Configuring a TC-O365 Unified Messaging Auto Attendant

Brian Hadfield -

Tenants that are consuming the TC-O365 service can set up and manage Auto Attendants in Office 365 to automatically answer calls to your organization and allow callers to self-select different options using the keys on their telephone. You can have just one UM auto attendant that provides basic menu navigation for callers to your organization, or you can have multiple nested and branching auto attendants that provide a richer experience for your callers.

The article below identifies the basic steps to create and configure a UM Auto Attendant on the Office 365 platform.

NOTE:  Before you can create an Auto Attendant, you must create a UM Dial Plan to associate the Auto Attendant with.  Guidance on how Chinook Communications TC-O365 customers can create a UM Dial plan can be found in our Support Forums here.

Create a UM Auto Attendant

  1. Login to the O365 portal (
  2. Click on the Admin link, then select Exchange.
  3. From the Exchange admin center | unified messaging select the UM Dial Plan for the Auto Attendant and click the edit icon.


  1. From the UM Auto Attendants section, click the + sign to create a new Auto Attendant


  1. Provide the following information in the new UM auto attendant page, the click Save
    • Name: <<Provide a descriptive name for the Auto Attendant>>
    • Create this Auto Attendant as enabled: Checked
    • Access Numbers: <<Enter the Auto Attendant number provided to you in the format +1xxxxxxxxxx>>


  1. The new Auto Attendant should now be visible in the UM Auto Attendant list in the UM Dial Plan.

Configure a UM Auto Attendant

  1. From the Exchange admin center | unified messaging select the UM Dial Plan for the Auto Attendant and click the edit icon.
  2. Select the Auto Attendant to be configured from the UM Auto Attendant list displayed on the UM Dial Plan properties page.
  3. The configuration options for the UM Auto Attendant should now be displayed.  There are several tabs on the left side of the screen that you will need to provide configuration information for.  The following steps will outline the most common configuration settings for each of the sections.  NOTE:  These settings can be customized to provide the specific Auto Attendant functionalities desired by the customer.
    • General
    • Greetings
    • Business Hours
    • Menu Navigation
    • Address Book and Operator Access
    • Dialing Authorization


    • No changes are required for the General section.  This is an informational summary of the UM Auto Attendant.


    • The Greetings section allows you to select a custom greeting to be played when callers dial-in to the UM Auto Attendant.  If no custom greetings are uploaded, a default greeting will be played.

NOTE: UM Auto Attendants require a very specific file format for custom greetings.  More information about the specific requirements can be found in our Support Forums here.

Business Hours

    • Time zone: <<Set to the correct time zone>>
    • Business Hours: <<Select the business hours>>


Menu Navigation

    • The menu navigation section will be used to determine the options that are provided to callers when the Auto Attendant picks up their call.  There are a number of options available for each menu key (1 - 9), please refer to the Office 365 documentation for additional information on configuring specific call handling behavior.

The following behaviors can be configured for a key mapping:

      1. Play an audio file.
      2. Transfer to an extension.
      3. Transfer to another UM Auto Attendant
      4. Leave a voicemail for a specific user
      5. Announce business location
      6. Announce business hours

NOTE: A separate key mapping will be required for all options that are to be presented to the caller for both business hours and non-business hours (if applicable).

Address Book and Operator Access

    • Allow callers to dial users: Checked
    • Allow callers to leave voice messages: Checked
    • Allow callers to search by name/alias: Checked
      • In this dial plan ONLY: Checked
    • Information to include for same name: Inherit from dial plan
    • Operator Access: <<10-digit DID phone number for the designated Operator>>
      • Allow transfer during business hours: Checked
      • Allow transfer during non-business hours: Unchecked


NOTE:  The settings above represent a suggested configuration, any of the settings can be changed to enable/disable specific functionalities as needed.

Dialing Authorization

    • Calls in the same UM dial plan: Checked
    • Allow calls to any extension: Checked
    • Click the + symbol to add in-country dialing rule: <<Provide a Descriptive Name>>
    • International dialing rule: Leave as default


  1. Click Save to finish the UM Auto Attendant configuration.
  2. The new UM Auto Attendant is now live and can begin to handle calls.

Create a Lync Contact

In order for Lync to properly route incoming calls to the newly created Auto Attendant on Office 365, someone from Provisioning will need to create a contact for you on the backend. Please send an email to with the name of the Auto Attendant and the number that has been assigned to it, along with the request to create the ExUmContact.


Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk