migration as it says: "...When testing voicemail functionality after your users have been migrated, make sure to consider the following scenarios..."
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The migration is a tenant-level migration and not a user-level one. To validate and test the CVM feature set you can create a Skype for Business Online user or Teams user.
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Will Cloud Voicemail be supported in the O365 or M365 E3 license as with Exchange UM Online or will the Phone System license be required for the user that needs Cloud Voicemail?
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SFB Onprem users do not need a cloud license to use Cloud Voicemail if they are EV enabled. Note that they need to have an Exchange mailbox, so they still need to be licensed for that. Online users on Skype for Business will require Phone System license to take advantage of CVM, while Teams users do not require that anymore, starting from this week.
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What's a cloud?
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A term that is usually used to refer to a network of computer servers. But if you live in Vancouver BC like me, its what you see everytime you look upward!
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This is unfortunate and a show stopper for our move to Office 365 as we use Exchange Unified Messaging as our voicemail system connected to our relatively new on-premises PBX. Moving to Skype for Business Enterprise Voice (a requirement for Cloud Voicemail) is not an option with our large investment in on-premises PBX (documentation states, "Once a user is moved to Skype for Business Online and Phone System in Office 365, their legacy PBX phone will no longer work"). We need to investigate alternative voicemail systems. It would be nice if there was a direct path (through Audiocodes/SBC/whatever) to Cloud Voicemail from on-premises PBX (versus a complex setup through Skype for Business/Teams Enterprise Voice that we don't need otherwise).
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Unfortunately there is no solution for connecting a 3rd party PBX to Cloud Voicemail, this offering by Exchange UM Online was announced to be retiring in July 2017.
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Ti Japim Paqen Botes !
Occasional Visitor

Hi Microsoft Team,

We have implemented an hybrid environment consisting of Skype for Business Server 2015 On Premise and Exchange UM Online, i have 2 questions:

1. Will this change be transparent or will it affect in some time our Voicemail service?

2. We need to migrate to Microsoft Teams? or the new Cloud Voicemail will can work with our Skype for Business Server 2015 On Premise infraestructure?


Occasional Contributor

Does Auto Attendant in Exchange Online work with Microsoft Teams direct routing? as extension dialing from cloud auto attendant is not working yet.