Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise Design Guide, Release 10.0(1)
Cisco Agent Desktop
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Cisco Agent Desktop

Contents

Cisco Agent Desktop

CAD Base Services

Cisco Agent Desktop (CAD) is a software suite that provides a feature-rich packaged solution. CAD consists of user applications and the CAD base services, which can run coresident on the Peripheral Gateway (PG) within a Unified CCE deployment and are required for CAD deployments only. The CAD base services provide redundancy and warm standby capabilities.

CAD Base Services

  • Cisco Chat Service: Supports message passing and the text chat feature.

  • Cisco Enterprise Service: Communicates with the Unified CCE components to provide call data to the user applications.

  • Cisco Browser and IP Phone Agent Service: Provides services for IPPA agent applications.

  • Cisco Synchronization Service: Synchronizes the Unified CCE and CAD-specific configuration data.

  • Cisco LDAP Monitor Service: Manages the storage and retrieval of CAD configuration data.

  • Cisco Recording and Statistics Service: Manages the storage and retrieval of call recording, agent call, and agent state change data used in reports.

  • Cisco Licensing and Resource Manager Service: Manages user licenses and controls fail-over behavior.

  • Cisco Recording and Playback Service: Provides the call recording and playback feature.

  • Cisco VoIP Monitor Service: Provides the voice streams for the call recording and Silent Monitoring features if server-based monitoring is used.

For more information about CAD, see the product documentation.

Cisco Agent Desktop Solution

The Cisco Agent Desktop (CAD) solution is a suite of packaged desktop applications and services. CAD offers a rich set of features for the contact center environment, including:
  • Agent state and call control

    Agent Desktop provides call control capabilities (call answer, hold, conference, and transfer) and ACD state control (ready/not ready, wrap up and so forth).

  • Work Flow Automation

    The Work Flow Automation feature allows an administrator to customize the agent environment and how the user applications interact with that environment. Work Flow Automation enables data processing actions to be scheduled based on telephony events (for example, popping data into a third-party application on the answer event and sending email on the dropped event). Work Flow Automation interfaces with applications written for Microsoft Windows browsers and terminal emulators. Some customizations can be as simple as using keystroke macros for screen pops.

  • On-demand Recording

    The supervisor (and, if enabled, the agent) can record a customer phone call for later review by a supervisor.

  • Cisco IP Phone Agent service

    With this XML service, agents using Cisco IP phones can log in and use their phone to perform most of the agent functions found in an agent desktop application.

  • Collaboration

    Supervisors can text-chat directly with agents or agent teams. Agents can text-chat with supervisors or other team members (if enabled). The supervisor can push web pages to agents and send team messages to agent desktops. This interactive collaboration enables the contact center to communicate better, increase productivity, improve customer responsiveness, and coach or train agents.

  • Task Automation

    Routine agent tasks, such as email, conferences to knowledge workers, launching other applications, and high-priority chat, can be configured as task buttons on the agent’s toolbar to reduce call duration and improve customer responsiveness.

  • Silent Monitoring

    Supervisors can initiate a Silent Monitoring session with an agent on their team.

CAD User Applications

CAD user applications are for contact center agents, supervisors, and administrators and include the following:
  • Cisco Agent Desktop: Windows-based agent application
  • Cisco IP Phone Agent (IPPA): IP phone service agent application
  • Cisco Supervisor Desktop (CSD): Windows-based supervisor application
  • Cisco Desktop Administrator (CDA): Web-based administrative application
  • Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator: Windows-based work flow configuration tool
Figure 1. Cisco Agent Desktop System Configuration and Components

CAD Application Features

The following table compares some of the more important CAD features to assist users in selecting the appropriate agent application for their deployment.

Table 1 Comparison of Major CAD Features

Feature

CAD

CAD-BE

IPPA

Call Control

Yes

Yes

n/a**

VPN/Mobile Agent Support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Chat / Unified Presence Integration

Yes

No

No

Supports Cisco IP Communicator

Yes

Yes

No

Team Messages

Yes

No

No

Supports Mobile Agent

Yes

Yes

n/a

Real-time Queue and Agent Displays

Yes

No

Yes

Supports Cisco Outbound Dialer

Yes

No

No

Integrated Browser

Yes

Yes

n/a

Call event Work Flow Automation

Yes

Yes (limited)

No

Agent state Work Flow Automation

Yes

No

No

Supports thin client environment

Yes

No

n/a

Desktop Monitoring and Recording*

Yes

No

No

SPAN Monitoring and Recording*

Yes

Yes

Yes

Unified CM Monitoring and Recording*

Yes

Yes

Yes

*For more detailed information about supported monitoring and recording, refer to Configuring and Troubleshooting VoIP Monitoring.

**Call control actions are performed by using the IP phone call control softkeys.

For more information about CAD agent applications, see the appropriate user guide.

Cisco Agent Desktop

Cisco Agent Desktop is a Windows application that runs on the agent PC. It works with either a hardware IP phone or the Cisco IP Communicator soft phone. Agent Desktop interfaces with the CTI OS service for call control and agent state change events; for all other features, it communicates with the CAD services.

Agent Desktop supports Desktop, SPAN, and Unified CM Monitoring and Recording.

The figure below illustrates various ways agent desktops can be configured in a contact center.

Figure 2. CAD Agents and Components

  • Agent A shows an agent who uses a hardware IP phone. The IP phone connects directly to the agent’s PC through a network cable. This is the configuration required for desktop monitoring. CAD supports a VPN connection between the agent PC and the contact center network.
  • Agent B shows an agent who uses Cisco IP Communicator. This configuration also supports a VPN connection to the contact center network. This is the most common configuration for mobile agents.
  • Agent C shows Agent Desktop used with the Mobile Agent feature. Mobile agents are agents whose phones are not directly controlled by Unified CM. Agents might use their home phones or cell phones as their agent device. In this case, the agent provides a CTI port to associate with their remote phone when logging in. ACD calls for the logged-in agent are sent to the CTI port, which causes the call to appear at the mobile agent’s phone device. There is a logical relationship (the dashed line) between the agent and the mobile phone. CAD supports a VPN connection between the agent and the contact center network in this configuration. Mobile agents can be monitored and recorded using SPAN monitoring.

