Cisco MediaSense is
a SIP-based, network-level service that provides voice and video media
recording capabilities for other network devices. Fully integrated into Cisco's
Unified Communications architecture, MediaSense automatically captures and
stores every Voice over IP (VoIP) conversation which traverses appropriately
configured Unified Communications Manager IP phones or Cisco Unified Border
Element devices. In addition, an IP phone user or SIP endpoint device
may call the MediaSense system directly in order to leave a recording
consisting of media generated only by that user. Such recordings can include
video as well as audio—offering a simple and easy method for recording video
blogs and podcasts.
Since forked media
can be recorded from either a Cisco IP phone or a Unified Border
Element device, MediaSense
allows you to record a conversation from different perspectives. Recordings
forked by an IP phone are treated from the perspective of the phone itself—any
media flowing to or from that phone gets recorded. If the call gets transferred
to another phone however, the remainder of the conversation does not get
recorded (unless the target phone has recording enabled as well). This
perspective may work well for contact center supervisors whose focus is on a
Recordings forked by
Element are treated from the perspective of the caller. All media flowing to or
from the caller gets recorded, no matter how many times the call gets
transferred inside the enterprise. Even interactions between the caller and an
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system where no actual phone is involved are recorded. The only part of the call which is not recorded would be a
consult call from one IP phone to another— for example, as part of a consult
transfer. (Even that can be recorded if Unified Communications Manager is
configured to route IP phone to IP phone calls through a Unified Border
perspective may work well for dispute resolution or regulatory compliance
purposes, where the focus is on the caller.
Using Cisco Unified Communications Manager 10.0 and later, a third option is also available, Unified Communications Manager Network-Based Recording (NBR). With this option, the media is forked from a Unified Border
Element, managed by Unified Communications Manager. Unified Communications Manager also offers a fallback mechanism, by which Unified Communications Manager fallback to IP Phone forking if the Unified Border
Element forking is unavailable. By pairing these techniques, both the caller's and the agent's perspectives can be captured with the exception of any part of the call that precedes delivery to a Unified Communications Manager phone.
No matter how they
are captured, recordings may be accessed in several ways. While a recording is
still in progress, it can be streamed live ("monitored") through a computer
which is equipped with a media player such as VLC or RealPlayer, or one
provided by a partner or 3rd party. Once completed, recordings may be played
back in the same way, or downloaded in raw form via HTTP. They may also be
converted into .mp4 or .wav files and downloaded in that format. All access to
recordings, either in progress or completed, is through web-friendly URIs.
MediaSense also offers a web-based Search and Play application with a built-in
media player. This allows authorized users to select individual calls to
monitor, playback, or download directly from a supported web browser.
In addition to its
primary media recording functionality, MediaSense offers two other
It can play back
specific video media files on demand on video phones or supported players. This
capability supports Video in Queue (ViQ), Video on Demand (VoD), or Video on
Hold (VoH) use cases in which a separate call controller invites MediaSense
into an existing video call in order to play a previously designated recording.
An administrator can upload studio-recorded videos in MP4 format and then
configure individual incoming dialed numbers to automatically play those
uploaded videos. The call controller plays the video by sending a SIP
invitation to MediaSense at the dialed number.
MediaSense can also
integrate with Cisco Unity Connection to provide video voice-mail greetings.
Videos are recorded on MediaSense directly by Unity Connection subscribers and
are then played back to their video-capable callers before they leave their
occupy a fair amount of disk space, so space management is a significant
concern. MediaSense offers two modes of operation with respect to space
management: retention priority and recording priority. These modes address two
opposing and incompatible use cases; one where all recording sessions must be
retained until explicitly deleted (even if it means new recording sessions
cannot be captured) and one where older recording sessions can be deleted if
necessary to make room for new ones. A sophisticated set of events and APIs is
provided for client software to automatically control and manage disk space.
maintains a metadata database where information about all recordings is
maintained. A comprehensive Web 2.0 API is provided that allows client
equipment to query and search the metadata in various ways, to control
recordings that are in progress, to stream or download recordings, to
bulk-delete recordings that meet certain criteria, and to apply custom tags to
individual recording sessions. A Symmetric Web Services (SWS) eventing
capability enables server-based clients to be notified when recordings start
and stop, when disk space usage exceeds thresholds, and when meta-information
about individual recording sessions is updated. Clients may use these events to
keep track of system activities and to trigger their own actions.
these MediaSense capabilities target four basic use cases:
Recording of conversations
for regulatory compliance purposes (compliance recording).
Capturing or forwarding
media for transcription and speech analytics purposes.
Capturing of individual
recordings for podcasting and blogging purposes (video blogging).
Playing back previously
uploaded videos for ViQ, VoD, VoH, or video voice-mail greeting purposes.
may be required in any enterprise, but is of particular value in contact
centers where all conversations conducted on designated agent phones or all
calls from customers must be captured and retained and where supervisors need
an easy way to find, monitor, and play conversations for auditing, training, or
dispute resolution purposes. Speech analytics engines are well served by the
fact that MediaSense maintains the two sides of a conversation as separate
tracks and provides access to each track individually, greatly simplifying the
analytics engine need to identify who is saying what.