CME - Cisco Unity Express

This section will introduce the CUE module and GUI which provides voicemail and auto attendant (AA) features. It is assumed that you have a working Call Manager Express installation with IP phones and users configured.

The Cisco Unity Express (CUE) module is a standalone voicemail and auto attendant server that fits into a network module slot of an Integrated Services Router (ISR) like a 2811 router. The CUE module is actually a stand-alone Pentium III server with a hard-drive running the Linux operating system. There are several different types and the one that this webpage is based on is the NM-CUE-K9 module.

CUE network module

The front RJ45 connector is non-functional and the CUE module communicates through an internal connection to the ISR. The relationship between CME and CUE is best thought of as two separate devices sharing a common chassis, the Cisco ISR Router.

Network Configuration

The two devices: CUE and CME connect to each other through the 2811 router's internal IP network. Each device is configured with IP addresses to the internal IP network.

CUE network module ( and ISR (

In this example, CUE's IP address will be the Data interface and CME's IP address will be and a static route will be created specifically to point to the CUE service-engine.

1. Activate IP Connectivity to CUE (Cisco Unity Express)

Router(config)# int service-engine  1/0
Router(config-if)# ip unnumbered  fa0/1.12	
Router(config-if)# service-module ip address 
Router(config-if)# service-module  ip default-gateway
Router(config-if)# no shut
Router(config-if)# exit
Router(config)#  ip route service-engine 1/0
Router(config)#  end

- "internal service-engine 1/0" indicates that the CUE-NM module is in slot 1/0
- "interface fa0/1.12" is the subinterface on VLAN 12 for the router on a stick configuratin that this example is using.
- "ip unnumbered fa0/1.12" allows the interface to be shared on the internal communication connection
- An IP address is assigned to the service module (CUE) that is on the same network as the subinterface. The default-gateway for CUE is the subinterface. A static route using mask is created that routes only the IP address of the CUE to the service engine.

Even though CME uses the SCCP protocol, voice communication between CUE and CME uses the SIP protocol. A SIP connection is allowed and a dial-peer is created.

  Router(config)# voice service voip
  Router(conf-voi-serv)# allow-connections sip to sip
  Router(conf-voi-serv)# exit
  Router(config)# dial-peer voice 5 voip
  Router(config-dial-peer)# destination-pattern 2...
  Router(config-dial-peer)# session protocol sipv2
  Router(config-dial-peer)# session target ipv4:172.16.x2.254
  Router(config-dial-peer)# dtmf-relay sip-notify
  Router(config-dial-peer)# codec g711ulaw
  Router(config-dial-peer)# no vad

This is a good time to set up the Message Waiting Indicator (MWI) in CME which will be used during CUE's voicemail setup:

  Router(config)# ephone-dn  30 
  Router(config-ephone-dn)# number 8000.... 
  Router(config-ephone-dn)# mwi on
  Router(config-ephone-dn)# exit
  Router(config)# ephone-dn  31 
  Router(config-ephone-dn)# number 8001.... 
  Router(config-ephone-dn)# mwi off

Restore CUE to factory defaults and perform post initialization

This is a one-time initialization and it's good to do this during the initial setup. I imagine that most setups now will be using previously used equipment or configuring old equipment. Good idea to start with a clean slate. Turn CUE offline and start the restore to factory defaults:

	Router# service-module service-engine 1/0 session
	se-172-17-2-10# offline				(It may skip to the next step)
	se-172-17-2-10# restore factory default  (if it is in factory default)

Use the following generic information (note the backspace key doesn't work, use the delete key) or use what is appropriate for your network :

  • Hostname: CUE-Cisco
  • No domainname, use localdomain
  • Do not use DNS
  • Primary NTP server: (this is the ip address of my DNS server, yours will be different)
  • Secondary NTP server: bypass
  • Time zone rules set appropriately

Be patient, it takes a long time and it will appear to be stuck on 27% forever. Eventually, enter in the administrator information:

  • User ID: admin
  • Password: cisco

Configuring the CUE Voicemail server

The configuration of the CUE Voicemail server is performed though a Web GUI. When you first connect, you will be prompted with the Initialization Wizard. Point your web-browser to the CUE interface that you created earlier and login using admin/cisco for the username/password.


You will be logged into the Initialization Wizard, select Run Initialization Wizard:

CUE Initialization Wizard

There are 5 steps that the Initialization Wizard walks you through:

  1. CallManager Express login
  2. Import CCME users
  3. Defaults
  4. Call Handling
  5. Commit
1. CallManager Express login sets the CME IP address and admin account. Set the hostname to CME's Data port: Use admin/cisco for the username/password.

CUE Initialization Wizard

2. Import CCME users - this should import the users that you have created previously. If it doesn't work, you will have to manually create mailboxes through the CUE GUI later (not a big deal).

Import CME users

Select User ID, Mailbox and CFNA/CFB (stands for call forward no answer/ call forward busy)

3. Defaults - accept the default settings for CUE:

CUE default settings

4. Call Handling - this sets up the Auto Attendant (AA) and Voicemail pilots and to match the MWI settings to CME. The pilots are the numbers that will be dialed to reach the AA and Voicemail.

CUE AA and Voicemail Pilots

  • Voice Mail Number: 2200
  • Voice Mail Operator Extension: 2201
  • Auto Attendant Access Number : 2100
  • Auto Attendant Operator Extension: 2201
  • Administration via Telephone Number: 2101
  • SIP MWI Notification Mechanism: Outcalling
  • MWI ON Number: 8000
  • MWI OFF Number: 8001
Note: the numbers used can be any numbers that fit your dialplan. These numbers worked with my extension range which was 2100 to 2300.

5. Commit - this step gives you a chance to review your configuration. If it is correct, check the checkbox (circled in the following image) and select the Finish button:

CUE Review Configuration

Initialization Wizard Status - this displays the status of the configuration if successful:

CUE Successful Initialization

Write down any auto-generated authentication information, you will need it later!

CUE Autogenerated Authentication

Finally, logout and then login again to use the CUE GUI. Check that Voicemail Mailboxes were created by going to Voice Mail - Mailboxes. If there are no mailboxes then you did not create the users during the CME GUI lab. You will have to manually create mailboxes for each user.

CUE Mailbox Initialization

Configure the Message Waiting Indicator to use Outcalling and the MWI On/Off numbers. Go to Voice Mail - Message Waiting Indicators - Settings:

CUE MWI Initialization

Test the System

  • Test that the Voicemail is working by dialing the voicemail pilot 2200 from any phone and follow the prompts to initialize your voicemail.
  • Leave a voicemail on another extension.
  • Login to the CUE Voicemail server using a User ID and Password. Change the password to 1234 to keep things simple.
  • To check your voicemail, you can select the Envelope button on your Cisco phone and follow the prompts or select the Services Button (globe image) - CME Service URL and enter your password.
  • From extension 2202, dial the Voicemail pilot number 2200 but do not respond to any prompts. The voicemail prompts should eventually time out and dial the Voice Mail Operator Extension: 2201.

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Copyright July 2013 Eugene Blanchard