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Cisco MediaSense

Cisco MediaSense Release 10.0 Data Sheet

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Product Overview

Cisco® MediaSense is an open-standards, network-based platform that supports recording, playback, live streaming, and storage of media - including audio and video - with rich recording metadata. It provides an efficient, cost-effective platform for capturing business conversations, including customer service interactions.

Business Value

Businesses and organizations need to record calls for a variety of reasons, including regulatory compliance, quality management, legal discovery, employee education, business intelligence, and customer service optimization. Unfortunately, traditional recording solutions can make recording difficult and expensive to implement. Cisco MediaSense solves these challenges by recording audio and video on the network, simplifying the architecture, lowering costs, and providing optimum scalability across a variety of scenarios such as selective recording, call transfers, site-based recording, and multiparty conferences. MediaSense offers built-in search and play of recordings, and you can easily use it in customer service interactions through its integration with the Cisco Finesse® Agent Desktop.

In addition to recording and playback, Cisco MediaSense provides media streaming on the network, supporting Video on Hold (VoH) with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM), Video in Queue (ViQ) with Cisco Remote Expert, video greeting with Cisco Unity® Connection, and live monitoring of customer service calls.

The network-based architecture of MediaSense allows for quick availability of the captured media for different applications-regardless of location - through simple application programming interfaces (APIs). These interfaces implement open web standards, enabling a rich ecosystem of applications from Cisco technology partners, including quality management (QM) and advanced quality management (AQM) solutions.

With Cisco MediaSense, gaining value from business conversations is no longer a daunting challenge.

Table 1 lists the new features and benefits available in the latest release of Cisco MediaSense.

Table 1. New Features and Benefits of Cisco MediaSense 10.0

Feature

Benefits

Recording with Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) agents and supervisors can make recordings with MediaSense through the UCCX workflow editor (for selective call recording) or Cisco UCM (for 100-percent call recording). Search and play of recordings is through the MediaSense Search and Play application, a gadget on the Cisco Finesse Agent Desktop.

Video on Hold

Cisco MediaSense supports streaming video when a call is put on hold by Cisco UCM.

Cisco Unity Connection video greeting

Cisco Unity Connection users with video endpoints can use MediaSense to record a video greeting to callers for play when they’re not available.

Search and Play enhancements

Enhancements to the built-in search-and-play functions of Cisco MediaSense include:
Search enhancements including compound searches and search by tag
Native Cisco Finesse desktop search gadget, which includes search by agent ID
Enhanced media player
Support for Advanced Audio Codec (AAC) playback
Ability to save media files as .wav or MP4

Table 2 lists the continuing features and benefits of the product.

Table 2. Features and Benefits of Cisco MediaSense

Feature

Benefits

Product Baseline Features

• Audio recording

• Audio live monitor

• Audio play

The unified network platform performs dual audio stream recording of conversations (that is, it records both sides of the conversation as separate but correlated entities), facilitating speech analytics.
Audio recording is lossless (that is, no data is thrown out), helping ensure that each recording is of the highest possible quality.
Live monitoring allows customer care supervisors to listen to a caller or agent conversation even while the conversation is being recorded.
Note: A separate application is required to control the live monitoring.
Audio play functions support straightforward playback of recorded conversations.

• Video recording

• Video play

The unified network platform supports single-party video recording (for example, video blogging).
Video recording is lossless (that is, no data is thrown out), helping ensure that each recording is of the highest possible quality, based on the source.
Video play functions support straightforward playback of recorded conversations.

Video in Queue

MediaSense performs upload and streaming of prerecorded video files to provide ViQ to callers. This feature allows businesses to provide information and advertising to callers waiting for a video-enabled agent or expert. For information about supported video endpoints, consult the Cisco MediaSense Solution Reference Network Design at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11389/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html .

Remote expert recording

Cisco MediaSense provides audio-only recording of calls from select video devices in remote expert scenarios (for example, a customer at a branch office or retail site consults a remote agent through a video kiosk).
Note: Cisco Unified Border Element (Cisco UBE) is required to provide the audio forking (splitting). For information about supported video devices and Cisco IOS ® Software Release versions, consult the Cisco MediaSense Solution Reference Network Design at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11389/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html .

