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Community Tech-Talk: Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) Version 10.0 Upgrade, Migration and New Features Overview

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Cisco Employee

My name is Abhiram Kramadhati. I am an engineer with the Contact Center backbone TAC team and work in the APAC timezone.

This techtalk is about the latest UCCX version, 10.0(1). The latest  release has a lot of new features such as CUIC, Finesse, Media Sense  integration and also architectural changes which might not be noticed by the customer directly, but is aimed at improving the product stability.

In this tech talk, we discuss about these features in brief along with changes in hardware requirement and support, upgrade scenarios and migration options.

Tech-Talk Video:

Tech Talk UCCX 10.png

Let us start from the beginning and look at some information about upgreades.

Is there anything different about this version in terms of upgrade?

UCCX  10.0 supports only Linux to Linux upgrades. This means that if you are  on a Windows version of UCCX (example 7.x), you will have to upograde to  an intermediate linux version of UCCX (say, 9.x) and only then move to  10.x. Here are some examples of upgarde paths, but you can chose one  that suits your requirements:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.16.17 PM.png

One  important point to keep in mind is that when you upgrade to the linux  version, or if you already on a linux version, ensure that you are on  the latest SU (Service Update). For example if you are on the 8.5(1),  you need to be on latest SU which is SU4. You can upgrade to 10.0(1)  only from the latest SU. Please note that as and when newer SUs are  released, the support for upgrade will be aggregated. Say, SU5 is  released 2 months down the line. You will then be able to upgarde to  10.0 from both 8.5(1)SU4 and 8.5(1)SU5.

When you are performing a  refresh upgrade, from 8.x, ensure that you are using the right cop file  based on the version you are in. The COP installation will be possible  only on the latest SU and that is how the version control is done  currently.

Hardware support:

This,  according to me, is the biggest change in terms of install/upgrade when  compared to the previous versions. Unlike the previous versions of  UCCX, 10.0(1) is supported ONLY on a virtual machine. Starting 10.0(1),  UCCX can no longer be installed on bare-metal servers. Therefore, you  will have to plan the hardware too in case you are upgrading from a  lower version and that too an MCS. So the big question is "how do I  migrate?". We have put together two possible ways of migration. The  following steps need to be taken:

  1. Take a backup of the cluster using DRF
  2. Install  the publisher on the UCS (virtual machine). Ensure the version, ip  address, hostname and the credentials are the same as the original  machine.
  3. Restore the publisher from the DRF backup taken.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.16.47 PM.png

From here, we have two options:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.17.16 PM.png

Method 1 (left hand side):

4. Reinstall the subscriber with the same version, ip address, hostname and credentials

5. Add it to the cluster

6. Restore the subscriber from the DRF backup

7. Upgrade the cluster to 10.0(1)

Metod 2 (right hand side):

4. Delete the subscriber from the configuration

5. Upgrade the publisher to 10.0(1)

6. Install the subscriber with version 10.0(1)

7. Add it to the cluster

Advantages and disadvantages of the methods:

Method  2 will take considerably lesser amount of time since you will do only 1  Upgarde and 1 Switch-version (on Node 1 only) whereas you will be doing  2 upgrades and 2 switch-versions in the first method.

But  with the second method, all recording data present on Node 2 will be  lost. The recording works in such a way that  the recording files are  stored on the UCCX cluster in a round-robin fashion. These files are not  replicated. Therefore, the recording files on Node 2 will be lost  because we are not restoring from the DRF backup. Based on these  considerations, you can take a call on which path to follow.

