Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solutions (Cisco HCS) for Contact Center is a next generation unified communication and collaboration platform for service providers and partners who want to offer unique Cisco collaboration technologies using hosted and managed models. A service provider can offer swift deployment of Unified Communications Manager applications with considerable value to the end customer, taking advantage of shared management/aggregation infrastructure, economies of scale, and simplified deployment.
The following figure shows the high-level solution topology for Cisco HCS for Contact Center 9.0.
Figure 1. Cisco HCS for Contact Center
Cisco HCS for Contact Center service delivers Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE) on a single pair of duplexed Unified Computing System (UCS) B230-M2 blades, referred to as Side A and Side B. Cisco HCS for Contact Center offers the same shared management (service fulfillment and assurance) and aggregation (carrier trunks) that is common for all customer instances and used for other Cisco HCS services.
Cisco HCS for Contact Center is deployed in a virtualized environment, using OVA templates that are downloaded from Cisco Systems.
For an illustration of remote office options see Figure 1.
The Contact Center aggregation layer and the shared management layer combines Cisco HCS components with the multiple network connections and route requests to the dedicated customer instances. Shared aggregation consists of PGW and Cisco UBE-SP and shared management consists of UCDM, CCDM, CUOM/SM, DCNM, UCS Manager, vCenter, and ASA (Firewall/NAT).
Figure 2. Cisco HCS for Contact Center Topology
Cisco HCS for Contact Center Options and Feature Support
HCS for Contact Center is a virtual deployment that is physically deployed as a:
Single pair of blades for up to 1000 agent deployment, or
Single pair of blades for two customer instances of up to 500 agent deployment.
Cisco Unified Contact Center Domain Manager (Unified CCDM) is a browser-based management application that is designed for use by Contact Center/system administrators, business users, and supervisors. It is a dense, multi-tenanted provisioning platform that overlays the Contact Center equipment. The Contact Center equipment consists of configuration items, generally known as resources, such as agents or skill groups, and events that are logged when the resources are used by the equipment, such as call record statistics.
Unified CCDM partitions the resources in the equipment using a familiar folder paradigm. These folders are then secured using a sophisticated security structure that allows administrators to specify which users can perform which actions within the specified folders. Unified CCDM supplies a number of tools that operate on the configuration and statistics data and allow users to modify both the Contact Center and Unified CCDM itself. The tools are all inherently multi-tenanted and the following tools are currently supported:
Information Notices tool provides a Message of the Day"functionality
Service Manager tool enables the dynamic modification of agent teams and skill groups
System Manager tool enables users to create and modify resources such as agents or call types and organize them into a hierarchical folder structure
Security Manager tool enables administrators to set up and manage security permissions
Unified CCDM focuses on supplying multi-tenancy functionality, playing to the business plans of hosts and large enterprises by enabling distributed or disparate Contact Center equipment to be partitioned:
Unified CCDM abstracts and virtualizes the underlying Contact Center equipment, thereby allowing centralized deployment and decentralized control, which in turn gives economies of scale while supporting multi-level user command and control.
Unified CCDM allows the powerful and flexible native provisioning operations to be abstracted into simple, high-level tasks that enable business users to rapidly add and maintain Contact Center services across the virtualized enterprise (or portion thereof).
Unified CCDM users can see only the resources in the platform that they are entitled to see, thereby giving true multi-tenancy.
Unified CCDM users can only manipulate resources visible to them, by using the tools and features they are authorized to use, thereby giving role-based task control.
Unified CCDM maintains a complete data model of the Contact Center equipment to which it is connected. This data model is periodically synchronized with the equipment. In addition to the configuration information such as agent and skill groups, Unified CCDM records the events logged by the equipment, such as call records, for management information and reporting.
Unified CCDM provisions multiple Contact Center customer instances. It also provides the northbound REST and SOAP interfaces for multiple instances from a shared Unified CCDM.
Install the Unified CCDM servers on a Service Provider Management AD domain and create a trust relationship with the Unified CCDM domain and each customer instance domain.
Unified Communications Domain Manager is a multi-tenant application, so you can use the Unified Communications Domain Manager server to provision all HCS customers. HCS supports only one Unified Communications Domain Manager instance per HCS installation.
