Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) Briefing


Initially, I was quite confused about the relationship between UCCX and Cisco Unified IP IVR. Lots of official docs reviewing & self-research finally clearly state that they are exactly the same software product using same software codes, the only difference is that they need different licenses be activated, and so do their relevant subsystems. In other words, Unified CCX provides the software capabilities for not just Unified CCX, but also Cisco Unified IP IVR. A single physical server can run only one of the Unified CCX packages, either Unified CCX or Cisco Unified IP IVR. Below is a high-level overview of Cisco UCCX system in terms of Supported HW platform, product components as well as functional roles.

UCCX Overview

Tips to notice before deployment:

  • Inbound & Outbound voice co-located on the same servers.
  • HA is supported only for Inbound Voice product integrating with CUCM.
  • Web Chat functionality is provided by Cisco SocialMiner deployed on a Separate server or Virtual Machine (deployed by OVF template).
  • Cisco Unified Intelligence Center, a web-based Reporting Solution bundled with UCCX, reside on the same server as Inbound Voice.
  • WFM must be deployed on a separated dedicated server.
  • Cisco Compliance Recording (CR), Quality Manager (QM), and Advanced Quality Managers (AQM) which provides screen recording, should be deployed on a separate dedicated server.

Ordering UCCX:

There are 2 packages orderable for UCCX product family. UCCX normally comes with at least ACD package (RmCm subsystems, CSQ/Skill/Resource Group) enabled, therefor it initially acts as a IP ACD system to distribute incoming call to Agents or other destinations based on different queuing or routing policies. In order to obtain IP IVR package  features such as Caller Self-Service, gathering caller input and interact with other system(HTTP, Email, VXML 2.0, ASR / TTS, JDBC Database), IP IVR package need to be ordered additionally. Cisco UCCX can be purchased in 3 versions according to your specific requirements:

UCCX Ordering

Integrating UCCX with CUCM:

UCCX system need integration with CUCM to allow a full set of Contact Center features to work properly. Below is a summary of key points to bear in mind during this integration.

CUCM UCCX Integration

For detailed interpretation of the relationships between various functional components as well as detailed step-by-step tutorial, you might refer to,

Planning, Sizing & Licensing

UCCX targets for midmarket and enterprise branch office for up to 400 agents. A Unified CCX system can provide up to 400 logical IVR ports (also called CTI Ports). The CTI ports within Unified CCX are logical VoIP endpoints where calls can be terminated—very similar to a softphone.

IVR port; the maximum available IVR pots depends on license in conjunction with the hardware platform you used for UCCX.

  • Basic IVR Ports: are by default enabled and require no license to activate. Basic IVR ports
    provide a queue point, custom messaging and prompting, caller input collection, and processing
    via DTMF decoding. Basic call controls such as terminate, transfer, and place call are also supported as part of the basic IVR functionality.
  • Advanced IVR Ports: Advanced IVR ports are licensed on a per inbound voice seat basis and are available only with the Premium package. Each inbound voice seat provides two Advanced IVR port licenses. Deployments requiring more IVR ports than provided by this 1:2 seat:Advanced IVR port ratio would need to purchase one additional Premium inbound voice seat for each two additional Advanced IVR ports required. Advanced IVR Ports can not be be mixed with Basic IVR Ports in the same configuration. It includes all features of Basic IVR ports, plus JDBC-compliant Database integration, Interaction with HTTP server / SMTP server / Voice XML 2.0 / Java App / ASR & TTS, as well as Remote Silent Monitoring.【Advanced IVR Port Call Recording is available on Statndard/Enhanced/Premium, it enables call center staff to remotely record new announcements or prompts.】

CTI Port; CTI refers to the ability to use data available from caller entered data, ACD, IVR or other data sources, to pop to the agent, to use to make routing decisions, or to use as a key to perform a data lookup, or to invoke a third-party application and pass data to that application.

  • Basic CTI Port, is by default enabled without extra license. It enables a customized data window to be popped up on Agent desktop upon call ringing. Data within that windows can include ANI, Dialed Number, Any Caller Input, and details about how long the caller interacted with IVR, how long the caller waited in queue, and how long the caller spent with all other agents if this was a transferred call.
  • Advanced CTI, Advanced CTI functionality allows call data to be passed to other Windows-based desktop applications (for example, CRM applications) for an application screen pop on ringing. Passing data to other applications is performed through keystroke macros that are then associated with specific call events such as call ringing or call release. Enhanced package adds support for using data from XML data sources. Database integration is not supported. Premium package adds support for using data from supported databases using workflow- based SQL queries.

Quality Management & Workforce Management Licensing

Both QM & WFM licensing is for a configured user not concurrent, so a contact center with 3 shifts of 100 Agents and Supervisors would need totally 300 user licenses.

Relationship between UCCX package and QM Licensing Components.

Features Available in Each QM Licensing Components(Table-20).

Features Available of WFM License.

Cisco Desktop Service Features.

Cisco Agent Desktop features for Various UCCX Packages.

IP Phone Agent features for Various UCCX Packages.