Memory requirement in UCCX 10.0:

Now  that we have upgraded the system and are on 10.x, let us look at the  change in memory requirements. If you would have noticed, the UCCX 10.0  has not just the UCCX but also CUIC and Finesse co-resident on the same  box. These are fully blown applications and therefore you would need  additional memory so that all the applications can perform at the same  level as expected. The new memory requirements are:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.17.43 PM.png

If  you are installing the 10.0 using the OVF template available on  cisco.com, the requirement is automatically taken care of. If you are  upgrading from an older version, ensure that you add the additional  memory and are in conformance with the standards. Non-confromance might  not only affect system performance but also give a warning on the  AppAdmin page:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.18.09 PM.png

While  we are on the same topic, there is another important issue about  "Partition realignment". Please go through the issue described in the  pre-FCS communication which has been published on Cisco.com:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps1846/products_tech_note09186a0080c1f100.shtml

New features:

Let  us now move on to the most anticipated part of the UCCX 10.0 release.  This release has perhaps the highest number of changes in terms of the  features in the time I have worked on UCCX. Some of the major updates  are:

CUIC:

  • CUIC will be the ONLY reporting client going forward. HRC is no longer available on 10.0(1)
  • If you were using CUIC on 9.0 and had configurations, these will be carried over when you move to 10.0
  • However, all schedules and custom reports which were on HRC will have to be manually configured on CUIC again
  • CUIC  now has the Live Data feature which will let the customers run queries  to access data about the real time state of the call center like agents,  teams etc.

Finesse:

  • Finesse is being introduced for the first time in UCCX.
  • Finesse  is a browser based agent desktop solution. This gives a lot of  flexibility to the customer to customize the agent desktop's look and  feel.
  • This version of UCCX finesse does not, however, give all  the features that CAD offers. There are still some feaures which do not  work with UCCX Finesse. Eg: Preview Outbound
  • To use  Finesse, the customer has to activate the Finesse service from the CLI.  This will start the 'Cisco Finesse Tomcat' service on the UCCX and can  be seen on the UCCX Servicability page. Please note that this service  status alone is not an indication about the actual state of Finesse  services. You can open the url: http://<ip address of uccx>:8082/finesse/api/SystemInfo

The output will be similar to:

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.18.40 PM.png

Note:  It is MUST that ALL agents use ONLY ONE time of agent desktop. If you  have 200 agents, all of them should use either CAD or Finesse only. 100  using CAD and 100 using Finesse is not supported. Also, please note to  shutdown the Finesse services if you are not using Finesse. The Finesse  service remaining started when a log of CAD operations are underway is  known to cause performance issues.

Media Sense Recording:

  • With UCCX 10.0(1), you can now use Media Sense to record your calls.
  • UCCX  is integrated with Media Sense so that a workflow can be configured to  send tagging information, while Media Sense depends on CUCM on recording  the media itself.

Extend and Connect:

  • This is yet another feature introduced for the first time in UCCX.
  • Agents can now operate as "mobile agents".
  • This works similar to the "nailed up call" concept in UCCE
  • The agents need to have Jabber and can be either using CAD or Finesse

REST API:

  • There  is a major enhancement in terms of REST API access. There is a REST API  step introduced which can be used to make REST calls from the UCCX  script.

CLID:

  • Customers  can now enable the CLID feature and set the value too which will be  displayed on the agent phone display while the agent's phone is  displayed. It can be a string which will be pushed to the agent's phone.
  • This feature can be enabled and disabled as required.

As  mentioned in the beginning of the blog, there are some architectural  changes introduced too. This one in particular due to feedback from the  partner/customer community.

Traditonally,  the UCCX engine accessed the Engine keystore. This was always  accessible from the root only. The keystore which was accessible by the  user was the platform Tomcat keystore. This was however not used by the  UCCX Engine. So if you are using a step like getUrlDocument and trying  to establish a secure connection to the server, you had to upload the  certificate and the certificate chain to the UCCX engine keystore. This  was possible only via the root. This was a little inconvinent and was  tracked under the defect: CSCue13884

The  enhancement now is that the UCCX engine accesses the Platform Tomcat  keystore instead of the UCCX engine keystore. So, you can now upload the  certifcates meant for the UCCX application from the OS administration  page.

IMPORTANT:  If you had opened a TAC case earlier and had your certificates uploaded  from the root, please note that these have to be reuploaded from the OS  Administration page since the UCCX engine is no longer looking into the  Engine keystore.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.19.08 PM.png

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.19.31 PM.png

Here is a presentation which will give much more information on the certificate management and the concepts behind it.

