Cloud PBX Voicemail Language

By | September 21, 2016

Hopefully this blog post will help any others out there having an issue understanding what language is being used in the voice prompts and email transcriptions for Microsoft’s Office 365 Cloud PBX Voicemail (Azure Voicemail).

Until last week the language used in Voicemail services for Office 365 Cloud PBX had to be configured at the organization level within the company profile. This language setting was for all users in the Office 365 tenant and couldn’t be adjusted per user: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Change-the-default-language-for-voicemail-greetings-and-emails-in-your-organization-820c3892-1b7e-47d3-ae8d-6e27e7cbcf38

So what happened last week? Well my clients piloting Cloud PBX started reporting users were hearing Portuguese/Spanish/Catalan when calling into their Voicemail or external callers trying to leave a message. After opening a support ticket with Microsoft and looking at every possible language setting on the user/mailbox/tenant which was all English, we found that a new undocumented feature was released… The feature was the ability to change the default language on the individual user level. I’m sure at the time of posting this blog the feature will appear on the Office 365 Road Map: https://fasttrack.microsoft.com/roadmap

This new feature is triggered based on the “PreferredLanguage” user attribute, which must be updated in Active Directory if doing directory synchronization. If “PreferredLanguage” is empty the “UsageLocation” user attribute is used instead.

I’m sure you’re thinking what does this have to do with Catalan? Well us Canadians, we are a proud bunch and always select “Canada” when able. An example of this is when licensing a user in Office 365.
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If you’ve played with licensing in PowerShell for Office 365 you would have used:

 set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName <UserUPN> -UsageLocation CA

But wait “CA” is a the country identifier for Canada, but a Language identifier for Catalan (Spain)!

So we looked at the following ways we could quickly update all our client’s users.

From Office 365 PowerShell:

get-MsolUser | set-MsolUser -UsageLocation US

or

Active Directory PowerShell

Get-AdUser -Filter * -ResultSetSize 9999 | Set-ADUser -Replace @{‘preferredLanguage’=”EN-CA”}

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Of course the client opted for the second option, keeping everything labeled Canada. Great news is after a directory synchronization, the correct language was used within minutes.

**Update** Microsoft has implemented a fix for this issue and now the voicemail language detection will not leverage the “Usagelocation” if “PreferredLanguage” is empty. If “PreferredLanguage” is empty the Tenant’s “Preferred Language” under the company profile will be used and if that’s not set “English” will be the default.

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