For more information about Cisco Agent Desktop features and capabilities, see the Cisco Agent Desktop User Guide.

Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent

Cisco IP Phone Agent (IPPA) runs as an IP phone XML service. The agent is not required to have a PC. IPPA includes all the basic features required by a contact center agent, as well as advanced features such as reason codes, wrap-up data, and On-demand Recording.

IPPA agents can be monitored and recorded using server monitoring, and monitored using Unified CM monitoring.

For more information about IPPA features and capabilities, see the Cisco IP Phone Agent User Guide.

The following figure illustrates the components used by IP Phone agents.

Figure 3. Cisco IP Phone Agent Components

Cisco Supervisor Desktop

Cisco Supervisor Desktop provides a graphical view of the agent teams managed by the supervisor. An expandable navigation tree, similar to that in Windows Explorer, is used to navigate to and manage team resources.

Supervisors are able to view real-time information about the agents in a team as well as interact with those agents. The supervisor can:
  • View and change an agent’s state
  • View contact information specific to the agent
  • Silently monitor and/or record the agent’s calls
  • Barge-in or intercept an agent’s call
  • Chat with the agent using an instant message window
  • Push a web page to the agent’s desktop

When Supervisor Desktop is installed, an instance of Agent Desktop is installed as well. Agent Desktop is needed by the supervisor to take calls, barge in, intercept, and retrieve skill group statistics.

The Supervisor Work Flow module enables configurable actions to be triggered when specific events occur in the contact center. For example, a supervisor work flow can be set up so that whenever more than ten calls are in queue for a specified skill group, an audible alert sounds and the skill group name is highlighted in red on the supervisor’s desktop. Another work flow sends an email to specified email addresses when certain events occur. The email contains information related to the condition that caused the event, as well as custom text.

Supervisors can use the Supervisor Record Viewer to review recordings and mark selected recordings for extended retention. The supervisor can also save recordings for permanent retention in a format that can be played by any media player.

For more information about Supervisor Desktop features and capabilities, see the Cisco Supervisor Desktop User Guide.

Cisco Desktop Administrator

Cisco Desktop Administrator enables an administrator to configure the CAD services and CAD client applications. Individual work flow groups containing agents and supervisors can be configured separately to provide specific functionality to particular groups of agents.

Desktop Administrator consists of two components:
  • Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator, a Windows-based application
  • Cisco Desktop Administrator, a web-based application
Cisco Desktop Work Flow Administrator is used to configure the following:
  • Dial strings
  • Phone books
  • Reason codes
  • Wrap-up data
  • Record/monitor notification
  • Work flow groups

Dial strings, phone books, reason codes, and wrap-up data can be configured on the global and work flow group level.

Work flows and user interfaces can be configured for specific agent types.

Cisco Desktop Administrator is used to configure the following:
  • Enterprise data fields and layouts
  • Silent Monitoring and recording
  • Personnel and assigning users to work flow groups
  • Cisco Unified Presence settings

For more information about Cisco Desktop Administrator features and capabilities, see the Cisco Desktop Administrator User Guide.

Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console

The Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console is a Java application that monitors the status of the CAD services. It provides a convenient interface for an administrator to use to get real-time information about the CAD system.

CAD Silent Monitoring and Recording

This section describes Cisco Agent Desktop (CAD) Silent Monitoring.


Note


CAD recording is not suitable for use as a compliance recording solution. This functionality is best for on-demand recording or recording on a filtered list of calls only.


CAD-Based Monitoring

CAD-based monitoring consists of three types of monitoring:
  • Desktop Monitoring
  • Server Monitoring
  • Mobile Agent Monitoring

Desktop Monitoring

Desktop Monitoring uses software running on the agent’s desktop (Cisco Agent Desktop) to sniff the network traffic going to and from the agent’s phone (hardware phone or software phone) for RTP packets. The monitoring software then sends the RTP packets to the appropriate software over the network for decoding. Desktop Monitoring relies on the ability for certain Cisco IP Phones to be daisy-chained with the agent’s PC by using a network connection and for the phones to send all its network traffic along this connection to the software running on the PC. In this case, the packet-sniffing software can see the voice traffic flowing to and from the agent’s phone. It will copy this traffic and send it to the supervisor that is monitoring the agent or to a recording service for the call to be stored and to be listened to at some later time. Desktop Monitoring is not a true service, at least from the perspective of the Service Control Manager. It is a Dynamic-Link Library (DLL), an executable module that is part of Cisco Agent Desktop.

Server Monitoring

Server monitoring uses one or more Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Services to sniff the network running over a Cisco Catalyst switch for voice streams. The Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Service looks for particular streams to and from phones being monitored or recorded. It then sends the voice packets to the supervisor desktop that is performing the monitoring or to a recording service for storage.

The Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Service uses the Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) or Remote SPAN (RSPAN) monitoring feature of certain Cisco Catalyst switches to sniff the network. The switch uses the monitoring feature to copy the network traffic from one or more sources to a destination port. Sources can be ports and/or Virtual LANs (VLANs). RSPAN allows the source ports to reside on remote switches. The Cisco VoIP Monitor Service connects to the switch by using the destination port. This allows the Cisco VoIP Monitor Service to see the voice traffic going to and coming from IP phones.

Mobile Agent Monitoring

Cisco Agent Desktop has the ability to monitor and record mobile agents' RTP sessions by deploying a Cisco VoIP Monitor Service that can see traffic coming from Agent Voice Gateways (this also uses the SPAN feature).

For more information, see the Cisco Agent Desktop product documentation available on cisco.com.

Fault Tolerance for CAD-Based Monitoring and Recording

Desktop Monitoring

Desktop Monitoring is fault tolerant by design. If an agent’s desktop fails, only that agent is unavailable for monitoring and recording.

