Cisco Unified Communications System 9.0 SRND
Cisco Unified Contact Center
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Cisco Unified Contact Center

Table Of Contents

Cisco Unified Contact Center

What's New in This Chapter

Cisco Contact Center Architecture

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

Administration and Management

Reporting

Multichannel Support

Recording and Silent Monitoring

Cisco MediaSense

Contact Center Deployment Models

Single-Site Contact Center

Multisite Contact Center with Centralized Call Processing

Multisite Contact Center with Distributed Call Processing

Clustering Over the IP WAN

Design Considerations for Contact Center Deployments

High Availability for Contact Centers

Bandwidth, Latency, and QoS Considerations

Bandwidth Provisioning

Latency

QoS

Call Admission Control

Integration with Unified CM

Other Design Considerations for Contact Centers

Capacity Planning for Contact Centers

Network Management Tools


Cisco Unified Contact Center


Revised: June 28, 2012; OL-27282-05

 

This chapter describes the Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions available with the Cisco Unified Communications System. It includes information on Cisco products such as Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal. It also covers the design considerations for deploying these Cisco Unified Contact Center products with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and other Unified Communications components.

This chapter covers the following topics:

Cisco Contact Center Architecture

Contact Center Deployment Models

Design Considerations for Contact Center Deployments

Capacity Planning for Contact Centers

Network Management Tools

This chapter starts with a high-level overview of the main Cisco Unified Contact Center Portfolio. Then it covers the various Unified Communications deployment models for contact centers. Finally, it discusses design considerations on topics such as bandwidth, latency, Cisco Unified Communications Manager integration, and sizing.

The intent of this chapter is not to provide details on each contact center product and their various components but rather to discuss the design considerations for their integration with the Cisco Unified Communications System. Detailed design guidance for each Unified Contact Center product is covered in specific Solution Reference Network Design (SRND) guides for the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal products. These product-specific SRNDs are available at

http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd

What's New in This Chapter

Table 26-1 lists the topics that are new in this chapter or that have changed significantly from previous releases of this document.

 

Table 26-1 New or Changed Information Since the Previous Release of This Document 

New or Revised Topic
Described in:
Revision Date

Minor updates for Cisco Unified Communications System Release 9.0

Various sections throughout this chapter

June 28, 2012


Cisco Contact Center Architecture

This chapter discusses the following main Cisco Contact Center products:

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE)

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP)

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (Unified CCX)

This chapter also discusses Cisco MediaSense, which can be deployed with a Cisco Unified Contact Center application or even in a non-contact center deployment.

For customers who need a basic contact center with limited functionality, the hunt pilot queuing in Cisco Unified CM is an available option. With this option enabled, callers to the hunt pilot can be put in queue to wait for an available agent, and periodic announcements can be played while the callers are in queue. However, unlike the full-featured contact center products, the hunt pilot queuing option lacks many of the contact center functionality such as agent desktop, supervisor, and reporting capabilities. If customers require complete contact center functionality, Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise or Cisco Unified Contact Center Express product should be used. For more information on the hunt pilot queuing option, refer to the Cisco Unified CM documentation available at

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/voicesw/ps556/tsd_products_support_series_home.html

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE) provides a VoIP contact center solution that enables you to integrate inbound and outbound voice applications with Internet applications, including real-time chat, Web collaboration, and email. This integration provides for unified capabilities, helping a single agent support multiple interactions simultaneously, regardless of the communications channel the customer has chosen. Because each interaction is unique and may require individualized service, Cisco provides contact center solutions to manage each interaction based on virtually any contact attribute. The Unified CCE deployments are typically used for large size contact centers and can support thousands of agents.

Unified CCE employs the following major software components:

Call Router

The Call Router makes all the decisions on how to route a call or customer contact.

Logger

The Logger maintains the system database that stores contact center configurations and temporarily stores historical reporting data for distribution to the data servers. The combination of Call Router and Logger is called the Central Controller.

Peripheral Gateway

The Peripheral Gateway (PG) interfaces to various "peripheral" devices, such as Unified CM, Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (Unified IP IVR), Unified CVP, or multichannel products. A Peripheral Gateway that interfaces with Unified CM is also referred to as an Agent PG.

CTI Server and CTI Object Server (CTI OS)

The CTI Server and CTI Object Server interface with the agent desktops. Agent desktops can be based on the Cisco Agent Desktop (CAD) solution, Cisco CTI Desktop Toolkit, or customer relationship management (CRM) connectors to third-party CRM applications.

