BT Technology Journal - Archive

Commemorating 25 years of publication

ARMS Collaborator - intelligent agents using markets to organise resourcing in modern enterprises

B Virginas, C Voudouris, G Owusu and G Anim-Ansah

An efficient deployment of the BT workforce in response to the dynamic nature of customer requests for services is crucial to BT s ability to compete in the ever-competitive telecommunications markets. The Automated Resource Management System (ARMS) is being developed to tackle this challenging problem. Its aim is to efficiently utilise the BT workforce by intelligently assigning engineers in line with forecast and real jobs. ARMS has three major functional components - Forecasting and Job Generation (FJG), Dynamic Planner (DP) and Collaborator. This paper is based on Collaborator - a computer system responsible for monitoring and supporting resource redistribution decision-making in BTs operational resource management units. Collaborator enhances the deployment process by allowing dynamic redistribution of engineers among a group of customer service teams (CSTs) so that resource utilisation is improved. Collaborator focuses on balancing the workforce across multiple patches. Collaborator is formulated as a multi-agent coordination problem. Various software agents support the managers decision-making process. BT aims to further optimise resource deployment by using this novel approach, and ultimately to substantially reduce its operational costs.

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