Server Monitoring and Mobile Agent Monitoring

Server monitoring and mobile agent monitoring are not fault tolerant. If a Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Service fails, all agent phones and mobile agent Voice Gateways associated with that service is unavailable for monitoring and recording. No backup service can be specified. Monitoring and recording will continue to be available for devices associated with other Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Services.

Recording

Recording is fault tolerant. If a recording service fails in a high-availability deployment, the other recording service will assume all recording responsibilities.

Recording Playback

Playback of recordings is not fault tolerant. Recordings are tied to the recording service that captured the recording. If a recording service fails, all recordings associated with that service is unavailable until it is restored.

Load Balancing for CAD-Based Monitoring and Recording

Desktop Monitoring

Desktop Monitoring is load-balanced by design. Monitoring load is distributed between the agent desktops.

Server Monitoring and Mobile Agent Monitoring

Load balancing can be achieved when configuring SPAN ports for, and associating devices with, the Cisco Desktop VoIP Monitor Services. To achieve load balancing, have each VoIP Monitor Service monitor an equal number of agent phones.

Recording

Recording services are selected in round-robin fashion at runtime by the desktops. However, no attempt is made to ensure that the load is balanced between the recording services.

Cisco Agent Desktop Presence Integration

Cisco Agent Desktop agents and supervisors have long been able to communicate with each other by using the chat services built into the desktop applications. Now, for customers who have deployed Cisco Unified Presence in their environments, agents and supervisors can use these same desktop applications to see the presence status of subject matter experts (SMEs) as well as other critical members of the enterprise and to initiate chat sessions with them. The subject matter experts use the familiar Cisco Unified Personal Communicator to initiate chat sessions with agents who are configured as Unified Presence users and to respond to chat requests from them. Subject matter experts can also use Microsoft Office Communicator if Cisco Unified Presence is configured to support federated users.

For example, suppose that a customer calls a Cisco Unified Contact Center that has integrated Cisco Unified Presence with CAD. The customer's call is routed to an available agent. If the agent requires assistance in addressing the caller's needs, the agent can launch the contact selection window from the Agent Desktop toolbar. The contact selection window will display the presence status of other agents, supervisors, and subject matter experts who are assigned to the agent’s work flow group. The agent can then select a contact that is available and can initiate a chat session with the contact. If appropriate, the agent can also use the contact selection window to conference a contact into the call, or even transfer the customer's call to the contact.

The following figure and description explain how various components of CAD and Cisco Unified Presence interface with each other.

Figure 4. Interface Between CAD and Cisco Unified Presence

The figure above depicts the following sequence of events:
  1. Cisco Desktop Administrator binds to the LDAP server for SME searches and information (name, telephone number, and so forth).
  2. The Administrator places SMEs in logical groups called contact lists and then assigns them to specific work flow groups. In this way, administrators can segment contact lists and ensure that only those agents assigned to a specific work flow group have visibility to the appropriate contact list. This configuration is saved in the CAD LDAP directory so that each agent/supervisor does not have to access the Cisco Unified Presence LDAP server, which might have limitations on the number of connections and other parameters. Administrators can also control whether SMEs can see the agent’s presence state.
  3. CAD retrieves the contact list associated with the agent’s workflow group.
  4. CAD sends a SIP REGISTER message to register with Cisco Unified Presence, followed by individual SIP SUBSCRIBE messages for each user in its contact list. CAD also sends a SIP SUBSCRIBE message for "user-contacts" for contacts configured on Cisco Unified Presence. A SIP NOTIFY message is received whenever a contact in the contact list changes state. CAD does not allow agents to change their presence states; it only sends a single SIP PUBLISH message to Cisco Unified Presence when the agent logs in.

Call control is done via the existing CAD main window call controls using CTI.

All SIP traffic and presence information sent between CAD and Cisco Unified Presence is not encrypted and is done by using TCP or UDP.

Cisco Unified Presence can evenly assign the users registered with it across all nodes within the Cisco Unified Presence cluster. If a user attempts to connect to a node that is not assigned to him, CAD will connect to the Cisco Unified Presence server specified in redirect messages from the publisher.

Design Considerations

All communication between CAD agents and SMEs is through the Cisco Unified Presence Server and is not routed through any CAD servers. For deployment guidelines, see the Cisco Unified Communications SRND.

Cisco Agent Desktop and NAT

When the CAD desktop is deployed in a network environment where two or more disjointed networks are interconnected using NAT, the CAD Base Services must all be located on the same network. Network Address Translation (NAT) and Port Address Translation (PAT) are not supported between CAD Base Services servers. The CAD and Cisco Supervisor Desktop (CSD) applications support NAT and PAT but only over a VPN connection. Cisco Desktop Administrator (CDA) and Services Management Console (SMC) do not support NAT or PAT and must be installed on the same network as the CAD Base Services.

Firewalls are supported between the CAD services and desktop applications, and are supported between the desktop applications as long as the firewall allows the required type of traffic through and the appropriate ports are open. Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) must be allowed in the firewall for Unified CCE and Unified CM to communicate with CAD. ICMP is also needed for heartbeat time-out detection between CAD, the CTI Server (CTISVR), and Unified CM. The following figure shows the traffic types that are used between the CAD components.

For detailed port information, see the Port Utilization Guide for Cisco ICM/​IPCC Enterprise and Hosted Editions.

Figure 5. Communication Between CAD Components

The figure above shows that IP voice streams are exchanged between the VoIP providers (CAD, the VoIP Monitor service, and the Recording and Playback Service) and the VoIP requestors (CSD and the Recording and Playback Service).

CTI and call control data (agent state, skill information, and call events) flow either from the CTI OS service (in the case of CAD) or from one or more of the CAD Base Services communicating directly with the CTI server (in the case of CSD and IPPA agents).