Cisco Supervisor Desktop features for Various UCCX Packages.

CAD work with Selected Phone Models:

CAD can be deployed with selected Cisco IP phone models as described in Software and Hardware Compatibility Guide for Cisco Unified CCX and Cisco Unified IP IVR.

Silent monitoring and recording

Unified CCX Monitoring and Recording components

Silent monitoring and recording will work with either G.711 or G.729 RTP streams, but not encrypted media streams. Unified CCX provides two mechanisms for access to the RTP packet stream—SPAN port monitoring and desktop monitoring. A Unified CCX deployment can have a mixture of some agents using desktop monitoring and some agents using SPAN port monitoring.

  • SPAN port monitoring: RTP packets are copied to SPAN port to which UCCX is connected. (A copy of the captured RTP streams for the selected agent is forwarded to UCCX server. When a supervisor clicks the Silent Monitor button on the CSD, it signals to the Monitoring component to also forward a copy of the captured RTP streams of the selected agent to the requesting CSD. The CSD then plays the packets through the sound card on the CSD workstation. No IP Phone or any type of phone is involved when the silent monitoring stream is being played using CSD). CAD does not support 802.1Q VLAN-tagged traffic with SPAN based monitoring.
  • Desktop Monitoring: A Cisco phone model supporting desktop monitoring is required and the agent workstation running CAD must be connected to the data port on the back of that agent phone. Besides, for silent monitoring to occur with desktop monitoring, at least one VoIP Monitor service must be running. CAD uses this service to retrieve the MAC address of the agent phone from the Unified CM. A copy of the RTP packet streams is obtained directly from the phone data port and sent directly from CAD to CSD.【Desktop Monitoring requires Agents that are being monitored to use a Desktop-Monitoring-Supported phone model, Go to Software and Hardware Compatibility Guide for Cisco Unified CCX and Cisco Unified IP IVR, search for “Endpoint Devices” and check for those phone models】.
  • Special Consideration for Desktop or SPAN port Monitoring: Because IPPA does not include an agent using CAD, IPPA requires a SPAN port Monitor component on the local VLAN segment for silent monitoring or recording. Also the Cisco Unified IP Phones 7902, 7905, 7912, and 7920 require a SPAN port Monitor component because there are either no data ports on these phones or these data ports are not compatible with desktop monitoring. IPPA also cannot be configured to have calls automatically recorded.
  • Call Recording for Agent who is using Desktop Monitoring or SPAN port Monitoring; If an agent call requires recording, a copy of the RTP packet streams is sent to the Recording Server process. If the agent being recorded is using the desktop monitoring, CAD sends the RTP streams to the Recording component. If the agent being recorded is using SPAN port monitoring, the Monitoring component sends the RTP streams to the Recording component. Agents can be silently monitored and recorded at the same time. When that occurs in a desktop monitoring environment, CAD sends one copy of the RTP packet streams to the requesting CSD and one copy of the RTP packet streams to the Recording component.
  • Storing & Playing back of Call Recordings: The agent call recordings are stored on the hard drive of the Unified CCX server (2.6 GB for single server, and 5.2GB for HA deployment with a round-robin fashion for load-balance) with agent data store locator records pointing to the actual recording files.
    • The call recordings in Unified CCX are stored in a raw format that can only be played using the CSD Record Viewer. The CSD Record Viewer shows 7 days’ worth of call recording as well as those tagged for 30-day extended archiving. The CSD Record Viewer also provides the supervisor the option to save selected individual recordings into a .wav format in a specified folder.
    • The recording capability of Unified CCX is not intended for use as a permanent recording archival solution. However, an export utility is also available to bulk export all recordings into a .wav format. The export utility has no ability to specify selected recordings and will export all recordings on the Unified CCX server.
    • When a supervisor is playing back or saving a recording using the CSD Record Viewer application, a recording resource is used and therefore counts against the maximum simultaneous call recording capacity for the duration of that recording playback. Maximum simultaneous call recording and playback capacity depends on the server size. The Cisco Unified CCX Data Sheet can help you choose an appropriately sized server for the amount of recording required.
  • Remote supervisory monitoring: it provides a mechanism to silent monitor calls using an IP Phone or PSTN phone. This form of silent monitoring does not require a CSD or any data network connectivity and is ideally suited for management from outsourcer customers of a call center service provider. Unified CCX Premium is required for this feature. Remote supervisory monitoring works with both SPAN port monitoring and desktop monitoring. However, remote supervisory monitoring only works with a Unified CCX Engine and CTI Ports and agent phones using G.711 encoding. A remote supervisor is configured with a numeric user ID and password and also with the CSQs and agents that the remote supervisor is allowed to silent monitor in this fashion.

Reference URL:

Unified CCX Overview-UCCX SRND 9.0(2).

IP Contact Center Solution & Seat License issues.

UCCX Contact Center Express (NO RMCM SUBSYSTEM).

UCCX licensing restrictions on self-service apps.

UCCX 8.5(1) Admin Guide.

Admin Username confusion when installing UCCX 8.5(1).