Things to look out for:

  • Look  out for these two defects during migration. This will ensure that the  LDAP database is migrated too along with the UCCX data:

CSCtz34126: DRF reports backup as "SUCCESSFUL" even when LDAP backup script fails

-->  Although the backup says "successful", the LDAP database is not backed  up. Therefore, after the restore the agents cannot login. Open the UCCX  Component log from the backup page and verify the following line is  printed:

2012/04/16 10:25: Done executing Backup LDAP Script

CSCul99618: Wrong license package causes LDAP restore to be skipped

--> Symptoms are agents unable to login after restore and CDA is blank

Once  you have ensured that the agents LDAP was backed up successfuly, this  defect might cause the LDAP database not to be restored. The following  lines are seen in the restore logs:

2013/12/06 15:46: Checking the IPIVR license flag before initiating CAD Restore

2013/12/06 15:46: IPIVR package.Skipping CAD Restore

Although  the system has a non-IPIVR license (Standard, Enhanced of Premium) the  license is still read as IPIVR and the LDAP database is not restored.

Recommended action:

-->Reboot the server

-->Ensure the Cluster View Daemon (CVD) service is started

-->Perform the restore again

Out  of personal experience, I would recommend that the MCS server is not  decomissioned until the UCS is completely validated and tested for  production. Sometimes, we do have to manually migrate the LDAP database  manually and for that the MCS server access is helpful.

Enhancements in terms of serviciability:

  • Hostname change is now supported
  • Demo license issued will now be valied for 60 days, it was 30 earlier
  • The number of JTAPI log files and the size of the file have been increased from 10 and 1mb to 200 and 3mb respectively.
  • Switch-version will now be more descriptive where the steps currently being executed will be displayed
  • Introduction od new commands for troubleshooting:

utils uccx dbreplication dump configfiles --> gives out out of files resonsible for replication setup

utils uccx database healthcheck --> performs healthcheck of database and gives recommended actions

utils uccx database dbpref ---> used for monitoring CPU utilization of server and the database utilization too

run uccx hrdataexport --> used to collect the database dump of config and historical tables

Please go through the pre-release communication for UCCX for more information:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/custcosw/ps1846/products_tech_note09186a0080c1f100.shtml

You can also view the TechTalk video and the presentation for more information.

16 Comments

Hi Abhiram,

Can we disable the Secure http for UCCX finesse. If not, Can we have the steps to resolve certificate errors, since the agents are unable to login finesse desktop.

Also please do let us know that does UCCX finesse support Agent Login ID as Name? or it should be numeral?

Can we have the UCCX email gadget for finesse?

 

Thanks,

Jayadurai (NCE)

Servion Chennai

Cisco Employee

Hi Jayadurai,

Secure HTTP has to be used as part of Finesse. If you are using self-signed certificates, you will have to accept the certificate and add it to the certificate trust store on the agent browser. 

Also, Finesse does support login id as name. In UCCX, the login id has to be the userid given on the call manager only. There is no option of using an alternative like the UCCE.

The email functionality is currently not avaialble in Finesse and we expect it to he available in the next major release. 

Do let me know if you need any clarifications. 

Cheers,

Abhiram Kramadhati

Enthusiast

Hi Abhiram, can IPPA be used when Finesse is used for the Agent Desktop?  Not for the same agent, but in a mixed environment?  I understand we can not have CAD and Finesse running on the same UCCX instance, but I wasn't sure if IPPA was using any CAD services.

 

Thanks,

Tom

Cisco Employee

Hi Tom,

The IPPA connects to the IP Phone Agent Service and that is a desktop service too. So, to paraphrase, we need to ensure that we either have only Finesse services being utilized or CAD services.

However, I would urge you to test this scenario because the reason for the above mentioned limitation is because we have seen issues with high-CPU when running outbound campaigns on CAD and the Finesse services are left running. However, I don't see that in this scenario. So you can test it for a while and take a call, but officially it is not supported.