Administration & Data Server

The Administration & Data Server provides a configuration interface as well as real-time and historical data storage.

The Cisco Unified CCE solution is based on the integration with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM), which controls the agent phones. For deployments without Unified CM but with traditional ACD, use Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise (Unified ICME) instead of Unified CCE.

The queuing and self-service functions are provided by Cisco Unified IP Interactive Voice Response (Unified IP IVR) or Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP) and are controlled by the Unified CCE Call Router.

Most of the Unified CCE servers are required to be redundant, and the redundant instances are referred to as side A and side B instances. For example, Call Router A and Call Router B are redundant instances of the Call Router component running on two different servers.

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP) provides carrier-class IVR services on Voice over IP (VoIP) networks. It can perform basic prompt-and-collect or advanced self-service applications with CRM database integration and with automated speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech (TTS) integration. Unified CVP also provides IP-based call switching services by routing and transferring calls between voice gateways and IP endpoints.

Unified CVP is based on the Voice Extension Markup Language (VXML), which is an industry standard markup language similar to HTML and which is used to develop IVR services that leverage the power of web development and content delivery.

Unified CVP can be deployed standalone or integrated with Unified CCE to offer self-service and queuing functions. It supports voice calls as well as video calls.

The Unified CVP solution employs the following main components:

Unified CVP Call Server

The Unified CVP Call Server provides call control capabilities for SIP and H.323 through the SIP and H.323 services. The Unified CVP Call Server can also integrate with the Unified CCE Call Router through the Intelligent Contact Management (ICM) service. The IVR service allows the server to run VXML Micro applications and to create VoiceXML pages.

Unified CVP VXML Server

This component executes complex IVR applications by exchanging VoiceXML pages with the VoiceXML gateway's built-in voice browser. Unified CVP VXML Server applications are written using Cisco Unified Call Studio and are deployed to the Unified CVP VXML Server for execution. Note that there is no RTP traffic going through the Unified CVP Call Server or the Unified CVP VXML Server.

Cisco Voice Gateway

The Cisco Voice Gateway is the point at which a call enters or exits the Unified CVP system. The Cisco Voice Gateway could have a TDM interface to the PSTN. Alternatively, Cisco Unified Border Element could be used when the interface to the PSTN is an IP voice trunk.

Cisco VoiceXML Gateway

The VoiceXML Gateway hosts the Cisco IOS Voice Browser. This component interprets VoiceXML pages from either the Unified CVP Server IVR Service or the Unified CVP VXML Server. The VoiceXML Gateway can play prompts based on .wav files to the caller and can accept input from the caller through DTMF input or speech (when integrated with Automatic Speech Recognition). It then returns the results to the controlling application and waits for further instructions.

The Cisco VoiceXML Gateway can be deployed on the same router as the Cisco Voice Gateway. This model is typically desirable in deployments with small branch offices. But the VoiceXML Gateway can also run on a separate router platform, and this model might be desirable in large centralized deployments with multiple voice gateways.

For more information, refer to the latest version of the Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal SRND, available at

http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (Unified CCX) meets the needs of departmental, enterprise branch, or small to medium-sized companies that need easy-to-deploy, easy-to-use, highly available and sophisticated customer interaction management for up to 400 agents. It is designed to enhance the efficiency, availability, and security of customer contact interaction management by supporting a highly available virtual contact center with integrated self-service applications across multiple sites.

Unified CCX can integrate with Unified CM by means of JTAPI or with Unified CME by means of SIP.

All the Unified CCX components, including the Unified CCX engine, Unified CCX database, CAD Server, Unified CCX Outbound Dialer, and Express E-mail Manager, are installed on a single server. When Unified CCX is integrated with Unified CM, a second Unified CCX server can be added to provide system redundancy.

Unified CCX has built-in email, outbound dialer, and agent silent monitoring and recording capabilities. It can integrate with video endpoints such as Cisco TelePresence and can support advanced features such as Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and Text to Speech (TTS), HTTP, and VXML. It also supports products such as Cisco Unified Workforce Optimization to optimize performance and quality of the contact center.

Cisco Unified IP IVR shares the same software architecture as Unified CCX. It provides prompting, collecting, and queuing capability for the Unified CCE solution. It could also be used as a standalone self-service application.

