This chapter, intended for all audiences, discusses the outbound business concepts you
need to know before planning and configuring your outbound system. Review
this chapter in its entirety before moving on to installing and
configuring your outbound system.
Automatic dialers increase contact center efficiency because they eliminate the
possibility of reaching a wrong number, save time, and make contact center agents more
productive. By automatically dialing and screening for busy signals, no answer, and answering
machines, dialers ensure that agents do not waste time on non-value-added mechanical and
routine tasks. Only when the dialer reaches a live contact will the solution transfer the call
to the next available agent.
Cisco Outbound Solution
Cisco Unified Intelligent Contact Management Enterprise and Cisco Unified Contact Center
Enterprise help companies distribute inbound calls to a variety of termination points,
including automatic call distributors (ACDs), interactive voice response (IVR) systems, home
agents, and network terminations. The Cisco Outbound Option application,
with its combination of outbound dialing modes, enables call centers to manage outbound calls.
The ability for agents to handle both inbound and outbound contacts offers a way to optimize
contact center resources.
High-Level Overview of Cisco Outbound Option
The Cisco Outbound Option application provides outbound dialing functionality along with
the existing inbound capabilities of Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (Unified CCE,
formerly known as "IPCC Enterprise"). This application enables the contact center to dial
customer contacts and direct contacted customers to agents or IVRs.
With the Cisco Outbound Option, you can configure a contact center for automated outbound
Cisco IP Contact Center can be implemented in a single-site environment or integrated
into a multi-site contact center enterprise. Some capabilities of Unified CCE include
intelligent call routing, ACD functionality, network-to-desktop computer telephony
integration (CTI), IVR integration, call queuing, and consolidated reporting.
With Unified CCE integration, customer calls are placed using the Cisco Voice Gateway,
using the Unified CM for call control.
Outbound Option on Unified CCE provides a native multi-site outbound dialing
Outbound Option supports advanced list management, which provides for the
Customer records can be assigned to multiple lists, which can be merged into a single
Pre-configured rules decide when the various lists are called.
Agents are assigned to campaigns using skill groups.
Unified Contact Center Software Management of Skill Groups
The Script Editor application controls the outbound mode of every skill group.
Dedicated and Blended Dialing Modes
Dedicated mode: Designed for agents who will only make outbound calls.
Blended mode: Allows agents to receive inbound calls and make outbound calls without switching between Inbound/Outbound skill groups. (In Blended mode, inbound calls receive precedence over outbound calls.)
Outbound Option maximizes performance in both pure outbound and blended modes.
The skill group mode variable is only a setting and has no impact on how the Router routes calls. If a skill group is set to Dedicated mode, you must also create a corresponding routing script that uses the IF node to enforce the Dedicated mode. In other words, the IF node must state that if the Outbound Control skill group setting is set to Dedicated, inbound calls must not be routed to that skill group.
Outbound Option Dialing Modes
Outbound Option supports the following dialing modes:
Outbound Option uses Unified CCE software reporting features provided by the Cisco
Unified Intelligence Center (Unified Intelligence Center) application, including agent,
campaign, dialer, and skill groups report templates created especially for Outbound Option
Call Progress Analysis (CPA) uses a combination of call signaling and media stream
analysis to differentiate various types of calls.
You enable recording of CPA on a per campaign basis on the Dialer itself by setting the Call Progress Analysis option on the Campaign Purpose Tab Page of the Outbound Option Campaign tool.
The Dialer will only record up to 100 simultaneous CPA streams. The streams are stored in CPM format. By default, the system will automatically purge old recording files when it reaches 500 meg. For details about configuring CPA recording, see information on SIP Dialer Recording Parameters Configuration.
The transfer to IVR feature provides Outbound Option with another outbound mode. This
mode causes the Dialer to transfer every customer call associated with a specific skill group
to a service control-based IVR instead of an agent. This feature allows a contact center to
run unassisted outbound campaigns using pre-recorded messages in the Cisco Unified IP-IVR and Cisco Unified Customer Voice Portal
Cisco IP Contact Center agent re-skilling is an optional feature that allows IPCC call
center supervisors to sign-in and change the skill groups for agents they manage. You can
access this feature using the Unified CCE Agent Re-skilling Tool. It lets you change the
skill group designations of agents on your team, and quickly view skill group members and
details about individual agents. Changes you make to an agent’s skill group membership take
place immediately without need for the agent to exit and re-enter the system.
