Cisco Deploys UCCE Virtualized Voice Browser


Published: October 2019


The Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE) solution helps enterprise customers provide a connected, digital contact center experience for their customers. Cisco IT has been using a hardware solution (12 Cisco 3945E Integrated Services Routers or ISRs) as the VoiceXML gateway to support the queuing function in six regions across the globe. But now, those ISRs are reaching end of life (EOL).

Instead of replacing the ISRs with a new hardware solution, which would be costly and cumbersome, Cisco IT is deploying a new software solution called Virtualized Voice Browser (VVB). “Without the VVB that UCCE offers, Cisco IT would need to make a significant investment in new hardware to support the queuing function,” advised Mary Mazon, Cisco IT manager.

Solution and Deployment

There are currently two types of Cisco VVB. The first runs as a virtual machine on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. The second runs as a virtual machine on the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) Voice Gateway—the Cisco 4451 ISR.

Cisco IT is implementing the second type of VVB not only because it is more cost-effective, but also because the required ISR, the 4451, is already part of Cisco’s IT infrastructure. Cisco IT implemented these ISRs as part of a recent, global refresh program to replace the Cisco 3945 ISRs.

From a cost perspective, the new Cisco VVB provides two competitive advantages. The first is solution-based licensing. There is no additional licensing cost for the VVB—an existing UCCE agent license covers the solution. The second advantage is the IT infrastructure cost savings: VVB has a much smaller footprint than the existing hardware solution.

Figure 1 and Figure 2 help to illustrate the reduction in infrastructure and costs for the queuing solution with VVB.

Figure 1. The Past Deployment Model, with PSTN Voice Gateway (3945) and VoiceXML gateway (3945E)

Figure 2. The new deployment model, with the PSTN Voice Gateway (4451) and the new VVB software installed

Cisco IT is successfully running the new VVB solution at the Asia-Pacific-North (AP-North) location. The team now plans to expand the deployment of the VVB solution to the remaining locations around the globe.

Another benefit of the new VVB solution is that it enables new functionalities in the UCCE platform. The upcoming conversational IVR capability in Cisco UCCE, Release 12.5, requires the VVB. The new capability will not be supported by the legacy queuing function that uses the ISR hardware platform 3945E. So, customers using the new VVB solution not only will benefit from an IT infrastructure footprint reduction, but they also will be prepared to access more advanced capabilities in the UCCE platform, like the conversational IVR capability, when they become available.

Next Steps

Since Cisco UCCE, Release 12.5, will enable conversational IVR capability in the UCCE platform by leveraging VVB, Cisco IT is partnering with the software development team within Cisco to participate in the Early Field Trial (EFT) program. As part of this program, Cisco IT is helping the software development team to validate the new solution in a real-life environment and provide feedback. This partnership allows the software development team to address critical software feedback before releasing Cisco UCCE 12.5 to the public at the end of 2019.

“We are very excited about the adoption of the new VVB solution in the Cisco IT environment,” said Shubo Jiang, Cisco IT architect. “It drives down the hardware investment for Cisco IT. It also enables Cisco IT to build new, advanced capabilities for UCCE, like conversational IVR, at far less cost than before—and at much faster speed.”

For More Information

Visit the Cisco Unified Contact Center Experience (UCCE) website to learn more.

To read additional Cisco IT case studies on a variety of business solutions, visit Cisco on Cisco: Inside Cisco IT.