Extracting Value from Cisco Call Reporting

Demystifying Unified Communications Manager Analytics

large hero image of Cisco CUCM, Webex Calling, UCCX data structure in bold cyan, black, yellow

Cisco is a globally recognized leader in IT and networking and has built a reputation for manufacturing high-quality equipment that powers connectivity and communication for some of the largest networks in the world.

Cisco's robust telephony platforms like CUCM and Webex Calling produce incredibly detailed call detail records (CDRs) that hold a wealth of data. By tapping into that data, organizations can learn how their (insert storytelling sentence, such as learn how to help employees better collaborate or how to route calls more efficiently and make your customers happier.

Understanding Cisco Call Detail Records (CDR)

Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) and Webex Calling are two different UC platforms offered by Cisco. Cisco UCM is an on-premises solution for voice and video communications, while Cisco Webex Calling is a cloud-based solution that offers a more integrated and collaborative communication experience as part of the Webex platform.

Both CUCM and Webex Calling rely on raw call logs, known as call detail records (CDRs), to output extensive data on the volume and details of communication traffic passing through them. The specific fields and structure of the CDRs may vary between the two platforms due to the different features and services they offer.

example of cisco CDR data with a magnifier showing a close up of the data stream

Cisco Unified Communications Manager CDR Fields

Cisco CUCM CDR Data consists of two types of records to get the complete picture, call detail records (CDR) that include details about the call origination, call duration, and end points, and call management records (CMRs) that are helpful for monitoring the quality of the network (jitter, latency, etc) and aid in diagnostics.

Sorting through raw CDR is extremely difficult, but using reporting templates and data visualization tools, CDR is compiled and analyzed in a meaningful way. This analysis tells a story about the way your business uses communication, revealing customer service trends or signaling potential problems to fast track troubleshooting. For example:

The Call Relay Race (AKA CDR Call Legs):

Imagine you call into a business and first are routed to their automated recording. You make your selection and your call is put into a queue, causing you to wait a bit more before someone picks up. When you finally reach someone you are told you have the be transferred to another department, thus starting the call relay race all over again. Sound frustrating?

Call legs can help you see what specific events are occurring during a call cycle so you can understand how calls are routed and handled by staff or customer service teams. Several CDR fields assist in identifying call legs:

  • origLegCallIdentifier: This field provides a unique identifier for the originating leg of a call. It remains constant throughout the call, even in scenarios involving call transfers within CUCM.
  • destLegCallIdentifier:Similar to the origLegCallIdentifier, this field identifies the terminating leg of a call. It also remains constant across call transfers.

Finding Long Talkers (Improving Customer Service)

Have you ever been on a call with a long talker? You just need a simple answer but end up on the phone for fifteen minutes before you can get your answer? Not fun. Call duration analysis can measure call efficiency as well as pinpoint any anomalies, such as long duration calls. But to find that in the sea of Cisco CDR, you have to look at several fields:

  • dateTimeOrigination: This field indicates the date and time when the call was initiated or received. It helps in tracking when the call started.
  • origCause_value: This field explains if a call was successful or if it failed due to specific reasons.
  • origCause_location: Specifies the location when a call ended to pinpointing exactly where the call was terminated.
  • origMediaTransportAddress_IP: Identifies the IP address of the device that originates the call to track the network path taken by the call.
  • globalCallID_callId: This field assigns the call a unique identity to determine which calls had the longest durations.
  • globalCallID_callManagerId: This field forms part of the Global Call ID and helps associate all records associated within CUCM to link it across multiple calls.

Get a complete list of Cisco CUCM CDR fields from Cisco's official documentation.

Cisco's CDR Analysis and Reporting (CAR) Tool for CUCM:

To make CDR records easier to parse and understand, Cisco has a built-in CDR Analysis and Reporting (CAR) Tool that can be enabled from CUCM. This tool creates simple reports for call volume, gateways, and basic quality of service statistics. Being built-in to the CUCM system or Webex Calling platform makes it easy to access. However, the interface has limited functionality, customization options and reporting templates.

Webex Calling CDR Fields

For the Webex platform, calling report data is only comprised of CDR information (no CMR). They include very similar details about call original, duration, etc, as CDR in the CUCM system, but are accessed a little differently. Up to 1000 of these records can be exported into a CSV or PDF format, or users can generate simple reports in the Webex Control Hub.