The Campaign component contains fields to support abandoned and retry calls.
For detailed instructions on how to configure abandoned and retry call settings, see the
Outbound Option online help.
Campaign Prefix Digits for Dialed Numbers
The Campaign prefix digits field, which is available on the Campaign
General tab in the Campaign component, allows you to configure prefix digits for dialed
numbers in campaigns. If you configure a prefix, it will be inserted before the Dial prefix
for all numbers dialed in a campaign. This prefix allows an administrator to create
campaign-specific Unified CM translation
patterns, which you can use to tailor the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) seen by a
customer. For example, all customers dialed from Campaign A will see a caller ID of
"1-800-333-4444," while all customers dialed from Campaign B will see a caller ID of
Outbound Option Support on Cisco Unified Contact Center Hosted
Outbound Option support on Cisco Unified Contact Center Hosted (Unified CCH) Edition is
available, but this release still requires Outbound Option to be deployed on a distinct CICM
instance platform (meaning that Outbound Option will not be shared among customers—each needs
to have their own dialer, and so forth).
See the Unified CCH documentation set for more details.
Outbound ECC Variables Support in Siebel 7.5.3 and Later
Releases 7.5(3) and later of the Cisco Unified CRM
Connector for Siebel (formerly called the CTI Driver for Siebel) provide support for
See the Cisco Unified CRM Connector for Siebel guide for detailed information about the ECC variables
support for Outbound Option.
Relationships Between Outbound Option Components
The following figure shows the component relationships within Outbound Option.
The following figure and table only describe Outbound Option Components and concepts;
they do not describe the Outbound Option process.
Figure 1. Outbound Option Component Relationships
Items outlined in blue in Figure 1 indicate that they are configured by the user.
Table 1 Relationships Between Outbound Option Component Concepts
Defines when and how Outbound Option reads in a user-generated list of customers to
call and customers who should not be called.
Defines the collection of query rule-generated dialing lists associated with agent
skill groups, and maps the contacts to a call with the agent skill groups.
Users create the agent skill groups and associate them with one or more dialing
lists by assigning them to a campaign.
With Outbound Option, you can configure an agent-based campaign or a
transfer to IVR campaign:
Agent-based campaign: This type of campaign uses an outbound mode that causes the
Dialer to transfer every customer call associated with a specific skill group to an
Transfer to IVR campaign: This type of campaign uses an outbound mode that causes
the Dialer to transfer every customer call associated with a Transfer to IVR Campaign
specific skill group to a service control-based IVR instead of an agent. This feature
allows a contact center to run unassisted outbound campaigns using pre-recorded
messages in the IVR.
Defines a selection of agents to be used in a campaign. Each skill group can only
have one campaign assignment, but a campaign can service multiple skill groups.
Outbound agents are tied to the campaign by their skill group association. Agents
might belong to multiple skill groups and thus be part of multiple campaigns.
The campaign associates dialing lists with specific skill groups, but the campaign
cannot associate a specific dialing list to a specific skill group unless there is only
one dialing list and one skill group in the
A collection of agents and skill groups that are bound to a specific Unified CM. The Dialer is
bound to serve the group of agents in a specific call center site. (For experienced
Unified CCE users, this document uses the term agent controller as
another way to convey agent peripheral.)
See the "Agent PG" section in Chapter 2, Architectural Overview, for more
An Outbound Option component that places Outbound Option calls. The Dialer is
associated with the agent peripheral at a call center site. Outbound Option sends calls
to a Dialer based on the campaign skill group relationship for the agent controller at
that site. The Dialer monitors campaign skill groups and is mapped to an agent
The list of customer contacts that Outbound Option dials to make outbound calls.
There is one dialing list for each campaign query rule.
Each campaign query rule combination results in a unique dialing list.
Only one dialing list is active at a time for a particular campaign. Whenever a
dialing list is active, it is distributed to all skill groups in the campaign. A specific
dialing list cannot be mapped to a specific skill group in a campaign.
