AT&T and IBM join forces on M2M

AT&T and IBM have come together with the aim of developing new products and services for the fast-growing M2M market.

The operator and IT services player are to combine their capabilities in the areas of analytics, cloud computing and security to “gain more insights” on the data that is being generated by machines across a variety of industries.

This push into the area of big data is to focus initially on creating new solutions for city governments and midsize utilities, say the companies.

By integrating and analyzing data from machines such as mass-transit vehicles, utility meters and video cameras, AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) and IBM (Armonk, NY, USA) believe they can help cities to improve urban planning and utilities to better manage equipment and reduce costs.

“This collaboration of two world-class companies will help deliver a more connected planet,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Solutions. “We share a vision that the ‘Internet of Things’ will help companies in a variety of industries rely on their remote assets and connected devices to take their business to the next level.”

According to the companies, city planners are increasingly looking to improve their allocation and distribution of resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions.

That could include analyzing the movement of people to improve traffic management and parking capacity, or identifying inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed.

“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,” said Rick Qualman, vice president of strategy and business development, telecom industry, IBM. “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.”

AT&T’s M2M assets include its network, devices and SIMs, which are managed through the operator’s M2M platforms, while IBM has its intelligent operations center and advanced analytics capabilities.

The IT player’s MobileFirst technology also provides the management, security and analytics capabilities that organizations need to deploy M2M services.

AT&T and IBM plan to work together on developing solutions at AT&T’s M2M Foundry in Plano, Texas, and using IBM’s network of global solution centres.