Note that, in the case of the IP Phone Agent XML service, the CTI information exchanged applies only for agent state changes requested by the agent using the IPPA application and for skill information displayed on the phone. Call control messages are still exchanged between the phone and Unified CM.

HTTP communication is performed between the SMC applet and the SMC servlet running on the CAD Base Services machine. HTTP is also the protocol used by the IPPA service to communicate with the Browser and IP Phone Agent service.

The UDP/TCP traffic shown in the preceding figure represents the socket connections used to exchange messages between servers and clients, which includes the CORBA connections used by most of the clients to request services and information from the servers.

The SMC servlet that runs on the CAD Base Services machine uses SNMP to gather status information about all the CAD services that are part of an installation.

Support for IP Phones and IP Communicator

CAD support the use of Cisco IP hardware phones and the Cisco IP Communicator software phone.

Some CAD agent application features (CAD and IPPA) require specific phone models. Some installations support either hardware phones or software phones but not both. For more information about the exact phone models and IP Communicator versions supported, see the Cisco Agent Desktop documentation.

IP phones and silent monitoring

Silent monitoring of agents supports using either IP hardware phones or Cisco IP Communicator.

IP phones and Mobile Agent

The Mobile Agent feature does not require any specific type of phone. You can even use an analog phone with this feature.

IP Phones and Citrix or MTS

CAD supports both Cisco IP hardware phones and Cisco IP Communicator when using Citrix or MTS . In these environments, you must install Cisco IP Communicator on the agent desktop PC. You cannot deploy Cisco IP Communicator on the Citrix or MTS server.

IP Phone Agent

The IP Phone XML service agent application supports only hardware IP phones because there is no desktop.

Cisco Agent Desktop and Citrix

Cisco Unified CCE supports running Cisco Agent Desktop within a Citrix terminal services environment. When planning to use Citrix terminal services for CAD, take the following considerations into account:
  • Cisco Supervisor Desktop (CSD) and Cisco Desktop Administrator (CDA) are not supported in a Citrix terminal services environment.
  • Desktop Monitoring (for Silent Monitoring and Call Recording) is not supported with Citrix terminal services. SPAN Port Monitoring must be used instead.
  • Macros work only if they involve applications that are running on the Citrix server.
  • Macros do not work if they involve applications that are running on the client PC.
  • Only one Citrix user name is supported per CAD application login.
  • The login ID and extension that appear by default in the login dialog box when CAD is started, are those associated with the last login by any user.
  • The Citrix web client is not supported.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 supports XenApp 5.0, 6.0, and 6.5.
  • For supported Cisco Agent Desktop per Citrix version, see Cisco Agent Desktop

For implementation details, refer to Integrating CAD into a Citrix MetaFrame Presentation Server or Microsoft Terminal Services Environment.

Support for Mix of CAD and CTI OS Agents on the Same PG

Unified CCE deployments can support a mix of CAD and CTI OS agents on the same PG. If a mix is deployed, the sizing limitations of CAD apply. Note that Cisco Supervisor Desktop (CSD) can monitor only CAD agents, and the CTI OS supervisor application can monitor only CTI OS agents.

High Availability for Cisco Agent Desktop

This section looks at planning for high availability in Cisco Agent Desktop deployments.

Cisco Agent Desktop Failover Scenarios

Cisco Agent Desktop client applications are a client of CTI OS, which provides for automatic fail-over and redundancy for the Cisco Agent Desktop CTI connections. If the Unified Communications Manager Peripheral Gateway or CTI Server (CG) fails-over, the Cisco Agent Desktop client application displays a logged out state and automatically returns to a logged in state when an operational connection is established with the alternate Unified Communications Manager Peripheral Gateway or CTI Server (CG).  Consequently, the scenarios outlined in the CTI OS Considerations section apply.

The Cisco Agent Desktop services (Enterprise, Chat, RASCAL, and so forth) can also be deployed redundantly to allow for fail-over of the core Cisco Agent Desktop components. The Cisco Agent Desktop client applications are aware of the redundant Cisco Agent Desktop services and automatically fail-over in the event of a Cisco Agent Desktop service process or hardware failure.

The following services are active on only one side at a time:
  • Cisco Browser and IP Phone Agent Service
  • Cisco Chat Service
  • Cisco Enterprise Service
  • Cisco Licensing and Resource Manager Service
  • Cisco Recording and Statistics Service
  • Cisco Sync Service
The following services are active on both sides at all times and are available to the Cisco Agent Desktop client applications as long as network connectivity is available:
  • Cisco LDAP Monitor Service
  • Cisco Recording & Playback Service
  • Cisco VoIP Monitor Service

Active side Cisco License and Resource Manager service fails

In this scenario, the following events occur:
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side A that are not always active go to an idle state.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side B (idle) activate.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop client applications recover to Side B.

Active side Cisco Agent Desktop service fails twice in 5 minutes

In this scenario, the following events occur:
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side A that are not always active go to an idle state.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side B (idle) activate.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop client applications recover to Side B.

Active side Cisco Agent Desktop service down for 3 minutes

In this scenario, the following events occur:
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side A that are not always active go to an idle state.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side B (idle) activate.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop client applications recover to Side B.

Network failure between active side and idle side Cisco Agent Desktop service

In this scenario, the following events occur:
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side A remain active.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side B (idle) activate.
  • The Cisco Agent Desktop client applications remain connected to Cisco Agent Desktop services on Side A.
  • When network connectivity is restored between Sides A and B, the Cisco Licensing and Resource Manager Service renders inactive the non-preferred side.  Recovery side preference is configurable in Post Install.

Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition and Unified IP Phone Agent

Cisco Agent Desktop Browser Edition and Cisco Unified IP Phone Agent communicate with CTI Server through the Cisco Browser and Unified IP Phone Agent service. When launching the desktop, the agent may use the URL for either side as long as the desired side is accessible. Once launched, desktop automatically connects to the active side. When launching Unified IP Phone Agent, the agent must select the active side from the services menu on the phone. If the idle side is selected, the user receives an error informing them that the side selected is idle and to try the other side.