See the "Dialing List" section in Chapter 7, Administrative/Supervisory Tasks, for more
Using some of the preceding terms, the following example demonstrates what
happens during an Outbound Option import:
Outbound Option imports the user's customer list into an internal table of customer
While the import process continues, a query rule filter selects and inserts data from
the customer contacts into a dialing list.
Outbound Option reads in records from the dialing list for the campaign, and sends the
records to be dialed to dialers co-located on peripherals where associated skill groups are
See the "Creating a Campaign" section in Chapter 6, "Configuring Campaigns and Imports," for details
about the sequence of events that occur during a campaign creation.
You can import a list of customer contact information and a list of customers who should
not be called. You can configure Outbound Option to import both types of lists either by
continuously polling or at scheduled intervals. You can also specify that imported lists should
replace existing lists or be appended to them.
United States federal law requires telephone solicitors to maintain do not call lists. A
Do Not Call (DNC) list ensures that those customers who request not to be contacted will not
be contacted regardless of the calling list imported into the system.
The Do Not Call list is a list of numbers that are identified as off-limits for outbound
calling. This list may include numbers from the federal DNC list, as well as numbers from
customers who have specifically requested that they not be contacted. Entries in the Do Not
Call list will not be dialed even though they are included in a contact list. The DNC list is
shared across all campaigns, and only contains phone numbers. The campaign validates that a
number in the dialing list is not in the Do Not Call list before sending it to a Dialer, which
the solution checks at the last minute before actually placing the call. You can update a Do
Not Call list while a campaign is running, and the update will immediately affect records that
have not been sent to a Dialer. Records already sent from the Campaign Manager to the Dialer
will not be affected, because those records are beyond the control of the Campaign
Do Not Call imports are validated for improper formatting and field lengths during the
import process. Invalid records are flagged and written to an error file.
The contact list import reads in a user-generated text file of customer contacts and
associated phone numbers and places it in an internal contact table. Like Do Not Call imports,
there is a validation step where improperly formatted records are flagged and written to an
error file. The error files are written to the \icm\<instance>\la\logfiles directory on
LoggerA. The name of the files are based on the name of the Target Table Name and the date and
time the import occurred. Phone numbers without prefix matches are not placed in a
You can add additional business-specific attributes to the contact list import file
before the import occurs. This allows for segmentation of the campaign using a query rule. In
this way, a single import can contain records for multiple dialing lists for the same
campaign; however, do not include the campaign customer contacts in multiple dialing lists
because this might result in the same customer being dialed twice.
The U.S. area code mappings are provided along with the product. International customers
must provide their own data and add it to the database.
During the contact list import process, time zone and daylight saving time information is
assigned to each contact by matching phone numbers to region prefix
strings. If any of the phone numbers for a contact do not match a configured region prefix,
the contact list import will use the default time zone data configured for the
Import Rule Reports
The same import rule reports are used for Do Not Call and Contact List imports. The
reports display a historical view of when imports occurred, the number of records imported,
and the number of records that were considered invalid due to length constraints or improper
For contact list imports, the reports also provide insight into the number of contacts
that were assigned with the default time zone information for the campaign, as well as the
number of contacts that were actually imported into the dialing list after the query rule and
format validation was performed.
The query rule determines which customer contacts to use from the import for a campaign.
You can associate multiple query rules with a campaign; therefore, you can use them to segment
a campaign by query rule for prioritization or other logical groupings. For example, if your
campaign requires dialing customers between the hours of 9:00AM and 11:00AM, you could set up a
query rule to only dial during those times, then configure the campaign to switch to another
query rule after that time when the sequence has ended.
When dialing, only one query rule is active at any time for each campaign.
You can change query rules based on different conditions, including configured time limit,
or a number of records attempted (referred to as penetration), time of day, or current hit rate
across the query rule. The query rule will also automatically switch to another available query
rule if it runs out of numbers that are ready to be dialed now.
A campaign is made up of one or more query rule-generated dialing lists and one or more
campaign skill groups. Outbound Option reads in contacts from the dialing list associated with
the active query rule for the campaign, and directs Dialers to place calls to customers. The
Dialer then directs contacted customers to agents (agent campaigns) or IVRs (unassisted transfer to IVR campaigns) in
the campaign skill group for applicable customer treatment.