Open Web 2.0 application programming interfaces (APIs)

APIs simplify the development and integration of value-added applications by Cisco partners.
APIs are at a high or conceptual level, in effect hiding the complexity of the underlying architecture and functions and minimizing the need for detailed telephony or recording expertise, thereby allowing Cisco partners to take advantage of pervasive web developer talent to create speech and video search, playback, analytics, and live monitoring applications.

Streaming support

The solution uses forking of the media stream of the conversation, which supports live monitor and the use of real-time audio and video analytics applications, even during recording.
Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) support provides fast-forward and rewind “seek” capabilities during playback of recorded media, plus live monitoring support.
Note: Separate applications are required to control the live monitoring, search, and playback functions.

Media Access Control (MAC)

Load balancing between MediaSense servers for record and playback optimizes platform resources. Controlled access to media streams helps ensure the security of conversations.

Playback: General

Playback of recorded media is supported through multiple methods:
RTSP
HTTP, by direct access to the raw recording (also known as “fast HTTP” access), or by transcoding to advanced audio coding (AAC) in an MP4 container

Search and Play

This built-in application makes MediaSense a complete recording solution for many businesses. If more capabilities are required, however, MediaSense still enables best-of-class recording and analytics applications from a variety of Cisco technology partners.

Scalability

The Cisco MediaSense platform supports up to 1000 simultaneous audio sessions per MediaSense cluster, where a session includes recording, playback, and live streaming.

Supported Applications

SolutionsPlus applications

Recording and quality management applications from Calabrio and NICE are now offered with Cisco MediaSense on the Cisco Price List through the SolutionsPlus program. Analytics applications from NICE are also offered with MediaSense through the SolutionsPlus program.

Third-party applications

Third-party applications (for example, for speech or video analytics) taking advantage of the open APIs of the product are supported through the Cisco Developer Network. For information about supported application partners, visit the Cisco Developer Network at: http://developer.cisco.com/web/partner/search.
A list of Cisco technology partners that have announced products and support for Cisco MediaSense is available at: https://communities.cisco.com/docs/DOC-25924.

Media Capture

Audio

Recordings can be made for the most common uncompressed and compressed audio formats, including G.711 a-law, mu-law, G.722, and G.729a/b.

Video

Video recording is supported for MPEG-4 AVC/H.264.
Resolution up to and including VGA is supported.

Media Storage and Management

Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN)

Fibre Channel SAN is supported, providing gigabit-level recording speeds over fiber-optic cable and traditional twisted-pair copper wire.
This feature supports extended storage of recordings in a manner consistent with Cisco Data Center solutions.

SAN storage capacity

The Cisco MediaSense platform supports SAN storage of up to 60 terabytes.

Media-retention rules

Retention policies provide storage for a configurable period, with automated deletion on a rolling basis (for example, every day all recordings older than a specified number of days are deleted).
Operating modes allow you to decide whether to optimize storage for new conversations (“recording priority”) or preserve existing ones (“retention priority”).

Encoding and export

Recorded audio can be transcoded to AAC with an MP4 container, enabling easy export and access by other applications.

Application APIs

Application APIs provide straightforward functions to delete or copy recorded media.

Metadata Storage and Search

Associate recording sessions with calls

Metadata is associated with each recording session, enabling easy search by any of multiple criteria.

Query API

An API is provided to allow external applications to search for recorded and live calls.

Tagging API

An API is provided to allow real-time tagging of calls to facilitate subsequent search and playback. For example, a customer service agent could tag a call as being associated with a certain type of technical or sales support.

Operating Environment

Cisco Unified Communications Voice Operating System (VOS) 9.0

The standard Cisco Unified Communications Voice Operating System is supported, providing a common interface and consistent operation, administration, management, and provisioning (OAM&P) with other Cisco products.

Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS®) C- and B-Series servers

The cost per server is lower with Cisco UCS servers.

VMware support

Support for VMware ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 offers more deployment options on fewer boxes.

Enhanced virtualization

More flexible configuration and implementation of Cisco MediaSense on virtual machines is supported, including resource reservation to enable the use of multiple virtual machines on the same server. MediaSense is deployable on select HP and IBM servers in addition to Cisco UCS servers. Server specifications are located at: http://docwiki.cisco.com/wiki/UC_Virtualization_Supported_Hardware .