Idle side Cisco Agent Desktop services become active after failure

In this scenario, the following events occur for a logged-in desktop agent:
  • The desktop applet changes to a logged out state and the user is notified that the connection has been lost.
  • The desktop applet automatically connects to services on Side B and logs-in the agent.
In this scenario, the following events occur for a logged-in Unified IP Phone agent:
  • The phone agent is notified that the connection to the server has been lost.
  • The phone agent manually selects Side B from their services list and logs in again.

Replacement of MSDE with SQL Database Server

As MSDE is no longer supported, at post install time the user has to choose a SQL database. Post install configures their system based on their selection. There is a value stored in LDAP that indicates which implementation is selected. After the initial configuration is completed (the implementation is selected and saved), the user cannot change implementations. For the database implementation, Unified CCE configures the FCRasSvr database, as it does now. Unified CCE continues to provide scripts for setup and teardown of database replication for HA. There are three tables in the database implementation: agent state data, call log data, and recording metadata. The data that is stored in the tables is identical.


Note


Starting release 9.0(3), all customers with new deployments of any version of Cisco Agent Desktop must use SQL Server as the data store, and not flat files. The rationale behind this change is that deployments with a fully replicated SQL Server database experience a more complete feature set, better performance, and stability.


Cisco Agent Desktop Component Sizing

Server capacities for the Cisco Agent Desktop CTI Option vary based on the total number of agents, whether or not Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) Monitoring and Recording is used, and the number of simultaneous recordings.

This section presents sizing guidelines for the Cisco Agent Desktop Server components.

Related Information

Cisco Agent Desktop Operating Conditions

The sizing information presented in this chapter is based on the following operating conditions:
  • Maximum of 30 busy hour call attempts (BHCA) per agent.
  • Five skill groups or precision queues per agent.
  • The total number of agents indicated in the following tables and figures consists of 90% agents and 10% supervisors. For example, if a table or figure indicates 100 agents, the assumption is that there are 90 agents and 10 supervisors.
  • Supervisors do not handle calls.
  • Total number of teams is equal to 10% of total number of agents.
  • Team members consist of 90% agents and 10% supervisors.
  • Call types consist of 85% straight calls, 10% consultative transfers, and 5% consultative conferences.
  • The default refresh rate for skill group updates is 10 seconds.
  • The default number of skill group statistics columns configured at the CTI OS server is 17 columns.
  • Agent Statistics is turned ON.
  • The default number of agent statistics columns configured at the CTI OS server is 6 columns.
  • Average of five Voice Response Unit (VRU) scripts, running consecutively in the Unified CCE script, per VRU call.
  • Five Expanded Call Context (ECC) scalars.
  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) for CTI OS is turned OFF.
  • No mobile agents.
  • One all-events CTI server client.
  • Outbound hit rate is averaged at 30%.

The following notes apply to all figures and tables in this topic:

  • The number of agents indicates the number of logged-in agents
  • Server types:
    • APG = Agent Peripheral Gateway
    • PGR = Lab deployment
    • RGR = Rogger

Note


The terms Rogger and Central Controller are used interchangeably throughout this chapter.


Figure 6. Minimum Servers Required for Unified CCE Deployments with Cisco Agent Desktop

The following notes apply to the figure above:
  • Voice Response Unit (VRU), Administration & Data Server, and Unified Communications Manager components are not shown.
  • The maximum values apply to all CAD clients (CAD and IPPA).
Component Notes

Voice Response Unit (VRU) PG

Use the number of ports instead of agent count. Average of 5 Run VRU Script Nodes per call.

Agent PG with Outbound Voice (Includes Dialer and Media Routing PG)

[Maximum inbound agent capacity] – 1.33 * [Number of  SIP Dialer ports]  

[Maximum inbound agent capacity] – 1.33 * [Number of  SIP Dialer ports]  

Or [Maximum inbound agent capacity] - 4 * [Number of SCCP Dialer ports]

To determine the maximum inbound agent capacity, see the Inbound Agent PG entry in this table. The capacity depends on your Unified CCE software release, hardware server class, and agent desktop type.

The formula is an indicator of platform capacity. This is not an indicator of outbound resources in terms of how many agents can be kept busy by the number of dialer ports in the deployment. A quick but inexact estimate is that two ports are required for each outbound agent, but your outbound resources can vary depending on hit rate, abandon limit, and talk time for the campaigns in the deployment. Use the sizing tool to determine outbound resources required for your campaigns.

Example: Agent PG with CAD and 10 SCCP Dialer ports.

Available inbound CAD agents = 1000 - (4*10) = 960.

Note   

The Cisco Media Blender is not supported when installed on a PG system.

Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager

For the most current server specifications and sizing guidelines for Cisco Unified Web and E-Mail Interaction Manager, see the latest documentation.

Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal (CVP) Application Server And Voice Browser

For the most current server specifications for Unified CVP, see the latest version of the Hardware and System Software Specification for Cisco Unified CVP.

Unified IP IVR Server

For the most current Unified IP IVR server specifications, see the documentation available through valid Cisco Employee or Partner login.

Cisco Unified Intelligence Center (Unified Intelligence Center)

For the most current server specifications for Unified Intelligence Center, see the latest version of the Cisco Unified Intelligence Center Bill of Materials.

For further details, see the Virtualization Wiki.

CTI OS for Cisco VXI

When you deploy VDI or VXI, the performance, bandwidth, and timing requirements for CTI-OS (as defined in this document) must still be met. Agents will observe delays or other negative side effects if the VDI or VXI is deployed in a way that doesn't give enough performance or bandwidth to the VDI clients.

The number of VDI clients that can run within the Citrix or VMWare server is dependent on a number of factors including the footprint of other applications that are run in the deployment. Verify proper sizing to ensure that CTI-OS desktops function properly (for more information, see the Compatibility Matrix).