You can create or modify campaigns using the Outbound Option Campaign component, where you
define or modify the settings that apply to a campaign. You can also add or delete a campaign
using the Campaign component.
You can define two types of campaigns, agent-based and transfer to IVR; however, only one
campaign type can be configured per campaign.
See the "Creating a Campaign" section in Chapter 6, "Configuring Campaigns and Imports," for more
Outbound Option supports the following dialing modes:
Preview: The agent previews the contact
information on the desktop before deciding whether this contact should be dialed or not,
so the agent can decide to skip to the next contact. After the agent accepts a contact,
the Dialer places the call so that the agent gets the benefit of Call Progress Analysis
(CPA), but the agent does not hear the ringing.
Agents cannot place calls from their desktop (phone); only the Dialer can place calls.
During a personal callback, the Dialer places the call and the assigned agent receives a
screen pop on their desktop before the number is dialed, so the agent can decide if the call
can be placed at that time.
In Preview mode, if the agent skips or rejects the call, the record is marked "R" for
retry and is sent to another agent based on the No answer setting in the
Campaign configuration. For example, if the No answer parameter is two hours, then the
skipped or rejected record is presented to another agent after two hours.
The Preview and Direct Preview dialing modes only apply to agent
campaigns because they require agent interaction, and only dial one line per agent.
Direct Preview: Direct Preview is similar to the Preview mode, except that the call is placed from the
agent’s phone after the agent accepts. This dialing mode also avoids the possibility of
abandoning calls and answering machine detection false positives. After initiating the call,
the agent hears the ringing so that there is no delay when the customer answers, but the
agent has to deal with answering machines and other results that the dialer’s CPA would
normally handle while in other dialing modes.
campaign is configured to dial a specific number of lines per agent (not based on expected
hit rate, which is the percentage of customers that have been successfully contacted);
therefore, if you configure the campaign to dial two lines per agent, when an agent is
available the Dialer will dial two contacts at the same time expecting only one of them to
The Progressive and Predictive dialing modes apply to agent campaigns as well as
unattended transfer to IVR campaigns. Progressive and Predictive dialing modes are focused
on keeping the agent/IVR resources busy. Also, agents cannot preview the contact information
on their desktops while using these dialing modes.
Dialer adjusts the number of customers to dial per available agent (or IVR port for a
transfer to IVR campaign).
As in Progressive mode, when multiple customers answer the calls placed for a single
agent, secondary answers can be transferred to another associated agent in the campaign, or
sent to the configured IVR for abandon treatment and possible queuing if no agents are
available. If no agents or IVR is available, the call will be dropped without
A Predictive Dialer is designed to increase agent utilization in a call center. To
increase the chances of reaching a customer, a Predictive Dialer dials several phone lines
per available agent. The goal is to dial enough lines to keep the agents busy while not
exceeding the configured maximum abandoned call rate. An abandoned call occurs when a
customer answers the phone, but no agent is available to talk to them. In some cases, the
abandoned call rate is limited by government regulations (typically, less than 3% for
telemarketing calls). In Predictive mode, the Dialer increases the number of lines used per
agent until the Abandon Rate is close to the preconfigured maximum Abandon Rate. At this
point, the Dialer stabilizes the Lines Per Agent to keep the Abandon Rate below the
preconfigured maximum. If the Abandon Rate goes above the maximum, the Dialer lowers the
Lines Per Agent.
If the hit rate spikes upward very sharply during the campaign, it can cause the
Abandon Rate to exceed the daily Abandon Rate target; for example, the hit rate
changes from 10% to 30% in a few minutes. It is very difficult for the Predictive Dialer to
cope with hit rate changes of this magnitude and still keep the Abandon Rate under the daily
Abandon Rate target.
Because there is a wide variation in how long each phone call lasts, Predictive mode
determines the proper number of customers to call for each agent given the current hit rate
and configured abandon limit.
In Predictive and Progressive mode, agents that are reserved remain reserved until there
is a successful live call. They are not immediately released if a live call is not available.
On campaign completion (when the dialing list for the campaign runs out of records),
agents who remain reserved are released. The same action occurs if the skill group mode is
switched to "Inbound."