Product Compatibility

Phones

Recording is supported with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) recording API, using phones with built-in bridge media forking (the phone splits or “forks” off the media to be recorded). Supported phone models are listed at: http://developer.cisco.com/web/sip/wikidocs/bibdevices.

Cisco Unified Border Element Enterprise Edition recording

Network-based recording is supported with Cisco UBE Enterprise Edition using standard dial peers to fork session media to the Cisco MediaSense platform.
Use of Cisco UBE Enterprise Edition provides highly efficient recording of conversations to and from remote endpoints, supporting a diverse range of recording scenarios including mobile compliance, home customer care agents, hosted recording, outsourced contact centers, and third-party devices.
Cisco UBE Enterprise Edition supports end-to-end call recording, regardless of where the call might be transferred to. It also enables centralized recording architectures, helping lower operating costs.

Router-blade deployment

You can deploy Cisco MediaSense on Cisco UCS E-Series Server modules with Cisco Integrated Services Routers Generation 2 (ISR G2) routers, so you can use the application efficiently in small-scale and distributed branch-office deployments on a local-site router.
Note: Media forking still occurs at the phone or at Cisco UBE, as described in this section in this table.) For information about supported server modules, consult the Cisco MediaSense Solution Reference Network Design at: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11389/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html .

Architecture

High availability and failover

The network-based architecture of the platform provides robust failover capabilities. For example, if a network recording element is taken out of service, subsequent calls can still be recorded using different network assets.
Active-active server load balancing and failover are supported for the capture layer and client applications.

Management

Cisco Real-Time Monitoring Tool (RTMT)

Operational management is enhanced through integration with Cisco RTMT, providing platform-specific alerts to simplify maintenance.

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)

SNMP with an associated MIB is supported through the Cisco Unified Communications Voice Operating System.

Upgrades

Built-in upgrade support enables straightforward migration to newer versions of the platform.

Reporting

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center

Customers can optionally purchase Cisco Unified Intelligence Center to create customizable reports of recording events.

Unified Communications Integration

Cisco solution releases

This product is fully tested with other Cisco Unified Communications products (for example, Cisco Unified Communications Manager) as part of each Cisco Unified Communications release, helping assure customers of robust, fully supported end-to-end solutions.

Platform Support, Compatibility, and Specifications

Consult the hardware and system software specifications for hardware and operating system requirements for compatibility with other Cisco and third-party products, and for additional product specifications.

Licensing

This product is licensed by the number of concurrent recordings.

Warranty Information

You can find warranty information on Cisco.com at the Product Warranties page.

Ordering Information

To place an order, visit the Cisco Ordering Home Page. To download software, visit the Cisco Software Center.

Cisco Services

Cisco Services adapt to market changes while increasing productivity, improving competitive advantage, and delivering a rich-media experience across any workspace.

The combined strengths of Cisco and our partners provide a portfolio of services that can help you prepare your infrastructure for future changes aligning to long-term business goals.

Together we create innovative, network-centric architecture solutions resulting in a scalable and responsive foundation that can help you realize the full value of your IT and communication investment.

For more information about Cisco Unified Contact Center Services, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/uccservices.

Cisco Technology Partners

Many Cisco technology partners have announced products and support for Cisco MediaSense. A current list is available at: https://communities.cisco.com/docs/DOC-25924.

Cisco Authorized Partners

Cisco Advanced Technology Partners (ATPs) have completed rigorous training and validation of their knowledge of Cisco Contact Center product and can offer customers some or all of the following capabilities:

Planning

Design

Implementation

Operation

Optimization

Product resale

Professional services

Postsales support

Information about Cisco Contact Center ATP partners is available at: http://www.cisco.com/web/partners/pr11/atp/ucc_enterprise/index.html.

Cisco Developer Network Partners

The Cisco Developer Network program offers a formalized means for developers to certify value-added applications and solutions for use with this product. Information about Cisco Developer Network partners is available at: http://developer.cisco.com/web/partner.

For More Information

For more information, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/cc.