Cisco Agent Desktop Base Services

The Cisco Agent Desktop base services consist of a set of application servers that run as Microsoft Windows services. They include Chat Service, Directory Services, Enterprise Service, Unified IP Phone Agent Service, LDAP Monitor Service, Licensing and Resource Manager Service, Recording and Statistics Service, and Sync Service. In addition, there are application servers that may be placed on the same or separate VMs as the Base Servers. These additional applications include the VoIP Monitor Service and the Recording and Playback Service.

A set of Cisco Agent Desktop base services plus the additional application servers, single or redundant installation, correspond to a logical call center (LCC) and are associated with a PG pair.

Cisco Agent Desktop VoIP Monitor Service

The VoIP Monitor Service enables the Silent Monitoring and Recording features. For Desktop Monitoring, the VoIP Monitor Service has no impact on design guidance for Agent PG scalability. When using Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) monitoring, the VoIP Monitor Service may be co-resident on the Agent PG for up to 100 agent phones. When SPAN Monitoring and Recording are required for more than 100 phones, the VoIP Monitor Service must be deployed on a dedicated VM. Each dedicated VoIP Monitor Service can support up to 1000 phones on a Gigabit NIC.

Cisco Agent Desktop Recording and Playback Service

The Recording and Playback Service stores the recorded conversations and makes them available to the Supervisor Log Viewer application.

A co-resident Recording and Playback Service can support up to 32 simultaneous recordings. A dedicated Recording and Playback Service (which is available in the Premium offering) can support up to 80 simultaneous recordings. The capacity of the Recording and Playback Service is not dependent on the codec that is used.

The following table summarizes the raw Recording and Playback Service capacity.

Table 2 Capacity of Recording and Playback Service

Recording and Playback Service Type

Maximum Simultaneous Recordings

Co-resident

32

Dedicated

80

Peripheral Gateway and Server Options for Cisco Agent Desktop

A Unified CCE Peripheral Gateway (PG) translates messages coming from the Unified Communications Manager servers, the Unified IP IVR, Unified CVP, or voice response units (VRUs) into common internally formatted messages that are then sent to and understood by Unified CCE. In the reverse, it also translates Unified CCE messages so that they can be sent to and understood by the peripheral devices.

The figures below illustrate various configuration options for the Agent PG with Cisco Agent Desktop.

Figure 7. Agent PG Configuration Options with Cisco Agent Desktop

The table below gives sizing guidelines for PGs and PIMs.

Table 3 PG and PIM Sizing Guidelines

Sizing variable

Guidelines based on Unified CCE Release 10

Maximum number of PGs per Unified CCE

150

Maximum number of PG types per VM

Up to two PG types are permitted per VM, but each VM must meet the maximum agent and VRU port limitations.

Maximum number of Unified Communications Manager PGs per VM

Only one Unified Communications Manager PG, Generic PG, or System PG is allowed per VM.

Maximum number of Unified Communications Manager PIMs per PG

1

Can PGs be remote from Unified CCE?

Yes

Can PGs be remote from Unified Communications Manager?

No

Maximum number of IVRs controlled by one Unified Communications Manager

See theCisco Unified Communications Solution Reference Network Design (SRND) Guide at http:/​/​www.cisco.com/​go/​ucsrnd.

Maximum number of CTI servers per PG

1

Can PG be co-resident with Cisco Unified Communications Manager?

No

Bandwidth Requirements for Cisco Agent Desktop

This section presents some design considerations for provisioning network bandwidth, providing security and access to corporate data stores, and ensuring Quality of Service (QoS) for Unified CCE installations that include the Cisco Agent Desktop (CAD) product.

Silent Monitoring Bandwidth Usage

The Silent Monitoring feature of the Cisco Agent Desktop software, which includes listening to a live call, recording an agent call, and listening to a recorded call, has the largest bandwidth requirements for the Cisco Agent Desktop product. Properly configuring this feature is especially important for Unified Mobile Agents who are connected to the main site by a WAN connection.

To access the Silent Monitoring feature, a request is sent to a VoIP provider. The VoIP provider captures from the network, or reads from disk, the voice streams representing the call (two voice streams per call) and sends them back to the requestor. The requestor receives the streams and either decodes them for listening or stores them to disk. The bandwidth requirements detailed in this section are for the network links between the requestor and provider.

Silent Monitoring Requestors

There are two possible requestors in the Cisco Agent Desktop software:
  • Cisco Supervisor Desktop
  • Recording and Playback service

Cisco Supervisor Desktops send Silent Monitoring requests when the supervisor wants to listen to an agent’s call in real-time or listen to a call that was recorded earlier. The Recording and Playback service send recording requests when a supervisor or agent wants to record a call. For listening to or recording a live call, the VoIP provider will capture the voice streams and send them to the requestor. On the supervisor's desktop, these streams are decoded and played through the supervisor's desktop sound card. For recording, the Recording and Playback service receives the voice streams and saves them to disk.

A Unified CCE installation may have one or two Recording services.

Silent Monitoring Providers

There are three possible VoIP providers in the Cisco Agent Desktop software:
  • Cisco Agent Desktop
  • VoIP Monitor service
  • Recording & Playback service

The Cisco Agent Desktop application contains a module referred to as the Desktop Monitor service, which runs on the agent’s desktop. The Desktop Monitor service processes Silent Monitoring requests only for the agent signed in to the Cisco Agent Desktop application on the desktop. The service captures voice packets sent to the phone or IP Communicator software phone associated with the signed-in agent. The phone must contain an extra network port that allows the phone to be connected to a network and also to an agent’s computer. They also support the ability of hubs and switches to propagate network traffic through this additional port. This capability is what allows the Desktop Monitor service to see the phone conversations on the agent’s phone. See the Unified CCE Compatibility Matrix for a list of supported phones.

By default, this service is active on all agent desktops when the application is started. After initial installation of the Cisco Agent Desktop servers, all agents are already configured to use the Desktop Monitor service for the Silent Monitoring feature.