In Predictive or Progressive mode, agents are released under the following
A successful live call was transferred to the agent (the reservation call will be
There are no more records in the Contact List for the campaign that the agent is
The agent’s skill group mode changes from Predictive/Progressive mode to Inbound
After the reservation call is dropped, the agent goes into wrap-up or available mode
depending on the Unified CCE Agent Desk Setting configuration.
In Preview mode, each preview call is associated with the agent who accepted the
call. In this mode, agents are released when the following conditions occur:
The agent rejected the preview call (if the agent decides to skip the call, that agent
A successful live call was transferred to the agent (the reservation call will be
The contact number was busy, was not answered, or an answering machine was detected and
answering machine detection was enabled.
The outbound call could not be successfully transferred to the agent (this might be due
to any failure on the switch or to a Unified CCE software problem).
After the reservation call is dropped, the agent might go into wrap-up mode (after call
work), if the agent is a manualIN agent. (The Outbound Option Dialer does not automatically
set the agent to ready mode.)
As soon as an agent goes into the Ready state, that agent might receive another call if
there are more records.
Caller ID Masking by Campaign
Outbound Option allows you to configure up to 15 prefix digits for dialed numbers in a
campaign. If you configure a prefix, it will be inserted before the Dial prefix for all
numbers dialed in a campaign.
In Outbound Option deployments that use the SCCP Dialer, this prefix allows an
administrator to create campaign-specific Unified CM translation
patterns, which you can use to tailor the ANI seen by a customer by campaign. For example, all
customers dialed from Campaign A will see a caller ID of "1-800-333-4444," while all customers
dialed from Campaign B will see a caller ID of "1-800-555-1212." The prefix digits are always
prepended to the beginning of the number, so that they can easily be stripped using
This translation pattern function is not applicable for the SIP Dialer. In a SIP Dialer
deployment, the SIP Dialer uses the SIP message to make outbound calls directly to the
gateway. The SIP interface allows the SIP Dialer to set the ANI directly.
In an agent campaign, Outbound Option dials customers and transfers them to agents in
targeted skill groups. The Dialer monitors for available agents. When the Dialer determines
that an agent is available, the peripheral gateway (PG) places a virtual reservation call to
the agent so that the contact center knows that this agent is reserved. The physical phone
does not actually ring, but the agent desktop is updated with the data so that the desktop
believes that there is a call in progress. After the agent is reserved, the Dialer places
outbound calls to customer contacts using the dialing mode that was set for the campaign skill
group. After the Dialer identifies a customer, the call is transferred to the agent. The agent
is expected to stay on the reservation call until a customer call is reached to avoid the
possibility of abandoned calls. Once a customer call is reached, the agent must disconnect the
reservation call from the agent desktop.
The agent still has the opportunity to mark the call as a wrong number, wrong party, or
to schedule a callback for later which would not close the record out. If more than one line
was dialed for the agent, and more than one of those calls are answered by customers, the
first call will be assigned to the agent. At this point the Dialer determines what to
do with the second answered call. If another agent is reserved in the campaign, the call will
be transferred there. Otherwise, the call will be transferred to the IVR or IVRs that are configured in
the Abandon to IVR setting for the campaign skill group. If no IVR is configured, then the
call is dropped with no treatment. It is strongly recommended that the Abandon to IVR setting
be set up to avoid Dialer abandons. Once calls are sent to the IVR, prompts can be played,
data collected, and the customer can be redirected to a properly skilled agent anywhere in the
enterprise contact center.
When the system contacts a customer and transfers the call to an agent, the customer has
the option to request being called back at a later date and time. The agent enters the date
and time the customer would like to be called into the agent application, and the call is
scheduled for callback.
The callback number can be different from the number originally dialed.
If an agent is skilled for a predictive campaign and schedules a callback for that
campaign, the callback for that campaign will be handled in Predictive mode as well (callbacks
are handled in the same mode as the campaign type).
Depending on the Outbound Option campaign settings, a callback can be scheduled
as a regular callback or a personal callback.
Regular callbacks can
be handled by any agent assigned to the campaign, where the customer is called back using
the configured campaign mode.
allow the customer to receive a callback from the agent they spoke to when they were first
contacted. The customer is called back using a similar mode to the Preview dialing
Callbacks on personal callbacks are handled in the associated campaign mode.
Regular callbacks can be handled by any agent assigned to the campaign.