Administration and Management

Cisco Contact Center products have built-in administration and management capabilities. For example, Unified CCE can be administered with the Configuration Manager tool that is installed with Unified CCE, and Unified CVP can be administered with the Unified CVP Operations Console, also known as Operations, Administration, Maintenance, and Provisioning (OAMP).

In addition, Cisco Unified Contact Center Management Portal (Unified CCMP) can be deployed to simplify the operations and procedures for performing basic administrative functions such as managing agents and equipment. Unified CCMP is a browser-based management application designed for use by contact center system administrators, business users, and supervisors. It is a dense multi-tenant provisioning platform that overlays the Cisco Unified CCE, Unified ICM, Unified CM, and Unified CVP equipment.

Reporting

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center (Unified IC) is the main reporting tool for the Cisco Contact Center solutions. It is supported by Unified CCE, Unified CCX, and Unified CVP. This platform is a web-based application offering many Web 2.0 features, high scalability, performance, and advanced features such as the ability to integrate data from other Cisco Unified Communications products or third-party data sources.

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center gets source data from a database, such as an Unified CCE Administration & Data Server database or the Unified CVP Reporting Informix database. Reports are then generated and provided to a reporting client.

Multichannel Support

The Cisco Unified Enterprise solution supports web interaction and email interaction for multichannel support. Cisco Unified Web Interaction Manager (Unified WIM) technology helps ensure that communication can be established from nearly any web browser. Cisco Unified E-Mail Interaction Manager (Unified EIM) provides inbound email routing, automated or agent assisted email responses, real-time and historical reporting, and role-based hierarchical rights management for agents, supervisors, administrators, and knowledge base administrators.

For more design information on these products, refer to the Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager Solution Reference Network Design Guide, available at

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7236/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html

Recording and Silent Monitoring

Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions provide recording and silent monitoring capabilities based on the following options:

The SPAN feature in Cisco switches

This feature replicates the network traffic to a destination port to which a Cisco contact center server is connected.

The ability of the phone to span the voice stream to the PC that is connected to it

In this case, the agent desktop receives the voice packets and sends them to a recording server or to a supervisor desktop for silent monitoring.

Unified CM and media replication by the built-in-bridge (BIB) in Cisco IP Phones

With this option, Unified CM is involved in setting up the recording flows and can perform call admission control for those flows.

Cisco MediaSense

Cisco MediaSense is an IP-based media (voice and video) recording and playback system that implements the Open Recording Architecture (ORA) open interfaces. Cisco MediaSense is integrated into the Cisco Unified Communications architecture and provides a recording solution for both contact center deployments and non-contact center deployments. Recording can be accomplished by media forking in Cisco Unified IP Phones, where the built-in bridge (BIB) is used to replicate media to the Cisco MediaSense recording server. Recording can also be accomplished at the Cisco Unified Border Element, thus allowing all media flowing to or from the caller to get recorded, including possible interaction between the caller and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. In addition, an IP phone user or SIP endpoint device may call the Cisco MediaSense system directly in order to leave a recording consisting only of media generated by that user. Such recordings may include video as well as audio, offering a simple and easy method for recording video blogs and podcasts.

Cisco MediaSense supports a redundant, highly available architecture. It can be deployed as a non-redundant, single server or as a highly available, redundant system with two recording servers in active/active mode. Additional servers can be added to expand storage capacity.

For more details on the Cisco MediaSense recording system, refer to the Solution Reference Network Design for Cisco MediaSense, available at

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps11389/products_implementation_design_guides_list.html

Contact Center Deployment Models

This section describes the various design models used for deploying Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions. For more details on these deployment models, refer to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd

Single-Site Contact Center

In this deployment, all the components such as call processing servers, voice gateways, and contact center servers are in the same site. Agents and supervisors are also located at that site. The main benefit of the single-site deployment model is that there is no WAN connectivity required and, therefore, no need to use a low-bandwidth codec such as G.729, transcoders, compressed Real-Time Transport Protocol (cRTP), or call admission control.

Multisite Contact Center with Centralized Call Processing

A multisite deployment with centralized call processing consists of a single call processing cluster that provides services for many remote sites and uses the IP WAN. Cisco Contact Center applications (Unified CCE, Unified CCX, and Unified CVP) are also typically centralized to reduce the overall costs of management and administration. Figure 26-1 illustrates this type of deployment.

