CMS licensing

Did you know that CMS Supervisor licenses are used exactly as their name suggests, only for CMS Supervisor application instances? Yes, they are–and it means that terminal access is not limited. Teach your supervisors or managers to use that “scary text interface” and you can save your company a chunk of $$ on supervisor licenses.

Agent licenses are different, though, they work in more complicated way. CMS has means of enforcing the number of concurrent agents working to licensed amount–but only for skills monitored by CMS itself. Let me put it this way: if you have X agents licensed on CMS and define some skills on ACD with “Measured” field set to “external” or “both”, then you can have X agents working simultaneously have these skills assigned to them, either one skill or several, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the number of agents across the skills monitored by CMS. An X+1 agent trying to log in the ACD will hear reorder tone and CM will throw a denial event.

Now consider how many agents in your call center really need all the CMS data. Probably not all: IVR ports, reception desk, HR, internal technical support–whatever skills are not critical, can be spared from CMS monitoring. Set their hunt groups to be measured only for “internal” and voila, they won’t utilize CMS agent licenses any more. You can still monitor these agents’ performance with BCMS reports and BCMS Vue, though, so there’s not much lost this way–except agent administration, agent trace, detailed call history and other CMS features, that is. But it’s a question of costs vs. gains all over again.

14 Comments

  • Aux Watcher says:

    Is “That scary text interface” just logging in via telnet? Or is a separate avaya program?

    • dwalin says:

      Yeah, I heard that once from a call center manager who fancied himself a nerd – he even knew what a text interface was! – and liked it. :) Depending on your CMS version, you can use either telnet or ssh. No special program is required, although Avaya does provide its own Terminal Emulator to use with CMS. The only difference it has from any other telnet/ssh client is that Avaya Terminal Emulator supports 605 type terminal and uses it with CMS as native. I don’t think 605 has advantages over any other terminal types including default xterm so you can use just about any telnet or ssh client you like.

  • Juan says:

    Thanks Rex!!!

    Loving this blog!! Your awesome

  • Sam O. says:

    How do CMS agent licenses apply to ACDs without EAS enabled? The way you phrased your verbiage above, it sounds like CMS agent licenses are used only by EAS agents. Please advise.

    • dwalin says:

      Hi Sam,

      In this case non-EAS split and EAS skill are interchangeable. In fact, the description above is somewhat simplified to make it more accessible but the idea is the same: CMS Agent licenses are only consumed by agents who work with splits/skills measured by CMS. If you have non-EAS environment and some splits are not first class citizens you can switch them to internal measure and use BCMS, saving costly CMS licenses.

      Hope this answers your question.

      Regards,
      Alex.

  • Sam O. says:

    I really trying to find a good way to determine the peak number of CMS agent licenses used each day. You’d think there would be a built-in mechanism.

    I’ve tried querying the haglog table but the results I get seem erroneous in that there appears to be more agents logged in at the same time than I’m licensed for.

    The reason for my question about EAS versus non-EAS is that my CMS connects to 3 switches. Two have EAS enabled and one does not.

    • dwalin says:

      Ok, if you’re really into technical detail. CMS tracks licenses not per agent but per agent/split pair. If you run cmssvc option 1 (auth_display), you can see the number of agent/split pairs licensed in ‘Maximum number of split/skill members’ field. There is also ‘Number of authorized agents (RTU)’ field but to the best of my knowledge, this number is not enforced. As far as I can tell the number of agents is kinda reference only, and usually the number of split/skill pairs equals the number of agents times maximum number of skills per agent. What matters is that only the number of agent/split pairs is enforced.

      As for EAS and non-EAS, the only difference here is that in EAS environment an agent gets logged in to all skills assigned to him/her simultaneously, while in non-EAS he/she needs to log in to each split manually. But either way, an agent/split pair is the same.

      So as you can see, it is entirely possible to get the results you’re seeing as usually not all agents have 20 (or 60 in newer versions) skills assigned to them. It’s been a long known way to cheat Avaya by overutilizing the number of agent/split pairs without buying licenses. Well, not actually cheat because it’s not your problem that Avaya can’t count their chicken, right? :) I think legally you’re obligated to have as many licenses as there are concurrently working agents but, well… As far as I know, nobody cares.