The callback time is not constrained by the campaign dialing times. CallbackTimeLimit
(15 minutes by default and configurable in the registry) determines the time range when the
callback can occur.
The callback time will be rescheduled for a later time if the Dialer is unable to reach
the customer, because of a busy signal or ring no answer, for example.
The CallbackTime limit might be exceeded if no agents are available. If the elapsed time
exceeds the CallbackTimeLimit, and RescheduleCallback (1 by default and configurable in the
registry) is enabled, the record returns to the Pending state at TimeToResetDailyStats (00:30
by default and configurable in the registry).
About Personal Callbacks
The Outbound Option personal callback feature allows scheduling
customer callbacks for specific agents, so that customers receive callbacks from the same
agent who spoke with them initially.
This feature is very similar to Preview mode in that an agent reservation occurs first.
When the agent is reserved, they can either accept the customer call or reject it. (The
Skip option is not available.) Clicking Close sets the
BAResponse variable to indicate a close operation, which closes out the record so that it is
not dialed again.
Personal callbacks are not dependent on a particular campaign, and do not require a
campaign to be running when the call is placed. This feature allows personal callbacks to work
together with active campaigns containing either predictive or preview skill groups. Agents
scheduled for a personal callback can be logged in to any inbound, outbound, or blended skill
group at the time of the callback. The callback agent must be logged in with the same agent
ID that was used to schedule the callback. Be aware that only one Dialer on a particular
peripheral is assigned personal callback records.
The personal callback feature supports three callback modes:
Use the alternate VDN (the call will be routed to the skill group DN for the campaign associated with the callback, if the DN is available).
If this option is selected and the specified agent is not available at the designated callback time, the call is routed to another agent right away.
Reschedule the personal callback to the same time the next business day.
Abandon the personal callback.
The following actions can take place during a personal callback:
If the customer cannot be reached during the specified callback time, the call is
rescheduled or abandoned based on the configuration setup or until the specified maximum
number of attempts has been exhausted.
If the Outbound Option Dialer detects an answering machine response during a personal
callback, the call is still transferred to the scheduled agent. This allows the agent to
leave a message and/or reschedule the callback for another convenient time.
When the callback mode is set to Reschedule or Abandon:
If the specified agent is not logged in at the designated callback time, but then logs
in within the callback time period, Outbound Option reserves the agent and places the
If the specified agent is on an existing call and is unavailable during the entire
callback time period, the personal callback fails and the call is rescheduled or abandoned
based on the configuration setup.
When the callback mode is set to Alternate VDN:
If the specified agent is not available or not logged in, another agent is reserved for the callback using the dialed number of the associated campaign skill group.
Customer records can be inserted directly into the Personal Callback List to support
scheduling calls between agents and customers for a specific date and time, but this requires
special integration with third-party applications to import these records. See Appendix F,
"Scheduling Contacts Between Customers and Specific Agents", for detailed information.
Transfer to IVR Campaigns
A transfer to IVR campaign, also known as an unattended or unassisted campaign, can send
both live customer and answering machine calls to IVRs for customer treatment. This customer
treatment includes playing prompts, collecting data from the customer, and redirecting the
call to applicable agents anywhere in the contact center enterprise.
The configuration allocates the maximum number of IVR ports used for
transfer to IVR campaigns, and it attempts to keep them all busy within the dialing
Either Progressive or Predictive modes can be used to dial an unattended campaign. You
can play a different prompt for a live customer or for an answering machine.
You cannot use the transfer to IVR feature in the Direct Preview mode or the regular
Outbound Option initiates contacts for a campaign based on the ordering in the
imported contact list. This order is not changed during the import.
Each number for the contact is dialed once, in the order it is configured (on the Call
Target tab in the Campaign configuration) and imported in the contact list, and before any of
the numbers for that contact are retried.
The sequential dialing feature, accessed through the Campaign Call Target tab in the
Outbound Option Campaign component, allows you to associate up to ten phone numbers per
customer record. Two time periods for calling the customers, called "zones," can be
configured for each campaign. Each time period (zone) lists which of the ten phone numbers
will be called during that time. A phone number can be configured for either zone or for both
Customers are dialed based on the time zone of the first phone that is configured on this tab.