Figure 26-1 Multisite Contact Center with Centralized Call Processing

Because the agents or the voice gateways in this type of deployment are located in remote sites, it is important to consider the bandwidth requirements between the sites. It is also important to carefully configure call admission control, Quality of Service (QoS), codecs, and so forth. For more information on the general design considerations for Unified Communications solutions, refer to the chapter on Unified Communications Deployment Models.

Contact center deployments in a Unified Communications system typically have the following additional bandwidth requirements:

The traffic volume handled by the agents is higher than that of typical users, and therefore voice and signaling traffic is also higher for agents.

Agents and supervisors use desktops with screen popup, reports and statistics, and so forth. This causes data traffic between the agent or supervisor desktops and the contact center servers. In addition, bandwidth calculations must account for reporting information if, for example, an agent or supervisor is remote and pulls data from a server in a central location. For more information and guidance, refer to the design guides for the individual Cisco Contact Center products, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Depending on type of IVR solution, there could be traffic between the voice gateway and the IVR system. For example, if the voice gateways are distributed and calls arrive at a voice gateway located in a remote site with Unified IP IVR, there would be voice traffic across the WAN between the voice gateway and Unified IP IVR. With Unified CVP, the call could be queued at the remote site, with the VXML Gateway providing call treatment and queuing and therefore avoiding voice traffic across the WAN for IVR and reducing overall WAN bandwidth requirements.

Remote agents (for example, agents working from home) are also supported with Cisco Unified Contact Center. There are mainly two solutions. The first one requires the agent to use an IP phone that is connected to the central site by a broadband internet connection. In this solution, the phone is CTI controlled by the Cisco Unified Contact Center application. The second solution is based on Cisco Unified Mobile Agent, which enables an agent to participate in a call center with any PSTN phone such as cell phone.

Multisite Contact Center with Distributed Call Processing

The model for a multisite deployment with distributed call processing consists of multiple sites, each with its own call processing cluster connected to an IP WAN. This section assumes that each Unified CM cluster has agents registered to it.

A Unified CCX deployment cannot be shared across multiple Unified CM clusters. Each Unified CM cluster requires its own Unified CCX deployment, as illustrated in Figure 26-2.

Figure 26-2 Multisite Unified CCX Deployment with Distributed Call Processing

Requirements for Unified CCE differ from Unified CCX. A single Unified CCE system can span across multiple Unified CM clusters distributed across multiple geographic locations. A Unified CCE Agent PGs must be installed in each Unified CM cluster location and could be physically remote from the Unified CCE Central Controller (Call Router + Logger). Figure 26-3 illustrates this type of deployment and highlights the placement of the Agent PG.

Figure 26-3 Multisite Unified CCE Deployment with Distributed Call Processing

If you require multiple contact center deployments, you could connect those deployments through Unified ICM by using the parent/child deployment model to form a single virtual contact center. The parent/child model provides several benefits, such as enterprise queuing and enterprise reporting across all the contact center deployments. It also provides complete site redundancy and higher scalability. For more details on the parent/child model, refer to the following documents:

Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise SRND, available at

http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd

Cisco Contact Center Gateway Deployment Guide for Cisco Unified ICME/CCE/CCX, available at

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps1001/prod_installation_guides_list.html

Similarly to the multisite model with centralized call processing, multisite deployments with distributed call processing require careful configuration of QoS, call admission control, codecs, and so forth.

Clustering Over the IP WAN

In this deployment model, a single Unified CM cluster is deployed across multiple sites that are connected by an IP WAN with QoS features enabled. Cisco Unified Contact Center solutions can be deployed with this model. In fact, the Cisco Unified Contact Center components themselves can also be clustered over the WAN.

For example, with Unified CCE, the side A servers could be remote from the Unified CCE side B servers and separated from them by an IP WAN connection. (For more details on Unified CCE high availability, see High Availability for Contact Centers.) The following design considerations apply to this type of deployment:

The IP WAN between the two sites must be highly available, with no single point of failure. For example, the IP WAN links, routers, and switches must be redundant. WAN link redundancy could be achieved with multiple WAN links or with a SONET ring, which is highly resilient and has built-in redundancy For more details, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

The Agent Peripheral Gateway (PG) must be co-located with the CTI Manager server to which it is connected. Because of the large amount of redirect and transfer traffic and additional CTI traffic, the Intra-Cluster Communication Signaling (ICCS) bandwidth requirements between the Unified CM servers are higher when deploying Unified CCE. For more details, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

If the primary Unified CCE and Unified CM servers are located in one site and the secondary Unified CCE and Unified CM servers are in another site, the maximum latency between the two sites is dictated by the Unified CM latency requirement of 80 ms round trip time (RTT). However, if the Unified CCE servers are in different locations than the Unified CM servers, it is possible to have a higher latency between the redundant Unified CCE servers. For more information, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Figure 26-4 illustrates a deployment of Unified CCE using clustering over the WAN.