Cheers,
Abhiram Kramadhati
CCIE Voice # 40065

Beginner

Abhiram, my client is having issues with their IE 8 and IE 9 browser settings that do not allow for the users to accept the certificate error or install the certificate when logging into Finesse. Can the certificates be downloaded from the UCCX/Finesse server and pushed out the the clients? If so, which certificates need to be installed on the end user's machines?

 

Thank you,

 

Steve

Beginner

Hi Abhiram,

                       Can you clarify if the certificates can be manually downloaded from the UCCX servers and loaded to the user's machines certificate stores? My client uses IE8 and IE9 and they are having a very difficult time logging in with this browser. Firefox works fine but the corporate IT policy only supports IE.

Thank you,

Steve

Cisco Employee

Hi Steve,

Sorry, I missed your question. I will get back to you with the answer.

Cheers,

Abhiram Kramadhati

Hi Abhiram, 

On the new deployment of UCCX 10. I'm logged in using the Application Admin account. However, each time I try and run any of the Live Data (Agent or Supervisor) in CUIC, it comes back with "Authentication Failed. Contact Administrator". If I try and log in as a Supervisor, the reports run fine. Is this expected behavior? AppAdmin account cannot run the live data report?

Thanks,

Jayadurai

Cisco Employee

Hi Jayadurai,

Yes, only supervisors who have been assigned an IPCC extension will be allowed to access the CUIC Live Data and other CUIC features. Administrator will be allowed to log in, but will not be allowed to use other functionalities and will recieve the error "Access Denied: Please contact your administrator".

This has been updated in the guide too, in the 'Authorized Users' section (http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cust_contact/contact_center/crs/express_10_0/user/guide/UCCX_BK_U5857F73_00_unified-ccx-report-user-guide.pdf):

 

Cheers,
Abhiram Kramadhati
CCIE Voice # 40065

Hi Abhiram,

Thanks!

One more Clarification, When Finesse Agent is on call, there is no option of Direct Transfer. Only consult(warm transfer) is an option available. Any options to enable Direct transfer with UCCX Finesse 10?

Thanks,

Jayadurai

Hi Abhiram,

One Important Clarification for our Customer demo;

1)  UCCX 10 Finesse EIM gadget for 9 integrated & trying out in IE9. But the EIM login window is not displayed even afetr teh browser settings advised in EIM Bowser guide. Please help..

2)  UCCX 10 Supervisor Finesse Desktop Queue Data Voice CSQ Summary Report displays all other CSQ which the Supervisor does not involve. But in CUIC when i filter the CSQ it shows fine, on finesse its showing all. Tried with that view ID in finesse gadget, but unable to get the report in finesse. Any way to remove the other CSQ's from this.

 

Thanks,

Jayadurai

 

Beginner

Hi Abhiram,

We are going to do an upgrade from version 8.5(1) SU4 to 10.5, our concern is if the historical reporting DATA will be imported when we move direct to 10.5?  or should we jump from 8.x to 9.x and then to 10.5?

Thank you.

 

Cisco Employee

Hello,

My customer is performing the r.9 to r.10 upgrade (MCS hardware to UCS Virtualization and they have High Availability across two geographically distributed datacenters). 

Their question is around the new (r.10) node having a different IP from the old (r.9) nodes ... I realize the documentation and your info above ... indicates they should have the same IP address, however, they require a change.  

Questions:

  1. Can the new (r.10) node have a different IP from the old (r.9) node?
  2. What's the process/steps when the new (r.10) node having a different IP from the old (r.9) node?

 

Thank you,

dst

Cisco Employee

My customer needs to consolidate 5 of their UCCX Instances into 3 Instances ... and they'll be performing the r.9 to r.10 upgrade (MCS hardware to UCS Virtualization and they have High Availability across two geographically distributed datacenters). 

Questions:

  1. How can they consolidate the 5 UCCX Instances into 3 UCCX Instances - it doesn't seem they will be able to use the standard DRS Tool?

 

Thank you,

dst

 

Beginner

Hi Abhiram,

I have UCCX 11.0 with CUCM 10.5 (No HA). When the agent tries to set the status ready gets the following error

CF_RESOURCE_OUT_OF_SERVICE Please try again or contact the administrator.

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