The time zone is based on the prefix of the phone number and the region prefix configuration.
If two phone numbers imported for the same customer have different time zones, both phones
will be called during times that are valid for the first phone.
Contact Priority Among Callbacks, Retries, and Pending Contacts
The contact priority order is as follows:
Top priority is given to customers who have requested callbacks.
This ensures that the customers are called at the time that they requested.
Retries get second priority. A contact is marked for retry
after all the numbers associated with the contact have been tried once, and one or more of
those numbers had a call result configured for retry.
Pending contacts get third priority. A customer record is
considered to be pending until all of its eligible phone numbers have been tried once.
The default priority order can be changed by setting the PendingOverRetryEnabled
registry setting to 1 in the Campaign Manager. This setting ensures that all numbers and records
are tried once before retries are attempted. See Appendix A, "Registry Settings", for detailed
The query rule call activity and pending record reports are available as campaign
roll-ups for multiple query rules within a campaign.
There are also consolidated reports available, which attempt to blend campaign call
activity reporting information with skill group performance reports to give a better overall
view of the business activity. Because the consolidated reports mix data from different
reporting engines in a single report, there are a few caveats that are described in the
reports themselves. These reports provide a rough overview of agent activity, average time
between calls, abandon rate, and so on.
There are two general categories of campaign query rule reports:
One category of reports indicates the number of records closed, in Pending state, and
total records in the query rule’s dialing list.
A second category of reports provides different views into the call result activity.
It breaks down call results into approximately a dozen categories.
Transfer to IVR Reports
The campaign and query rule call activity reports display accurate call activity for
calls that are not transferred to IVR. Calls transferred to IVR are counted as
being transferred to an IVR, but the campaign and query rule activity reports do not
display what occurred after the call was sent to the IVR. If calls are queued and transferred
back to an agent, they are treated as new inbound calls in the reports.
Call Type Reports
The call type is a Unified CCE concept that maps a route point dialed number to a
routing script. It is also a useful reporting object for the enterprise to describe all
calls that traversed a specific routing script. The call type applies primarily to inbound
traffic in the call center because the Dialer does not use the routing script when placing
outbound calls. However, the Outbound Option does use routing scripts to reserve agents and to
transfer calls to the IVR, so that it can provide some insight into how calls are being
Campaign Skill Groups
A campaign skill group describes the resource pool for a campaign and provides the
necessary information for managing the campaign. For larger enterprise deployments with
multiple contact center sites, skill groups are associated with a specific contact center site,
which might have different hours of operation and different IVR equipment. Dialing Mode is a
skill group attribute, so that contact center skill groups can be opened and closed at
different times for shared campaigns using Unified CCE administrative scripts.
The Dialer uses campaign skill groups to monitor resource availability. With agent
campaigns, the Dialer looks at the number of available agents. With Transfer to IVR campaigns,
the Dialer looks at the number of calls in queue for the associated campaign skill group to
make sure it has not reached its quota of configured IVR ports.
Each Dialer is associated with a peripheral (PG). The Dialer monitors skill groups
associated with its own peripheral for resource availability and requests records for campaigns
associated with those skill groups.
The Dialer only places calls on behalf of agents located on its PG.
One campaign could be served by multiple Dialers if one or more skill groups from each
peripheral is assigned to the campaign. This assignment allows campaigns to be site-specific or shared
across the enterprise depending on the configuration.
Predictive mode campaigns are more efficient when there are more resources (more agents
for an agent campaign; more IVR ports for a transfer to IVR campaign) in a campaign skill
group. The Dialer adjusts its dialing rate based on the number of abandons in a set number of
calls. The more frequently calls are placed, the more often it can adjust the dialing rate.
It is difficult for the Dialer to make accurate adjustments frequently enough when there
are less than 10 agents in the campaign.
Blended Campaigns/Skill Groups
Blended campaigns are campaigns in which agents take inbound calls and outbound calls at
the same time. The inbound program can use the same or different skill group as the outbound
campaign skill group. The inbound calls generally receive priority in two ways. First, the
campaign skill group can be configured to use a percentage of active agents, reserving the
rest for inbound calls; and second, if an inbound customer is in queue, blended agents are not reserved for the blended campaign.
