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Cisco call recording, silent monitoring and whisper coaching over MRA

Work from home is the New Normal for workers around the world. Cisco IP phones are gathering dust in the half-empty offices. Cisco Jabber deployed on remote devices (home PC, personal mobiles etc) and registered with CUCM over MRA (Mobile and Remote Access) through Cisco Expressway - this is how the typical Cisco voice infra looks like these days.

But what about call recording and agent coaching features (silent monitoring and whispering)? In this article we'll let you know the software versions you need to get this working, various limitations of these features in the MRA mode and some best practices.

If you're going to support remote workers with your on-premise Cisco Collaboration platform OR you're planning a call recording deployment for your MRA/Expressway configuration, the following might be useful.

First, the good news is that everything is supported assuming that your UCM/Expressway/Jabber versions are up to date.

The minimum configuration you need for the Built-in Bridge (or "Active";) call recording over MRA is:
- Cisco Jabber 11.9 (for Windows, for Mac, for Adroid or for iPhone/iPad)
- Cisco UCM Enterprise 11.5 (1) SU3
- Cisco Expressway X8.11.1

This min configuration has several major limitations:
a) with UCM 11.5 a mobile Jabber is not CTI-controlled which doesn't allow CUCM call recording software to determine the direction (incoming/outgoing) of a call though it can be recorded.
b) Recording only works for direct person-to-person calls and not for conferences.
c) Recording is not currently supported for Silent Monitoring and Whisper Coaching features.

Though you can record Cisco Jabber calls and access call recordings within Cisco Jabber.

In Cisco Collaboration Systems Release 12.0 the mobile Jabber became a CTI-cotrolled endpoint and the limitaion "a" from the point 2 was lifted.

Now, as Cisco Expressway is the crucial component of the MRA deployment all the limitations depend on its version. And with every new version of Cisco Expressway things are getting better. Lets take a look.

1 Cisco Expressway X12.5
Still there are major limitations for recording over MRA:
- recording does NOT work for conferences
- Silent Monitoring and Whisper Coaching are NOT supported at all
- in the case of call recording for Cisco Jabber endpoints, Jabber does not support injecting recording tones into the media streams.

2 Cisco Expressway X12.6
- starting from X12.6.1 Silent Monitoring is supported
- Whisper Coaching and Whisper Announcements are supported from X12.6.2.
The recording tones do not work for Jabber clients.

3 Cisco Expressway X12.7
No improvements to call recording, monitoring and whispering over MRA.

4 Cisco Expressway X14.0
MRA supports recording tones for Cisco Jabber clients and Webex Unified CM registered applications.

So, now you know exactly what call recording features are supported with your Mobile and Remote Access deployment.