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Posted By 16th April 2012

Pickerings Laws ? and what does that movie ?Warhorse? have to do with Conference Calls?

All telephone engineers have been inspired over the years by a curious phenomena called the Erlang to calculate how to make sure that they have sufficient capacity for the traffic that will occur.

Erlang was, in fact, the mathematician employed by Napoleon to tell him how many horses a month he should purchase, so that he had enough each time he went into a battle. Witness the recent scenes in the Warhorse movie!

The same mathematics can be used to support any truly random events such as predicting the number of simultaneous phone calls when a given number of people make an average of x minutes calls a day, but at random times.

The problem is that people do not do things totally randomly- they make phone calls during the TV adverts, they make phone calls after they have arrived in the office, they make mobile calls when they drive home at night etc.

The problem with conferencing is that it is exactly the opposite of random, most calls are planned to start on the hour or half hour.

More calls are planned to start at 9.00 am and 2.00pm than at 10.00 am or 3.00pm. Few are planned to start at 4.30pm and virtually none are planned to start at 2.15pm (let alone 2.23pm!)

Richard Pickering, one of the world?s leading telephone engineers and visionaries, created the following laws, known of course as Pickering's Laws:

Pickering?s First Law on Conferencing:

"The more people involved in the conference call, the more likely it is to be planned for a specific time".

Pickering's Laws

?The biggest morning and afternoon spikes of the week will be on Mondays, and that Mondays at the start of the month will be bigger than the other Mondays.

Finally, Pickering's third law states that:

"For really large calls it is more likely it will be outside office hours, probably on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening around 7.00pm.

Warhorse, conferencing, Pickering ? an insiders guide to the world of telephone engineering!