An agent on an outbound reservation call will not be interrupted with a routed inbound
call. The agent reservation call is not terminated until the agent does so or the campaign is
closed out for that skill group, or until the Dialer times out the reservation. An agent on a
reservation call may be interrupted by an internal call. This interruption normally results in a
dropped reservation call, and because the Dialer is dialing customers for that agent, it may
also result in abandoned calls if no agents are available.
Agents Skilled for Multiple Active Campaigns
Agents can be skilled for multiple active campaigns. Because of the way the Dialer
reserves agents, one of the campaigns wins the race to
find an available agent when agents become available.
For example, assume that you have an agent in three active campaign skill groups. That agent
becomes available in all three skill groups at the same time. The Dialer monitoring at the
skill group level for the number of available agents sends up three reservation requests,
one for each associated campaign skill group. In such a case, the request by the first
campaign skill group in the Dialer memory gets priority over the other requests. Over time,
this situation results in an imbalance of agents between skill groups
To work around this issue, queue reservation calls in a similar way to what is
often done for personal callbacks. This workaround ensures that reservation requests in the second
and third campaign skill groups are serviced first the next time an agent in that skill
group becomes available. Now, calls can be evenly distributed across each of the
active campaigns when agents are skilled for more than one of them.
Since the Outbound Option uses area code
prefixes to determine the time zone, this option might dial customers using wireless phones or VoIP
phones in a different time zone according to the configured area code or time zone
Customers in a specific campaign can be distributed across multiple time zones, as long
as they follow the same rules for when daylight saving time changes.
To determine the time zone offset of each contact, the Unified CCE system has a
configurable region prefix database with phone number prefixes, assigned
time zone offsets, and indications as to whether or not they observe daylight saving time. The
import uses this database to associate time zone offsets with customers, so that when the campaign searches for records in the active query rule’s dialing list, it considers time zone
offset when determining which contacts are appropriate to dial now. However, this approach
does not account for daylight saving time changes from time zone to time zone. These daylight saving time changes are managed at the campaign level so that campaigns cannot attempt to contact customers in time
zones that observe daylight saving time, but switch over on different calendar dates.
For example, the United States is comprised of time zone regions that do not observe
daylight saving time, or switch over on the same day. But a campaign that is dialing Houston,
Texas and Mexico City, Mexico might have a problem because these locations change over
to daylight saving time on different days.
If a contact’s number does not match any of the configured region prefixes, then the
campaign’s default time zone offset is assigned. If all of the customers are in one time
zone, then configuring the region prefix information is not necessary.
Outbound Option receives its list of daylight saving zones from the Microsoft Operating
System. Make sure that all Outbound Option components have the same
version of the MS OS installed for proper handling of any new time zones. Also, make sure that
the Logger and AW machines have the latest time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating
systems, or have the same time zone patches from Microsoft.
Call Progress Analysis (CPA) uses a combination of call signaling and media stream
analysis to differentiate types of calls.
Fax/modem detection looks for specific tones in the media stream.
Voice detection looks in the media stream for alternate voice and silence patterns after the call has been connected.
Answering Machine Detection (AMD) uses media stream analysis to look for a longer voice
stream with minimal silence periods. (An option is available that searches for terminating
Operator Intercept relies on call signaling network identification. It does not analyze
the media stream looking for specific tri-tones.
Enable Answering Machine Detection in the Outbound Option Campaign component on a
campaign-by-campaign basis, depending upon the requirements of the campaign or the purpose of
Special Information Tones (SIT) and busy tones are detected by the gateway and not by the
dialer. The dialer receives skinny messages from Unified CM and
handles call classification based on them.
The gateway supports SIT detection only on T1 CAS (FXO loopstart signaling) and FXO ports
for calls originated from an SCCP based Unified CM dialer.
Answering machine detection takes into account speech patterns and silence between
identified voice patterns, to differentiate live voice from answering machine recording and background noise. There are a few configuration parameters to modify in the
Outbound Option Campaign Configuration component to change the amount of silence or the
expected time of greeting depending on the business need. Accuracy levels depend on
various factors, such as campaign list quality and phone number types called.
If you have a SIP dialer, you must enable IP AMD for CPA to properly function. If you do not enable IP AMD, the SIP dialer instructs the gateway to transfer the call to an agent without waiting for detection.