A VoIP Monitor service is able to handle multiple requests for Silent Monitoring simultaneously. It captures packets directly from the switch through the switch's Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) configuration. An installation may have up to five VoIP Monitor services on different machines. Off-board VoIP services may be installed at remote office locations. In some instances, this service may be required due to network complexity and capacity planning. Agents must be explicitly configured to use a VoIP Monitor service if this is the method desired for Silent Monitoring for that agent’s device.


Note


Cisco Unified IP Phone Agents who do not have a desktop must be configured to use a VoIP Monitor service for the Silent Monitoring feature.


The Recording and Playback service may also provide the two streams representing a phone call when a supervisor plays back a recorded agent call. In this case, the streams have already been stored on disk from an earlier recording session. The Recording and Playback service reads the raw data files from the disk and sends the RTP streams over the network to the supervisor's desktop, where they are played through the sound card.

As this description indicates, the Recording and Playback service may be either the requestor (for recording a live call) or a provider (for playing back a recorded call).

A VoIP and Recording and Playback services are usually installed along with the Cisco Agent Desktop base services. Additional VoIP services and a second Recording and Playback service may be installed on other boxes.

The figure below shows a representative Unified CCE installation supporting a remote office over a WAN. Both the main office and the remote office have a VoIP Monitor service on-site.

Figure 8. VoIP Monitor Service at Main and Remote Sites

When you locate the requestors and providers, you can determine where the bandwidth is required for the Silent Monitoring feature. The following notes regarding bandwidth apply:

  • Although an administrator can assign a specific VoIP service to an agent device, the Recording service that is used when calls are recorded is determined at the time the request is made. The same rule applies if two Recording services are installed to load-balance the installation. In some cases, the provider and requestor may be separated by a WAN and would require the bandwidth on the WAN. If a second Recording and Playback service is to be installed, install it on a server at the main office (on the LAN with the Cisco Agent Desktop base services).
  • If the VoIP provider is a VoIP Monitor service, if the requestor is a Recording service, and if these services reside on the same machine, then there is no additional bandwidth used on the network to record the call.

Regardless of who is the requestor and VoIP provider, the bandwidth requirement between these two points is the bandwidth of the IP call being monitored and/or recorded. For purposes of calculating total bandwidth, you can think of each monitoring/recording session as being a new phone call. Therefore, to calculate bandwidth to support the Silent Monitoring feature, you can use the same calculations used to provision the network to handle call traffic, with the exception that the voice stream provided by the VoIP provider consists of two streams in the same direction. Whereas a normal IP phone call has one stream going to the phone and one stream coming from the phone, the VoIP provider has both streams coming from the provider. Keep this difference in mind when provisioning upload and download speeds for your WANs.

To determine the bandwidth requirements for these voice streams, see the Cisco Unified Communications Solution Reference Network Design (SRND) Guidehttp:/​/​www.cisco.com/​en/​US/​products/​sw/​voicesw/​ps556/​tsd_​products_​support_​series_​home.html.

Cisco Agent Desktop Applications Bandwidth Usage

The CAD desktop applications include:
  • Cisco Agent Desktop
  • Cisco Supervisor Desktop
  • Cisco Desktop Administrator
  • Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console

These applications also require a certain amount of bandwidth, although far less than the Silent Monitoring feature. In addition, the type of communication across the network is bursty. In general, bandwidth usage is low when the agents are not performing any actions. When features or actions are requested, the bandwidth increases for the time it takes to perform the action, which is usually less than one second, then the bandwidth usage drops to the steady-state level. From a provisioning standpoint, one must determine the probability of all the agents performing a particular action at the same time. It might be more helpful to characterize the call center and determine the maximum number of simultaneous actions (in the worst case) to determine instantaneous bandwidth requirements, and then determine what amount of delay is tolerable for a percentage of the requested actions.

For example, the raw bandwidth requirement for 1000 agents logging in simultaneously is about 6.4 kilobytes per second and the login time is about 9 seconds (with no network delay) for each agent. If the WAN link did not have this much bandwidth, logins would take longer as packets were queued before being sent and received. If this queuing delay caused the login attempts to take twice as long (18 seconds in this case), would this delay be acceptable? If not, provision more bandwidth.

Each of these applications communicates with the Cisco Agent Desktop base services running on VMs. In addition, the agent desktop application communicates with the CTI server through the CTI OS server for call control actions and state changes. The table below lists the types of messages for each application.

Table 4 Messaging Type by CAD Application
Application name Message types
Cisco Agent Desktop Login/logoff
Agent state changes
Call Control
Call status information
Desktop Monitoring and recording
Chat messages
Team performance messages
Report generation
Real-time data refresh
CTI OS Supervisor Desktop Login/logoff
Agent state changes
Call status updates
Report Generation
Silent Monitoring
Call recording
Call playback
Chat messages
Team performance messages
Real-time data refresh
Cisco Desktop Administrator Configuration information retrieval and storage
Configuration data refresh
Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console Service discovery
SNMP Get messages

Cisco Agent Desktop Bandwidth Usage

Cisco Agent Desktop agents are able to sign in and sign off, change their agent state, handle calls, and send reporting information to the base servers. The bandwidth requirements for these activities are fairly small but can add up when many agents are considered.

The table below shows the average bandwidth requirements for various numbers of agents. This information is derived from bandwidth testing and extrapolation of bandwidth data. Because there are many variables that can affect bandwidth, a configuration that resulted in higher bandwidth usage was chosen to provide near worst-case scenarios. If the agent’s WAN link meets or exceeds the bandwidth requirements shown in this table, Cisco Agent Desktop can run without delays in message passing.