Cisco Webex Calling Analytics in Control Hub

For basic call reports, “ Webex Calling Analytics” can be accessed through the Webex Control Hub. It will enable users to filter calls by date range, user, and location for the Webex Calling data, as well as Webex Meeting data.

For more detailed access and customizable reports, Webex offers expanded CDR data through APIs such as the Webex Status API, Webex Calling APIs, and Webex Contact Center APIs. These APIs can be accessed by third party analytics solutions to provide data for real-time monitoring, call analytics, and insights into call queue and agent performance.

Reporting on Cisco UCCX Activity

For Cisco users needing a call center product, Cisco offers Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX). This product has advanced call routing and queueing capabilities, as well as agent management capabilities. However, UCCX does not output CDR, but instead uses IBM Informix for historical reports and Streaming data for their real-time reports. This data is accessed through their Cisco Unified Intelligence Center and Cisco Finesse.

Historical UCCX Reports in Cisco Unified Intelligence Center

Though similar to CDR, the historical reports from the Unified Intelligence Center include information about agent performance instead of users (including their chat activity, status, login and logout activities, etc) and service queue reports about activity, call distribution and traffic analysis. The historical reports are refreshed every 30 minutes for calls that were completed during the reporting window of time.

Live Reports in Unified Intelligence Center and Finesse

The live reports show at-a-glance information of current call center activity at any one time, displaying calls in the IVR, or agent performance, and are set up by agent roles and supervisor roles so the appropriate team members have authorized access to the KPI’s they need and are accessed in both the Unified Intelligence Center reporting and through Cisco Finesse.

cta image of Qcloud UCCX reports showing a download button in cyan background

Extracting Insights from Cisco Analytics

Reporting across multiple Cisco platforms like CUCM, Webex Calling, and UCCX can be challenging, as each has its own data structure and reporting tools.

While the built-in Cisco reporting provide basic insights, they have limitations:

  • The CAR tool in CUCM offers only preset reports with little customization. The system can also become slow and unresponsive when dealing with large amounts of data.
  • Webex Calling Analytics in Control Hub allows filtering on basic criteria but lacks customization. APIs must be leveraged for more advanced analysis.
  • UCCX reporting in Unified Intelligence Center has pre-built templates focused on contact center data but has complaints that they are cumbersome to customize
chart comparing cisco reporting tools car, cuic, and finesse

An IT administrator could spend hours compiling call reports between the disjointed data. This makes it difficult to track end-to-end call journeys or uncover cross-platform trends and insights.

What if your business uses CUCM for two offices, Webex Calling for another location, and has a customer support department that uses UCCX? How would you see the entire call journey?

If a call leaves the CUCM environment, perhaps it is routed to a UCCX contact service queue to be answered by a skilled agent, the CDR record shows the call leaving CUCM, but does not follow the call flow through to it’s completion. To follow the the entire call journey, the Cisco administrator would need to pull the call journey from the CDR in CUCM, and then match it to the data in UCCX from the Unified Intelligence Center.

By consolidating data sources into a single analytics platform, stakeholders gain actionable insights to optimize call routing, improve customer experience, lower costs, and more, making the case for a third party, all-in one solution.

The Case for Third-Party Cisco Call Reporting Tools

Purpose-built third-party tools like Metropolis' Expo XT for Cisco integrate directly with CUCM, Webex Calling, and UCCX to import and consolidate calling data.

Expo XT’s advanced analytics and customizable dashboards provide visibility into the entire Cisco Suite from one platform to deliver:

  • Unified dashboards with drill-down analysis providing end-to-end visibility across platforms. Admins can easily trace complete call journeys.
  • Real-time monitoring, historical reporting, and custom alerts deliver actionable intelligence to optimize call routing, staffing, and issue remediation.
  • Agent scoring and call center analytics to empower contact center managers to measure performance and service levels.
  • Customizable reports and layouts allow admins to tailor the solution to their specific needs.

These capabilities go far beyond Cisco's built-in tools and provide complete, consolidated analytics. By leveraging solutions like Expo XT, organizations can unlock the full value of their Cisco voice investments.

Ready to unlock the potential of your Cisco voice data?
Test drive Expo XT free today and see how it simplifies your Cisco call reporting!

cta image of expo xt compatibility showing logos for cisco cucm, webex calling, and uccx reporting