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AT&T and IBM form alliance on “Internet of Things”; initial focus on city governments and utilities

18 February 2014

AT&T and IBM have formed a new global alliance agreement to develop solutions that help support the “Internet of Things.” The companies will combine their analytic platforms, cloud, and security technologies with privacy in mind to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries. The new AT&T and IBM alliance will initially focus on creating new solutions targeted for city governments and midsize utilities.

These organizations intend to integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from assets such as mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras. As a result, cities may be able to better evaluate patterns and trends to improve urban planning and utilities can better manage their equipment to reduce costs.

Key capabilities for city planners in connected cities include:

  • Better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions.

  • Analyze the movement of people to improve traffic management, parking capacity, location and number of first unit responders. City officials can better prepare and react to potential bottlenecks and other issues in case of an emergency.

  • Identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed; better allocate public safety resources in places where majority of people congregate.

  • Monitor social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic 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, unleashing a wave of new possibilities for data gathering, predictive analytics, and automation. The new collaboration with AT&T will offer insights from crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict.

—Rick Qualman, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Telecom Industry, IBM

AT&T brings its M2M globally accessible network, devices, and Global Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) to help connect assets worldwide 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 the Intelligent Operations Center, Maximo Asset Management, its advanced analytics capabilities, and IBM MessageSight MQTT Appliance, which complements the IBM MobileFirst family of solutions. IBM MobileFirst provides the management, security and analytics capabilities needed for organizations to capitalize on the increasing role of mobile devices in the Internet of Things.

The two companies will work together to build solutions at the AT&T M2M Foundry in Plano, Texas and IBM Global Solution Centers around the world.

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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