Contact Centers Have a Case of TMA! Contact Center Acronyms


January 12, 2015

When you start looking at contact center software, it can look like alphabet soup.  It is TMA (Too Many Acronyms)! There is no shortage of contact center acronyms when reading white papers and guides.  And just when you think you’ve got it down for one system, matters get worse when you find acronyms commonly vary between manufacturers.


Commonly Used Contact Center Acronyms in Cisco’s Unified Contact Center Express (UCCX) Systems


  • CRS – Customer Response Solution The early days of Cisco’s contact center express software is referred to as CRS.
  • IPCC Express – IP Contact Center Express After CRS, Cisco used IPCC Express as the name of its contact center express software. The Express designation was used to differentiate from IPCC Enterprise, which is a larger enterprise class offering from Cisco.
  • UCCX – Unified Contact Center Express The most recent name of Cisco’s contact center express software.

Read about Gen Z and the Contact Center today. 

Contact Center Acronyms


  • ACD – Automatic Call Distributor  UCCX has many ACD functions, such as skills based routing and customizable queuing announcements.
  • AD – Active Directory Active Directory is a commonly used technology in corporations.  It is used to store user information and to validate user log-in attempts.
  • AHT – Average Handle Time or Average Hold Time This is an abbreviation used in reporting.  The average hold time represents the average amount of time that callers spend on hold when speaking to an agent.  AHT can also represent average handle time.  In this case, it tells us the average time it took to handle a call including talk time, hold time, and after call work time.
  • ANI – Automatic Number Identification This is the caller ID information that is passed to the contact center.
  • AQT – Average Queue Time The average time that callers spend in a particular queue before talking to an agent.
  • ASA – Average Speed of Answer This is the ring time for calls going to agents from queue, divided by the number of calls answered.
  • ASR – Automatic Speech Recognition Sometimes, contact center IVR’s accept more than just keypad input.  ASR allows callers to say something, possibly an account number or address.
  • ATA – Average Time to Abandon The average time it took for callers to hang-up while queuing for an agent.
  • ATT – Average Talk Time The average amount of time that agents speak to callers.
  • AWT – Average Work Time The average amount of time that agents spend in work mode after calls.
  • AIT – Average Idle Time The average amount of time that agents spend in “ready” state, waiting for calls.
  • BHCA – Busy Hour Call Attempts The total number of calls during the peak traffic hour that are attempted into the contact center.  BHCA is often used to help calculate needed resources (trunks and agents) for a contact center.
  • CDR – Call Detail Record A detailed form of reporting showing every call.
  • CRM – Customer Relationship Management Agents commonly have some form of CRM software they access to help customers. CRM screens often automatically pop-up filled with customer information when a call comes to an agent.
  • CTI – Computer Telephony Integration CTI is used in contact centers to automate certain tasks, helping agents efficiency.  The earlier example of a CRM screen pop-up is an example of CTI.
  • DID – Direct Inward Dial A phone number associated with the contact center.  A contact center may have internal extensions that callers are transferred to for specific queues, and they also may have DID’s which callers dial form the outside to reach queues or menus.
  • DNIS – Dialed Number Identification Service When a DID rings into the contact center it will present a DNIS, which may be different than the full DID. Commonly, a DNIS may be the last 4 digits of the DID.
  • DTMF – Dual Tone Multi Frequency The touch tones that are often required to navigate the menu systems in a contact center.

  • EWT – Expected Wait Time The expected wait time is a calculation that the system makes to attempt to determine how long a call will wait in queue before being answered by an agent.  It is calculated by looking at the caller’s position in the queue, the average talk time for the queue, and the total number of working agents in the queue.  EWT should be used with caution in smaller contact centers, due to the volatile nature of the calculation when small sample sizes are in use.
  • FCR – First Call Resolution This is a commonly strived for goal that indicates a caller’s issue was resolved with one call, speaking to just one agent.
  • HA – High Availability In the UCCX Contact Center there is a primary server and an (optional) high availability server.  The HA server is ready to take over call processing if the primary server fails.  The typical failover time from primary to HA is less than 60 seconds.  Calls that are in queue or in menus on the primary server will be dropped at the time of failover.  Callers that are speaking to agents will remain connected, assuming the primary UCCX server is the only point of failure.
  • IVR – Integrated Voice Response An IVR system is the menus and messages that you commonly hear when dialing into contact centers.  An IVR system can be DTMF only, or it could include voice recognition or text to speech.
  • KPI – Key Performance Indicator Specific reporting metrics can be identified as KPI’s.  For example, in Cisco’s quality management (recording) software for UCCX, a KPI may be set-up to monitor if an agent answers the phone with the correct company greeting.  If the agent does not answer appropriately, the score is reflected as failing the KPI.
  • LAA – Longest Available Agent The agent who has been in a ready state the longest.  Queues are commonly set-up to route calls to the longest available agent. If skills based routing is used, the queue will revert to LAA in the event that two or more agents with the same skill level are available.
  • RONA – Reroute on No Answer When a call rings an agent and they do not answer, RONA treatment is applied.  The most common treatment is to put the call back in queue for the next available agent, but alternative routing can take place if needed.
  • RNA – Ring No Answer When an agent’s phone rings and they do not answer it a RNA is tabulated against them and typically the agent is forced into a “not ready” state.
  • TTS – Text to Speech An IVR system may read information to the caller, such as a tracking number.  TTS is the translation of that tracking number to speech output that the caller hears

These contact center acronyms are vital to know when reading and managing contact center operations. To find out more contact center acronyms, or to find out more about our solutions, be sure to contact Mindsight. 

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