Call Recording in Contact Center Express

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Jul 29th, 2008
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We are considering purchasing Contact Center Express for our 30 agent call center. We have a need for "on demand" recording. We want the agent or supervisor to be able to initiate a recording of a call. From the data sheet, this appears possible in Contact Center Express 6.

However I've heard other users make comments like "the recording is very basic". I think it should still meet our needs, but does anybody have any experience?

What are some limiations I might hit? Any design guidelines to take into account (disk space, another server, etc)?



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Overall Rating: 4.4 (7 ratings)
shanepresley Wed, 07/30/2008 - 06:51
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Thanks for the reply. Do you mean any one agent can only record one call at a time? Or the entire system can only support a single recording at a time?

Also do you know if Cisco has any provisions to add/order more disks for the appliances?

Jonathan Schulenberg Wed, 07/30/2008 - 06:57
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An agent can record only one call at a time.

The appliances are standard HP or IBM servers. You can order additional disks as desired; however, the directory to where everything is stored is fixed. You would have to put the drives in a single RAID 5 array so the overall capacity of the volume is sufficient.

Jonathan Schulenberg Tue, 07/29/2008 - 12:21
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The call monitoring and recording built into the Cisco Agent and Supervisor desktop software can monitor an agent or record a call "on demand." This is to say that an agent or supervisor must click a button to begin recording and recording begins at that moment of the call (as opposed to retroactively recording from the beginning).

The following considerations apply:

1) Recordings can not be retrieved by an agent. Only a supervisor can listen to them. Optionally, the supervisor can save them as a .WAV file and send them to the agent through email or other means.

2) They are not archived beyond 7 (default) or 30 (maximum) days within the system. A supervisor must download the file and store it elsewhere if required.

3) You have additional limitations if you are using IP Phone Agent instead of CAD, or using CAD through a Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Services desktop. In these deployment scenarios, the PC running CAD is not present or not connected to the PC Port of the IP phone. Because of this, CAD does not have the opportunity to capture the RTP stream and forward it to the UCCX server.

In either of these scenarios, you must SPAN the voice VLAN to to the secondary NIC of the UCCX server. There can not be a layer 3 hop (router) in between the voice VLAN and the UCCX server NIC as this is done by MAC addresses of the phones. This is a problem if you have agents working at other sites that must cross a layer 3 boundary.

4) Recordings are not cached to the PC. They are streamed back to the UCCX server live and consume additional network bandwidth. WAN/QoS considerations may apply.

5) Recording and monitoring have an impact on the UCCX server. Provide the Cisco partner drafting the Bill of Materials with accurate quantities of calls that will be monitored or recorded simultaneously to ensure accurate server sizing.

...There may be more but those are what come to mind at the moment. :)

PS- You will want Unified Contact Center 5 if you are doing a new Cisco Unified Communications deployment. UCCX 6 is intended for an older version of Cisco UCM (4.3) only.

shanepresley Wed, 07/30/2008 - 06:57
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Thanks for the excellent detail. Most of those limiations seem acceptable to me.

Regarding #5, is it possible to split recording off to a dedicated server? I haven't spoken with our partner recently, but they did quote three MCS-7825-I3-CCX1. It's my understanding that CCX can only cluster 2 servers, so maybe the third is for recording?

And you are correct, it appears we'll be getting UCM 6, but UCCX 5.

david.macias Wed, 07/30/2008 - 07:35
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Yes, you can have a dedicated recording and monitoring server.


shanepresley Wed, 07/30/2008 - 08:41
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Sorry for the ignorance, but what is CRS? We'll be using UCM 6 and UCCX 5.

BCOLE2007 Wed, 07/30/2008 - 09:05
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Customer Response Solutions, is the application thats hosts up to 3 products;

1)"Unified" IP IVR

2)"Unified" Contact Center Express

3)"Unified" Queue Manager

In a production mode CRS generally resides on a seperate server from the Call Manager

(aka the CCM or UCM)


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shanepresley Wed, 07/30/2008 - 09:22
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Thanks. So it sounds like that's not the product suite I will be using.

So just to confirm, if I'm using UCM6 and UCCX5, I can have a primary server, a warm standby, and a third for call recording?


BCOLE2007 Wed, 07/30/2008 - 10:39
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Hi Shane

The naming of this system and products takes some getting used to....

UCCX5 is the CRS Box, if you are getting UCCX5 then 1 of those 3 products (IP IVR, CCx, QM) must be on it, as CRS is not sold without 1 of those to my knowledge and documentation.

Your Server List with a redundant setup would be this at a minimum

#1 UCM6 Publisher

#2 UCCX5

#3 UCM6 Subscriber

#4 UCCX5 High Availablity

I am not familiar with the Call Recording software, but this sounds like it should be at 1 more server.


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shanepresley Wed, 07/30/2008 - 11:52
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Thanks Blair, I wasn't aware CRS was a term for UCCX. But you're correct, my server layout as I understand it...

#1 UCM6 Publisher

#2 UCM6 Subscriber

#3 UCM6 Subscriber Two

#4 Unity Voice Mail

#5 UCCX5

#6 UCCX5 High Availablity

#7 UCCX5 ????? (I assume recording)

#8 UCCX ??? (recording I think)

BCOLE2007 Wed, 07/30/2008 - 12:31
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Technically I would say CRS is the App accessed thru a browser that runs on the UCCX

, however I sometimes call the box... CRS

I don't have any experience with a recording server, however i have been able to store recordings in our Oracle database using a CRS script


ra_jeshkalra_2 Tue, 08/19/2008 - 07:44
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Hi Schulenberg,

Good explaination. Just a question regarding that.

In my case I have IPCCX 6.0 in HA mode(two servers).I didn't realise and installed the CRS on both the servers , using one NIc card each.

If I want to use the second NIC cars on the UCCX server, what do I have to do?do I need to run the setup CD again?If yes at which step do I need to point the monitoring service to second NIC?Does the recording service also needs to be pointed to second NIC? How.

And for monitoring do I necessarily need a CAD/CSD?How to initiate monitoring from IPPA if no CAD/CSD?



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