AT&T, IBM join forces to help cities, utilities and commercial firms develop and capitalize on the Internet of intelligent devices.
AT&T and IBM have joined forces to combine their analytic, cloud and security technologies to leverage big data analysis in the emerging network of machines and other systems known as the Internet of Things.
The new partnership will initially focus on creating applications for city governments and midsize utilities – organizations that intend to analyze vast quantities of data flowing through mass transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras.
In using their joint technical assets, the companies aim to help city planners evaluate patterns and trends to improve urban planning and help utilities better manage their equipment to reduce costs. The two companies will work together to build solutions at the AT&T M2M Foundry in Plano, Texas, and at IBM Global Solution Centers around the world.
“We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Things’ will help [cities and companies] rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president, AT&T Advanced Solutions.
For example, connected cities tracking service disruptions would be able to better allocate resources. Movements of people can be analyzed to improve traffic management and parking capacity, as well as the location and number of first-responder units. Social media updates could be monitored from citizens reporting bad weather or traffic tie-ups so the city can take best course of action.
“Smarter cities, cars, homes, machines and consumer devices will drive the growth of the Internet of Things along with the infrastructure that goes with them, [advancing] data gathering, predictive analytics and automation,” said Rick Qualman, vice president of strategy and business development for IBM.
The companies bring complementary technical strengths to the partnership, they noted.
AT&T offers its M2M global network and Global Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) to help connect devices to a single global network. These technologies are managed through AT&T’s M2M platforms to securely collect, organize, store and send the data to applications.
IBM brings its Intelligent Operations Center as well as its advanced analytics capabilities and other tools that work IBM’s MobileFirst solutions. MobileFirst provides management, security and analytics to help organizations capitalize on the increasing role of mobile devices in the Internet of Things.
According to industry analyst firm IDC, the installed base for the Internet of Things will grow to approximately 212 billion devices by 2020, a number that includes 30 billion connected devices. IDC sees this growth driven largely by intelligent systems that will be installed and collecting data — across both consumer and enterprise applications.
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