Figure 26-4 Unified CCE Deployment with Clustering Over the WAN

With Unified CCX and Unified IP IVR solutions, the primary Unified CCX or Unified IP IVR server could also be remote from the backup server. The requirements for Unified CCX deployments are different than the ones for Unified CCE deployments. For example, redundant WAN links are not required with Unified CCX. Also, the maximum latency between the primary and backup Unified CCX servers is 80 ms RTT. Figure 26-5 illustrates this type of deployment. For more details, refer to the Unified CCX SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Figure 26-5 Unified CCX Deployment with Clustering Over the WAN

Design Considerations for Contact Center Deployments

This section summarizes the following major design considerations for contact center deployments:

High Availability for Contact Centers

Bandwidth, Latency, and QoS Considerations

Call Admission Control

Integration with Unified CM

Other Design Considerations for Contact Centers

High Availability for Contact Centers

All Cisco Unified Contact Center products provide high availability. For example, when you integrate Unified CCX or Unified IP IVR with Unified CM, you could add a second Unified CCX or Unified IP IVR server to provide high availability. One of the servers would be the active server and would handle all the call processing. The other server would be in standby mode and become active only if the primary server fails. Unified CVP also supports high available deployments with multiple Unified CVP servers, voice gateways, VXML gateways, SIP proxies, and so forth.

With Unified CCE, most of the servers are required to be redundant, and the redundant instances are referred to as side A and side B instances. For example, Call Router A and Call Router B are redundant instances of the Call Router module (process) running on two different servers. This redundant configuration is also referred to as duplex mode. The Call Routers run in synchronized execution across the two servers, which means both sides of the duplex servers process every call. Other components, such as the Peripheral Gateways, run in hot-standby mode, meaning that only one of the Peripheral Gateways is actually active at any given time.

In addition to the redundancy of the Unified Contact Center components themselves, their integration with Unified CM can also be redundant. For example, each Unified CCX or Unified IP IVR server can connect to a primary CTI Manager and also to a backup CTI Manager in case the primary CTI Manager fails. With Unified CCE, a PG side A would connect to a primary CTI Manager, while the redundant PG side B connects to the secondary CTI Manager, thus providing high availability if one CTI Manager fails.

For more details, refer to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Bandwidth, Latency, and QoS Considerations

This section describes how to provision WAN bandwidth in a multisite contact center deployment, taking into account different types of call control traffic and real-time voice traffic. It is important to understand the latency and QoS parameters because adequate bandwidth provisioning and implementation of QoS are critical components in the success of contact center deployments.

Bandwidth Provisioning

Contact center solutions require sufficient WAN bandwidth to accommodate the following main types of traffic:

Voice traffic between the ingress gateway and the IVR system. With Unified IP IVR, if the Unified IP IVR servers are in a central location and PSTN gateways are in remote locations, there will be voice traffic over the WAN. With Unified CVP, it is possible to queue the call at the edge and therefore keep the voice traffic local to the remote site to avoid voice traffic across a WAN link.

Voice traffic between the ingress gateway and the agent.

Voice signaling traffic. This is typically for the signaling traffic between the ingress gateway and Unified CM, and between the agent phone and Unified CM.

VXML Gateway traffic if Unified CVP is deployed. The traffic includes media file retrieval from the media server and VXML documents exchanged with the VXML server.

Data traffic between the agent or supervisor desktop and the Unified Contact Center server (CAD or CTI-OS traffic).

Reporting traffic between the reporting user and the Unified Contact Center Reporting server.

Traffic between Unified Contact Center servers if they are remote from each other. For example, this type of traffic occurs with clustering over the IP WAN or with multisite and distributed call processing with PGs remote from the Unified CCE Central Controller.

Additional Intra-Cluster Communication Signaling (ICCS) traffic between the Unified CM subscribers due to the large amount of redirect and transfer traffic and additional CTI traffic.

Voice traffic due to recording and silent monitoring. Depending on the solution, one or two RTP streams could be sent in order to silently monitor or record the conversation with an agent.