      And yes, querying haglog table is about the only reasonable way to get the number of simultaneous logins. Another possible way would be to assign all your agents a dummy skill, create a real time report that would record the highest number of agents logged in to that skill and keep records of that. But it’s kinda messy, unreliable in non-EAS environment and consumes one extra agent/split pair per agent. :)

      Hope this answers your question.

      Regards,
      Alex.

      • Sam O. says:

        Thanks Alex. That’s the best explanation I’ve gotten so far. It’s a bit strange that Avaya doesn’t better publish how it tracks license usage and, even worse, doesn’t have a report to tell you how close you’re getting to the max. I know my call center managers would be ticked if out of the blue, the Nth+1 agent couldn’t log in, especially considering how long it takes Avaya to provide new licenses.

        Anyway, if the enforcement is really based on max number of split/skill members, I have a long way to go. My haglog query suggests I’m topping out at 320 simultaneous agent logons. I’ll have to run a deeper query to determine how many skill pairs I have but I even if I had 20 per agent (I think I’m closer to an average of 4), that’s only 6400 pairs. I’m licensed for 36120 split/skill members. From a legal perspective, as you suggest, I should consider buying more CMS agent RTUs. I’m only licensed there for 301.

        Thanks for the advice. BTW, I’m running CMS R16.2, if that makes a difference in license enforcement.

        -Sam

        • dwalin says:

          As far as I can tell, all CMS versions to date behave the same way with regards to licensing.

          Also, there’s something unclear with your license numbers: 36120 / 60 = 602 which is exactly twice the number you’re licensed for. Looks like Avaya technician who did the licensing made a mistake or something; that’s usual as the licenses are activated manually and the process is prone to all kinds of errors. So being in your place I’d do more research on licenses purchased, maybe it’s not an error after all and you just have twice the licensing capacity you thought you have. Could as well be if you have two EAS switches; again it’s the usual situation when a company gets sold two separate licensing sets for each switch and CMS gets licensed twice or more. The amount of sloppiness and error that industry has still manages to astound me, despite eight years of inside experience. Oh my…

          Regards,
          Alex.

  • Sam O. says:

    One of my switches is running CM 6.0.1 and looking at the agent screen, I can assign 120 skills to an agent (that could be a very busy agent). Anyway, doing the math with that count, it works out. (36120 / 120 = 301)

    I have also confirmed that the CMS R16 haglog database has fields for 120 skills (logonskillX, sklevelX, skpercentX, skintrtypeX – where X is 2 to 120).

    Thanks for providing a clearer understanding of the CMS licensing.

    • dwalin says:

      Whoa, I forgot about the 120 skills per agent increase. :) It all makes sense then, thanks.

      As for why the number of skills is so high, that’s for IVR. It allows assigning one IVR port up to 120 different applications which is very common situation in many kinds of call centers.

      Anyway, you’re welcome.

      Regards,
      Alex.

  • Sam O. says:

    One more clarification:

    For the number of skill members, is that concurrent or configured? When I look in CMS under Maintenance -> ACD Status -> List All, I see my “Members In Use” total is 931. Since that’s higher than it was an hour ago, I can assume that’s a concurrent number. Is it this total that counts against my maximum skill members (36120)? Or is it the number configured?

    Thanks again,
    Sam

  • dwalin says:

    Sam,

    Yes, that’s the number of concurrent agent/split pairs. There is no limit on the number of configured agents or skills, except total system capacity.

    And yes, that’s the number that gets counted towards your maximum agent/split pairs.

    Regards,
    Alex.

  • Jody says:

    Hi guys! I’m new to the site and was wondering how I can start a topic. I have CMS R16.2 and I’m needing to perform a Admin and Maintenance backup on this new system soon. The problem is that I no longer have a tape drive to do this with. I was told that you can do this via a USB drive or via the LAN on a NFS mounted path. Any ideas on how to do this step for step just to get me a simple backup? I can be reached at “gadawg13@gmail.com” thanks in advance! Jody

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