Figure 5. Unified Communications Domain Manager
ASA NAT and Firewall
Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Firewall partitions a single security appliance into multiple virtual devices known as security contexts. Each context is an independent device, with its own security policy, interfaces, and administrators. Multiple contexts are similar to having multiple standalone devices. Each context keeps customer traffic separate and secure, and also makes configuration easier. All customer traffic is first sent to the firewall before forwarding to the computer resources.
Core Solution Components
This section describes the following core solution components:
Cisco Unified Border Element Enterprise provides the feature set to support the transition to SIP trunking. Cisco session border controller (SBC), the Cisco Unified Border Element, provides these important services between the enterprise and service provider networks:
Interworking: The capability to interconnect different signaling methods and variants.
Demarcation: The capability to act as a distinct demarcation point between two networks.
Security: The capability to intelligently allow or disallow real-time traffic between networks.
Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE) is the software application that provides the contact center features, including agent state management, agent selection, call routing and queue control, IVR control, CTI Desktop screen pops, and contact center reporting. The Unified CCE runs on Cisco Unified Communications on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco Unified Communications on Cisco UCS) virtualized servers or exact equivalents unless otherwise specified. It relies on the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system software and the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management system.
Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (Unified CVP) is a software application that runs on industry-standard servers such as Cisco Unified Communications on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco Unified Communications on Cisco UCS) virtualized servers. It provides prompting, collecting, queuing, and call control services using standard web-based technologies. The Unified CVP architecture is distributed, fault tolerant, and highly scalable. With the Unified CVP system, voice is terminated on Cisco IOS Firewall (IOS Firewall) gateways that interact with the Unified CVP application server using VoiceXML (speech) or SIP (call control). The Unified CVP Server includes Call, VXML, and Media Server.
Unified CM, the call-processing component of the Cisco Unified Communications System, extends enterprise telephony features and capabilities to IP phones, media processing devices, voice-over-IP (VoIP) gateways, mobile devices, and multimedia applications.
Unified Intelligence Center
Cisco Unified Intelligence Center provides real-time and historical reporting on the contact center business, aggregating reporting from the Unified CCE and Unified CVP databases.
Cisco Finesse is the next-generation agent and supervisor desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise, providing benefits across a variety of communities that interact with your customer service organization. It is designed to improve collaboration by enhancing the customer and customer service representative experience.
The Cisco Finesse agent and supervisor desktop for Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise integrates traditional contact center functions into a thin-client desktop. A critical characteristic is that every desktop is 100-percent browser-based and implemented through a Web 2.0 interface. No client-side installations are required. This reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Cisco Finesse also provides a Web 2.0 software development kit (SDK) and gadgets to enable developers to quickly get started with implementing in your environment.
Core Component Integrated Options
This section describes the following core component integrated options:
Courtesy Callback limits the time a caller waits on the phone for an agent to answer. Instead of listening to queue music, callers have the option to have their calls returned when an agent becomes available.
Each call has a calculated Estimated Wait Time (EWT). When a callers' EWT approaches zero, the script initiates a call back to the caller. Upon retrieving the caller on the phone again, the caller is placed back into the queue in the order in which they first entered. Therefore, their call is transferred to an agent. For more information about Courtesy Callback, see Courtesy Callback Configuration.
You can play a configurable, automated agent greeting to callers, standardizing the caller experience. The greeting helps keep the agent voices fresh because they do not have to repeat the same greeting on every call. The Agent Greeting feature lets you record a message that plays automatically to callers when they connect to you. The greeting message can welcome the caller, identify the agent, and include other useful contextual information. With Agent Greeting, each caller receives a clear, well-paced, and language-appropriate introduction.
The process of recording a greeting is similar to recording a message for your voice mail. Depending on how your call center is set up, you can record different greetings that play for different types of callers (for example, an English greeting for English speakers or an Italian greeting for Italian speakers).
By default, greeting play is enabled when you log in to your agent desktop, but you can turn it off and on as necessary.
Agent Greeting is available to agents and supervisors who use IP Phones with Built-in-Bridge (BiB) that are controlled by the Unified CCE and Unified CM. These agents are typically located within a contact center. This feature is subject to certain functional limitations. For more information about the Agent Greeting phone requirements and limitations, see Agent Greeting Design Considerations.
