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IBM, AT&T Partner on Internet of Things

IBM, AT&T Partner on Internet of Things
February 18, 2014 1:31PM

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To enable an Internet of Things solution as envisioned by IBM and AT&T, you need access to a robust network, intelligent sensors or endpoints, and a backend IT infrastructure capable of supporting complex, secure analytics. In this instance, AT&T is providing the first two elements and IBM is supplying the third, said analyst Charles King.

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In a move to develop solutions that help support the “Internet of Things,” IBM and AT&T have formed a new global alliance. The companies plan to combine their analytics platforms, cloud, and security technologies to gain more insights from data collected from machines in a variety of industries -- with privacy in mind.

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.

The initial focus is to create solutions targeting city governments and mid-size utilities. Big Blue and AT&T intend to integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from assets such as mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras. The anticipated 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.

“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.”

Smarter Cities Infrastructure

IBM and AT&T figure city planners in connected cities will be able to leverage four key capabilities through this partnership: (1) better allocate and distribute resources based on information reported from incidents and service disruptions; (2) 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; (3) identify inefficient traffic patterns so that traffic can be re-routed; better allocate public safety resources in places where majority of people congregate; and 4) monitor social media updates from citizens reporting bad weather or major traffic so the city can take the 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,” said Rick Qualman, vice president of Strategy & Business Development, Telecom Industry at 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.” (continued...)

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