The following configuration parameters affect bandwidth and apply to both the table below and Cisco Agent Desktop Applications Bandwidth Usage:
  • Number of skills per agent: 10
  • Number of agents per team: 20
  • Number of teams: 50
  • Number of agent state changes per agent per hour: 10 (Not including state changes due to handling calls)
  • Calls per agent per hour: 60
  • Team performance messages per team per hour: 8
  • Chat messages sent or received per hour: 20
  • Average chat message size (in bytes): 40
  • Number of calls recorded per hour: 10

Note


The bandwidth requirements shown do not include the bandwidth of the RTP streams for the call, recording, or monitoring sessions, but include only the messaging needed to start and stop the sessions.


Table 5 Average Bandwidth Requirements for Cisco Agent Desktop

Number of agents

Average download bandwidth (kilobytes per second)

Average upload bandwidth (kilobytes per second)

1

0.02

0.003

100

1.7

0.1

200

3.4

0.3

300

5.0

0.4

500

8.4

0.7

600

10.0

0.8

700

11.7

1.0

800

13.4

1.1

900

15.1

1.3

1000

16.8

1.4

Cisco Supervisor Desktop Bandwidth Usage

A Cisco Supervisor Desktop receives events for all the agents of the team that the supervisor is logged into. This information includes state changes, call handling, login/logoff, and so forth. The more agents, skills, and calls there are the more data is sent to supervisors. In addition, particular reports are automatically refreshed periodically to provide real-time data while the supervisor is viewing the report. Refreshing reports requires additional bandwidth.

The table below uses the same basic configuration parameters used to determine the bandwidth numbers in Cisco Agent Desktop Applications Bandwidth Usage. In addition, this table takes into account the fact that the Team Skill Statistics report is being viewed and refreshed.

Table 6 Average Bandwidth Requirements for Cisco Supervisor Desktop

Number of agents

Average download bandwidth (kilobytes per second)

Average upload bandwidth (kilobytes per second)

1

0.02

0.003

100

1.3

0.1

200

2.5

0.3

300

3.7

0.4

400

5.0

0.5

500

6.2

0.6

600

7.5

0.8

700

8.7

0.9

800

10.0

1.0

900

11.2

1.1

1000

12.4

1.3

Cisco Desktop Administrator Bandwidth Usage

The bandwidth requirements for Cisco Desktop Administrator are very small and are seen only when an administrator is actively changing configurations. In general, the bandwidth used by Cisco Desktop Administrator is negligible from a provisioning standpoint.

Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console Bandwidth Usage

The bandwidth requirements for the Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console are very small and short-lived. In general, the bandwidth used by the Cisco Desktop Monitoring Console is negligible from a provisioning standpoint.

Cisco Agent Desktop Service Placement

In a Unified CCE installation using Cisco Agent Desktop, all CAD services except the VoIP Monitor service and the Recording and Playback service must coreside with the PG. You can install the VoIP Monitor Service and Recording and Playback Service on other VMs.

VoIP Monitor Server

A single VoIP Monitor Service can support up to 114 simultaneous Silent Monitoring sessions. More VoIP Monitor Services increase the SPAN-based monitoring capacity of the installation.

You can have a maximum of five VoIP Monitor servers in a CAD installation. Only one VoIP Monitor Service can exist on a single VM.

The main load on a VoIP Monitor Service is the amount of network traffic that is sent to the VoIP Monitor Service for the devices that are assigned to that VoIP service, not the number of simultaneous monitoring sessions. When Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) is configured to send traffic from a device to a particular VoIP service, the VoIP services packet sniffer monitors network traffic even without active monitoring sessions. The amount of traffic monitored limits the number of devices that you can assign to a VoIP service.

If a VoIP Monitor Service coresides with the CAD base services on the PG, it supports the network traffic of up to 100 agents. You can dedicate a third virtual NIC for SPAN destination port in this environment, although it is not necessary. If more than 100 agents are configured to use a single VoIP Monitor Service, move that service to another VM. A single VoIP Monitor Service supports the network traffic of 1000 agent phones with a Gigabit NIC to connect to the switch.


Note


If the switch does not support ingress and egress traffic on the same switch port, then use a dedicated virtual NIC to support SPAN services.


Recording and Playback Server

You can have a maximum of two Recording and Playback Services in a CAD installation. As with the VoIP Monitor Service, only one of these services can exist on a single computer.

If the Recording and Playback Service coresides with CAD base services on the PG, it supports up to 32 simultaneous recording sessions. If you require more recording and playback sessions, move the Recording and Playback Service to another VM. The Recording and Playback Service can coexist with an off-board VoIP Monitor Service. An off-board Recording and Playback Service supports up to 80 simultaneous recordings.

The Recording and Playback Service converts copies of the RTP packets to RAW files and stores these files for play back using the Cisco Supervisor Desktop. Either the VoIP Monitor server (SPAN capture) or the Cisco Agent Desktop (Desktop capture) directs these RTP packets to the Recording and Playback server. So in a SPAN capture environment, a recording consumes a monitoring session and a recording and playback session.

A second Recording and Playback Service does not increase the recording capacity, but it does provide some load balancing and redundancy. When both Recording and Playback servers are active, the recording client alternates between the two servers and stores the recording files first on one server, then the other.

Miscellaneous Deployment Considerations

This section briefly describes the following additional deployment considerations.

Layer-3 Devices

Layer-3 network devices (routers and gateways) cannot exist between an agent telephone device (hardware or software phone) and the switch port used by the VoIP Monitor service that is configured to capture voice packets for Silent Monitoring and Recording. This restriction applies only if a VoIP Monitor Service is configured as the primary or back-up service for capturing voice streams. If desktop monitoring is configured as the primary method (with no secondary method), this information does not apply.

NDIS Compliance of NICs

The physical network interface cards (NICs) used by the VoIP Monitor services and on the agent’s PC (when Desktop Monitoring is configured) must support promiscuous mode packet sniffing as stated. If the NIC card or driver does not support this functionality through the NDIS interface, the Monitoring and Recording feature will not work.

Encrypted Voice Streams

If the voice streams are encrypted, the Silent Monitoring and Recording feature does not work correctly. Although the voice streams can still be captured, they will not be decoded correctly. The end result is that speech is unintelligible.