Bandwidth calculations and guidelines are provided in the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Latency

Agents and supervisors can be located remotely from the call processing server and contact center server. Technically, the delay between the CTI OS server and CTI OS client, as well as between the CAD server and CAD or CSD desktop, could be very high because of high time-out values. Long latency will affect the user experience and might cause confusion or become unacceptable from the user perspective. For example, the phone could start ringing but the desktop might not be updated until later.

Latency requirements between the contact center components and the call processing servers, and between the contact center components themselves, depend on the contact center solutions. For example, the Unified CCX redundant servers can be located remotely from each other, with a maximum latency of 80 ms RTT. With Unified CCE, the maximum latency between the Unified CCE servers and Unified CM, or between the Unified CCE servers themselves, is higher than 80 ms RTT.

For more details, refer to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

QoS

Similar to deployments with other Unified Communications components, contact center deployments require the configuration of Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize time-sensitive or critical traffic. QoS marking for voice and voice signaling in a contact center environment is the same as with other Unified Communications deployments. Traffic specific to the contact center must be marked with specific QoS markings. For example, some of the traffic for the Unified CCE private network must be marked as AF31, while other traffic must be marked as AF11. The QoS marking recommendations and QoS design guidance are documented for each Unified Contact Center solution in their respective Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Call Admission Control

Similar to deployments with other Unified Communications components, contact center deployments require careful provisioning of call admission control. The same mechanisms described in the chapter on Call Admission Control, also apply to contact center environments.

Voice traffic associated with silent monitoring and recording might not be accounted for in the call admission control calculation. For example, voice traffic from silent monitoring and recording by Unified CM (voice traffic forked at the phone) is properly accounted for, but voice traffic from desktop-based silent monitoring (desktop connected to the back of the agent IP phone) is not counted in call admission control calculations.

Call admission control for Mobile Agent and Unified CVP involves special considerations. For more details, refer to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Integration with Unified CM

Observe the following design considerations apply when integrating Cisco Unified Contact Center components with Unified CM:

For administration and upgrade purposes, Cisco recommends separate Unified CM clusters for contact center and non-contact center deployments. If separate clusters are not possible, then Cisco recommends separate Unified CM subscriber servers for contact center and non-contact center applications. For more details, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

With contact center deployments, Cisco recommends that you do not use a 2:1 redundancy scheme for the Unified CM servers. Use 1:1 redundancy to provide higher resiliency and faster upgrades. For more details, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

The integration between Unified CM and Unified CCX, Unified IP IVR, or Unified CCE is done through JTAPI. The Unified CCX server connects to a primary CTI Manager. It also has a backup connection to a secondary CTI Manager. With Unified CCE, the Agent PG connects to only one CTI Manager. The redundant Agent PG connects to the backup CTI Manager only. If the primary CTI Manager fails, the primary Agent PG will also fail and trigger the failover.

There are several ways to deploy CTI Manager with the Unified CCE PG. For example, in a Unified CCE deployment that requires four Unified CM subscriber pairs, four Agent PGs could be deployed and each Agent PG could be connected to a separate Unified CM subscriber pair that is also running the CTI Manager Service. Alternatively, a single PG could connect to only one of the Unified CM subscriber pairs that is running the CTI Manager Service, and through this Unified CM pair, the PG would be able to control/monitor agent phones on all four Unified CM subscriber pairs. This configuration is common in centralized deployments and is illustrated in Figure 26-6. For more details, refer to the Unified CCE SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

It is possible to integrate multiple Unified CCX deployments with a single Unified CM cluster. For more details, refer to the Unified CCX SRND, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Figure 26-6 Deployment with One Agent PG and Four Unified CM Subscriber Pairs

Other Design Considerations for Contact Centers

The following additional design considerations apply in the situations indicated:

Because Unified CVP allows queuing at the edge, deploying Unified CVP instead of Unified IP IVR could lower the bandwidth requirements for multisite deployments.

Most of the Cisco Unified Contact Center products and components can be installed in a virtualized environment based on VMware. For details, consult the respective Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Media termination point (MTP) resources might be required in some scenarios. For example, with Mobile Agents, MTPs are required for the associated CTI ports when RFC 2833 is negotiated. MTPs are also required in some scenarios with Unified CVP. For details, consult the respective Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Some third-party contact center products are also supported with Unified CM. The integration with Unified CM could be based on JTAPI and could use CTI ports for call treatment and queuing and CTI route points. To size Unified CM correctly, it is important to have a good understanding of the call flows and their impact on Unified CM. It is also important to understand how the redundancy is implemented and whether or not it impacts Unified CM or CTI scalability.

Capacity Planning for Contact Centers

All deployments must be sized with the Cisco Unified Communications Sizing Tool (Unified CST). This tool performs sizing of the contact center products such as Unified CCE, Unified IP IVR, Unified CVP, and Unified CCX. It determines the contact center resources required for your deployment, such as number of agents, number of IVR ports, and number of gateway ports. In addition to performing sizing for the contact center components themselves, the tool also sizes the rest of the Unified Communications solution, including Unified CM and voice gateways. This tool is available to Cisco employees and partners only (with proper login authentication) at http://tools.cisco.com/cucst.

In general, sizing of the contact center depends heavily on the busy hour call attempts (BHCA) for calls coming into the contact center. It also depends on other parameters such as the Service Level Goal and Target Answer Time. For example, a deployment where 90% of the calls must be answered within 30 seconds will require more contact center resources than a deployment where 80% of the calls must be answered within 2 minutes. Another parameter that impacts the sizing is whether CAD or CTI OS is used, which could result in different Agent PG scalability. Use the Unified CST for sizing, and consult the respective Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd, for more details.

The contact center design also impacts Unified CM sizing. The following considerations apply to sizing Unified CM when it is deployed in contact center solutions:

The maximum number of Unified CCE agents in a single Unified CM cluster depends on the IVR solution. With Unified IP IVR, CTI route points and CTI ports are used during the call treatment queuing, which consume Unified CM resources. With Unified CVP, the call treatment and queuing are typically handled by the VXML Gateway, Unified CVP VXML server, and Unified CVP call server, with no impact on Unified CM. Therefore, a single Unified CM cluster can support more agents with Unified CVP than with Unified IP IVR.

The Unified CCE Mobile Agent feature relies on CTI ports and therefore needs additional resources from Unified CM subscribers. Therefore, Unified CM scalability is reduced when Mobile Agents are deployed.

With Unified CCE deployments, two types of outbound dialers are available. With the SCCP dialer, the dialer ports are registered to Unified CM, and each outbound call involves Unified CM even if the outbound call does not reach a live customer. With the SIP dialer, each outbound call is placed directly from the SIP dialer port to the egress voice gateway. With the SIP dialer, the call reaches Unified CM only when the call is transferred to an agent. Therefore, Unified CM capacity is much higher when the SIP dialer is used.

When sizing Unified CM, it is also important to account for any additional CTI applications. For example, some PC clients can control a phone remotely through CTI. Some call recording applications can also integrate directly with Unified CM through the CTI Manager and can monitor agent phones, which could require additional resources from Unified CM. For more details, refer to Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), and to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Some silent monitoring and recording solutions (such as the silent monitoring and recording feature based on Unified CM) consume resources from Unified CM, whereas other solutions such as SPAN or desktop silent monitoring and recording do not.

Again, due to the complexity associated with sizing, all deployments must be sized with the Cisco Unified Communications Sizing Tool, available to Cisco employees and partners only (with proper login authentication) at http://tools.cisco.com/cucst

For more details, refer to the Cisco Unified Contact Center SRNDs, available at http://www.cisco.com/go/ucsrnd.

Network Management Tools

Unified CCE is managed with the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Unified CCE devices have a built-in SNMP agent infrastructure that supports SNMP v1, v2c, and v3, and it exposes instrumentation defined by the CISCO-CONTACT-CENTER-APPS-MIB. This MIB provides configuration, discovery, and health instrumentation that can be monitored by standard SNMP management stations. Moreover, Unified CCE provides a rich set of SNMP notifications that alert administrators of any faults in the system. Unified CCE also provides a standard syslog event feed (conforming to RFC 3164) for those administrators who want to take advantage of a more verbose set of events.

For more information about configuring the Unified CCE SNMP agent infrastructure and the syslog feed, refer to the SNMP Guide for Cisco ICM/IPCC Enterprise & Hosted Editions, available at

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps1001/products_installation_and_configuration_guides_list.html

Unified CVP health monitoring can be performed by using any SNMP standard monitoring tool to get a detailed visual and tabular representation of the health of the solution network. All Unified CVP product components and most Unified CVP solution components also issue SNMP traps and statistics that can be delivered to any standard SNMP management station or monitoring tool.

Unified CCX can also be managed with SNMP and a syslog interface.