To deploy the Agent Greeting feature, you must configure Unified CVP, Unified CCE, and Unifed CCM. For more information about these configurations, see Agent Greeting configuration.
VXML gateway IVR leg dial-peer must not use the voice-class codec, it should use either the codec G.711u-law or the codec G.711a-law.
Customers can play a configurable announcement to an agent right before the caller is connected, providing information about the type of call being delivered (for example, sales or tech support) and other guidance. Agents get information about the caller through their headset, speeding problem handling and improving first-call resolution.
Whisper Announcement plays a brief, prerecorded message to an agent just before the agent connects with each caller. The content of the announcement can contain information about the caller that helps prepare the agent to handle the call. You can enable Whisper Announcement and specify the announcements to play in your Unified CCE call routing scripts. For more information about these scripts, see Configure Whisper Announcement.
Database Lookup Integration provides the option to integrate with an external database and to create, or update, or retrieve the operations on a database table. For more information, see Configure Database Integration.
The HCS for Contact Center has two options for local trunks at the customer premise:
Cisco Unified Border Element—Enterprise at the customer premise
TDM gateway at the customer premise
Transcoding resources are not deterministically picked from the local customer premise gateway.
Unified Mobile Agent enables an agent using any PSTN phone and a broadband VPN connection (for agent desktop communications) to function just like a Unified CCE agent sitting in a formal call center and using a Cisco IP Phone monitored and controlled by Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Unified CM) JTAPI.
The Cisco Outbound Option application provides outbound dialing functionality along with the existing inbound capabilities of the Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise. This application enables the contact center to dial customer contacts and direct contacted customers to agents or IVRs. With Cisco Outbound Option, you can configure a contact center for automated outbound activities.
HCS for Contact Center Release 9.0 only supports SIP dialer. This release does not support SCCP dialer.
Post Call Survey
A Post Call Survey takes place after normal call treatment typically to determine whether a customer was satisfied with their call center experience. This feature enables you to configure a call flow that, after the agent disconnects from the caller, optionally sends the call to a Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) configured for a Post Call Survey.
The caller can be prompted during IVR treatment as to whether they want to participate in a Post Call Survey. If they choose to do so, they are automatically transferred to the Post Call Survey after the normal call flow completes, for example, after the agent ends the conversation.
Administration & Data Servers have several roles: Administration, Real-Time Data Server, Historical Data Server, and Detail Data Server. The AW/HDS DDS Server is a combination of Administration Server, Real-Time and Historical Data Server, and Detail Data Server all in one.
You can silently monitor the mobile agents through CTI OS based silent monitoring. To do this, you must deploy a standalone silent monitor server. This silent monitor server gains access to mobile agent voice traffic through a SPAN port that you must configure to send all traffic to and from the agent gateway to the silent monitor server. The silent monitor server then filters and forwards voice traffic for the selected agent to the supervisor's silent monitor server.
Optional Third-Party Components
This section describes the following optional third-party components:
Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) allows callers to speak words or phrases to choose menu options. For example, after a caller dials, an Automated Attendant receives a welcome message, and is asked for the name of the caller, the caller can say a name and then be connected to that person.
Text-to-Speech (TTS) converts plain text (UNICODE) into speech. For example, VXML gateways either retrieves and plays back the pre-recorded audio files referenced in the VXML document or it streams media from text-to-speech (TTS) server.
The Recording option provides network-based, recording, playback, live streaming, and storage of media for compliance, quality management, and agent coaching including audio and video, with rich recording metadata. The platform provides an efficient, cost-effective foundation for capturing, preserving, and mining conversations for business intelligence.
Wallboard provides the user with the ability to monitor, in real time, the service being provided to customers and display information on customer service metrics such as number of calls waiting, waiting call length, and Service levels.
Workforce Management (WFM) is a browser application that can be accessed by any user (agent, supervisor, scheduler, and administrator) who has the Internet Explorer browser. WFM does not use a thick client (which would require installation programs) and therefore, is ideally suited to a highly-distributed workforce environment.
WFM allows the scheduling of multiple Contact Service Queue (CSQs) and sites. A single WFM implementation may be used worldwide. It also allows the managing of key performance indicators and real-time adherence to schedules.
This section describes the following two deployment models: