contact center express

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Cisco® Unified Contact Center Express (Unified CCX) helps businesses and organizations deliver a connected digital experience, enabling you to deliver contextual, continuous, and capability-rich journeys for your customers, across time and channels.


This easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use customer interaction solution supports up to 400 agents and is designed for midmarket companies or enterprise branch offices. Secure and highly available, it supports powerful agent-based services and fully integrated self-service applications, including automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), and computer telephony integration (CTI).


Cisco Unified CCX helps deliver each of your contacts to the right agent the first time. It enables this accuracy with sophisticated business rules for inbound and outbound voice, email, web chat, and customer interaction management. Cisco Unified CCX also offers numerous agent and desktop services and can scale to larger, more demanding environments.


You can choose from two Cisco Unified CCX packages: Enhanced and Premium, to better match solution functions with your customer contact interaction management requirements. The Cisco Unified CCX solution is tightly integrated with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Business Edition 6000 (BE6000), and Cisco Business Edition 7000 (BE7000).


Table 1 lists the features and benefits of Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 11.5




Each Cisco Unified Contact Center Express seat provides optimal flexibility in your contact center by offering full licensing to use the seat as either an agent or a supervisor seat. Enhanced and Premium agent seats can be either workstation or Cisco Unified IP Phone-based agent stations. Each seat provides full licensing for Cisco Finesse desktop and Cisco Finesse IP Phone Agent. With the Enhanced and Premium versions, even if a workstation failure occurs, an agent is fully licensed to continue working through the Cisco Finesse IP Phone Agent.


Table 1.       Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Features and Benefits




Agent Capabilities and Benefits

Cisco Finesse® desktop

●  Cisco Finesse desktop is a next-generation agent and supervisor desktop for Cisco Customer Collaboration solutions embedded with Cisco Contact Center Express.

●  It provides easy access to the applications and information required by your customer service organization through a customizable web-based interface.

●  Cisco Finesse desktop offers an intuitive, easy-to-use desktop design to help improve customer care representative performance and satisfaction, enabling quality customer service.

●  The embedded Cisco Finesse desktop supports inbound and outbound contact center functions. Core features include:

◦   Customizable agent and supervisor desktop layout
◦   Blended agents: Inbound and outbound capability
◦   Call control
◦   Multisession web chat
◦   Email
◦   Live data reporting gadgets
◦   Phonebook
◦   E.164 support


Context Service enabled

●  Context Service is a cloud-based omnichannel service that provides storage, tagging, and management of the data from interactions between businesses or organizations and their customers.

●  The context and history the service provides helps customer care agents better understand and respond to customer needs.

Home agents

●  This feature provides flexibility for agents to use their public-switched-telephone-network (PSTN) phone devices to accept, transfer, conference, and disconnect calls, while Cisco Unified CCX manages the agent interactions.

●  Home agents use the Cisco Unified Communications Manager infrastructure with extend and connect functions along with a Jabber® client in extend mode to set their own remote device.


Computer telephony integration (CTI)

Cisco Finesse Desktop

●  The ready-to-use Cisco Finesse Desktop Call Control gadget provides screen pop information with complete customer information.

●  Access to customer-relationship-management (CRM) information is achieved by:

◦   Creating gadgets in house or through a third-party developer, to "pop" information from CRM databases
◦   Using HTTP workflows to "pop" any web-based CRM solution such as into a gadget on the agent desktop


Interactive voice response (IVR) and self-service

●  This feature provides an integrated, ready-to-use IVR solution including an IVR queue point, custom call treatment, arbitrarily deep voice menus, custom voice prompts, and the ability to process customer phone-keypad presses through dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) processing to make routing decisions or to present a screen pop to the agent. Advanced IVR ports, available with Unified CCX Premium licenses, enable database integration.

●  Adding advanced self-service technologies such as Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Text to Speech (TTS), and VoiceXML is supported.


Cisco Unified CCX Instant Messaging

●  The Cisco Jabber platform enables instant messaging between agents, agents and supervisors, and agents and subject-matter experts outside the contact center.

Management Capabilities and Benefits

Supervisor features

●  The ability to monitor critical performance metrics allows managers to coach, train, and encourage agent behavior so that agents can consistently perform their job functions and process calls efficiently.

●  The ability to chat with individual members or the entire team using Jabber software allows supervisors to coach agents, resolve problems, and instantly communicate business changes.

●  Supervisors can silently monitor calls to listen for coaching opportunities.

●  They can interrupt an agent's call using Barge In to interact with both the caller and the agent to help resolve a concern.

●  Supervisors can remove an agent from a call using the Intercept feature, so the supervisor and caller can complete the call on their own while the agent handles another customer request.

●  Supervisors can change an agent's state from their desktops in a situation where agents may forget to make themselves available to take calls after a break or neglect to log out when they are away from their workstations for an extended period.

●  Supervisors can log out missing agents or make unintentionally idle agents ready to take calls. They can change an agent's skill profile in real time, so they can manage their agent teams and support contact center management objectives.

●  Cisco Unified CCX allows supervisors to dynamically re-skill agents through the Cisco Unified Contact Center Express Mobile Skill Manager.

●  Calls can be recorded using Cisco MediaSense and Workforce Optimization recording solutions, and supervisors can play back conversations using gadgets available on their desktop.



●  The Cisco Finesse desktop web administration allows easy configuration of complex screen pop actions using the Cisco Finesse HTTP and REST APIs.

●  Workflows allow agents to provide improved service and reduce call times.

●  Supervisors can quickly and easily set up workflows in Cisco Finesse software using the logic-based, intuitive administration interface to change the information presented to an agent based on the flow of the call.

●  Cisco Finesse workflows can trigger two actions, REST API calls and browser-based screen pops.

●  Any system that supports REST APIs or has applications that work in a standard web browser will work with the Cisco Finesse desktop.



●  Web-based administration provides a run-anywhere, enterprisewide point of control for single- or multisite contact centers.

●  Cisco Unified CCX transparently integrates information from Cisco Unified Communications Manager and integrates with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager web-based administration to provide cross access and a common interface.

●  Administration for the Cisco Finesse desktop is also integrated into the Cisco Unified CCX administration.

●  Administration allows a wide range of real-time reporting statistics across all activity within the contact center, regardless of agent or supervisor location and for all calls in process.


Integrated service-creation environments

●  Cisco Unified CCX offers a service-creation and scripting environment for mapping business rules to call-flow behavior and call treatments.

●  A visual editor environment provides a simple, drag-and-drop, easy-to-understand interface for building powerful, custom, business-communication applications.


Workforce optimization: Quality management

●  Manage personnel efficiently to deliver consistent customer service that matches your business goals with workforce management.

●  Align compliance and quality goals with call recording and quality management.

●  Finesse Search and Play Gadget allows agents to play interactions and earn Gamification Badges for quality and adherence. It gives supervisors visibility to agent badges earned, allowing them to apply the right peer coaching at the right time for the right agents.

●  This feature is available with Cisco Unified CCX Enhanced and Premium versions.


Advanced workforce management

●  This feature provides planning enhancements to allow supervisors to create hiring plans based on staffing needs, time to hire, and attrition.

●  Capacity plans produce reports to identify resource needs over an established timeframe.

●  Budgetary plans establish basic budgetary estimates over a defined timeframe.

●  Dynamic scheduling aligns the agent’s scheduling desires with the staffing needs of the business.

●  These strategic planning tools are easy to use and administer, and they allow schedulers to remain in control and ensure optimal staffing levels.

Multichannel Options


●  Email enables contact centers to queue and route email messages to skilled agents, helping balance email and call-handling activities. Agent email is available with Exchange and Office 365.

●  Integrated into the agent desktop, the email feature requires integration with a Cisco SocialMiner® server.

Web chat

●  Web chat provides multisession chat capabilities for managing customer interactions through company websites.
●  Integrated into the agent desktop, web chat requires integration with a Cisco SocialMiner server.

●  You can blend voice and chat operations with the ability to allocate or not allocate chat contacts while an agent is on a voice call, and conversely for improved resource usage.


Outbound dialing

●  This feature offers direct preview, progressive and predictive outbound dialing with Cisco Finesse desktop, as well as outbound IVR capabilities.

●  It can help you build campaigns to use preview dialing that is integrated with inbound calls to provide a blended inbound/outbound solution.

●  It enables agents to serve both inbound calls and outbound campaign tasks when the inbound queue is empty, allowing for the most efficient use of agent resources for both inbound calls and outbound campaigns.


Social media customer care

●  This feature enables your company to proactively respond to customers and prospects communicating through public social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook or other public forum or blogging sites.

●  Cisco SocialMiner software is available as a standalone option with Cisco Unified Contact Center Express.

Video customer care

●  Video collaboration with Jabber Guest allows experts and customers to appear on video displays for a highly effective, face-to-face customer service interaction.

●  This type of care is ideal for applications in finance, such as branch-office experts, retail for high-end sales, healthcare for remote consultations, and interpretive services, as well as for administrative services such as lobby personnel.

●  Video customer care creates the intimacy of a one-on-one meeting and at the same time allows the agent to be in multiple places for efficient use of resources.

Product Functions and System Capabilities

Routing capabilities

●  These capabilities offer call-routing behaviors based on conditional events, such as time of day, day of week, or holiday routing, as well as the ability to specify service levels, move contacts between agent groups, and reprioritize contacts in the queue based on your business rules.

●  These capabilities facilitate categorization and prioritization of customer contacts in a way that best meets your business requirements.

●  A wide range of routing logic that can accurately target and selectively route different classes of contacts, or even single out individual contacts for customized, prioritized routing treatment, is supported.

●  These capabilities help ensure that each contact is routed to the right agent at the right location the first time to maximize resolution on the first call.


Next-generation reporting

●  Next-generation reporting, with a refresh of the user experience in the 11.5 release, provides historical and real-time reports and dashboards with flexible presentation options using Cisco Unified Intelligence Center.

●  Existing out-of-the-box reports allow you to view historical and Live Data reports, or create custom reports based on the information you want to track.

●  In addition, the ability to report on service levels, thresholds, alerts, and short and long-term views allows supervisors to create even more comprehensive reports.

●  Off-box Cisco Unified Intelligence Center can accommodate multiple data sources and can allow the supervisor to create custom reports, providing greater flexibility.


Open systems

●  This feature allows you to take full advantage of industry-standard hardware platforms to enable the benefits of many software functions at a modest hardware cost.

●  The open architecture of the system, which includes an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)-compliant database as well as Java interfaces for CTI applications, can integrate with existing contact center solutions, preserving investments in traditional systems and providing a platform for future applications.


Redundant high availability

●  High-availability redundancy is supported for dual-server cluster deployments, including support for automatic failover of inbound voice ACD, IVR, and desktop services.

●  Database replication and failover are supported, as well as load-balanced redundancy for historical reporting and on-demand recording.

●  High availability over the WAN (HAoWAN) is supported.

Single sign-on

Single sign-on (SSO) permits Cisco supervisors or agents to sign on only once with a username and password to gain access to all of their Cisco browser-based applications and services within a single browser instance. Cisco administrators can manage all users from a common directory and enforce password policies for all users consistently.


Appliance model

●  Appliance model supports deployment only in a virtualized system.

●  Appliance model is a secure, resilient, and robust model that is less complex and provides for faster installs, easier upgrades, and less-frequent patching.

●  Remote deployment, operation, and support reduce the need for onsite support, potentially shortening maintenance cycles and reducing overall downtime.



●  Scalability provides a multichannel contact-center-in-a-box for up to 400 agents.

●  Dual-server clusters provide redundant high availability.



●  Cisco Unified CCX supports Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), an integrated Linux OS feature that provides access-control policies for a secure system.



●  Cisco Unified CCX supports IPv6 with a dual-stack capability.


Simplified deployment

●  Integration with Cisco Prime™ deployment includes fresh install and upgrades, hostname change, and IP address change.



●  Virtualization requires deployment as an application on a virtual machine on the VMware platform running on the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) or specification-based hardware.

●  It allows Cisco Unified CCX to be part of a virtualized deployment where multiple Cisco Unified Communications applications can be deployed on the same server.

●  Consolidating servers through virtualization results in significant cost savings and reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).


Specifications at a Glance

Cisco Unified Contact Center Express 11 Feature Availability with Cisco Unified Communications Manager
Read Data Sheets
Feature Premium Enhanced Standard Optional
Inbound voice Yes Yes Yes No
Blended Preview Outbound Dialer Yes No No No
Predictive and Progressive Outbound Dialer Yes with Finesse No No Yes
Outbound IVR Yes No No Yes
Agent E-Mail Yes No No No
Web Chat Yes No No No
Inbound Voice High-Availability Option Yes Yes No Yes
Outbound Voice Yes No No No
Database Integration Yes No No No
WFO: Call Recording Yes Yes Yes Yes
WFO: Quality Management Yes Yes No Yes
WFO: Advanced Quality Management Yes Yes No Yes
WFO: Workforce Management Yes Yes No Yes
Finesse Agent and Supervisor Desktop Yes Yes No No
Finesse IP Phone Agent Yes Yes Yes No
Context Service Support Yes Yes No No