IBM teams up with AT&T to rule the Internet of Things

smarter citiesCan you imagine a city which never has traffic problems, and where all the buses and trains run on time, with hardly any crime on the streets? Well, this is exactly the kind of vision that IBM and AT&T have in mind.

To bring their plans to fruition, the two companies have just announced a key partnership focusing on the Internet of Things, and plan to start by getting our cities and utilities up to speed.

It’s a deal that makes a surprising amount of sense, for AT&T boasts a global network, while IBM has the software in place to to analyze and visualize data from just about any sensor you could care to think of. And of course, it also has the hardware necessary to process all of this Big Data. By teaming up together, these two industry giants have a real shot at conquering one of the hottest typs of emerging technologies today.

Smarter infrastructure


In their joint statement, the two companies said they plan to combine their analytics platforms, cloud and security technologies to build smarter cities for us to live in. Specifically, the partnership will see AT&T manage sensor communications and tracking through its global cellular network, whilst IBM will keep a handle on the analytics side of things. The target of their operations, initially, will be the kinds of devices that spew out masses upon masses of Big Data, such as mass transit vehicles, video cameras and utility meters. The goal of this undertaking meanwhile, is to analyze the data collected to identify trends and patterns that”ll help urban planners to regulate the flow of traffic, and to help utility firms to save energy and reduce costs through better management of their equipment.

Aside from this, another goal of the partnership is to help cities with more immediate tasks, such as using data from service disruptions and other incidents to better manager resources in emergencies; and to analyze traffic and parking data to help emergency responders negotiate traffic more easily; and to monitor social media data, so authorities can better respond to severe weather conditions.

“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 Relevant Products/Services,” 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 Relevant Products/Services applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict.”

IBM has been associated with these kinds of solutions for some time through its “Smarter Planet” initiative, while for AT&T the underlines its own growing interest in the Internet of Things. Last October, the carrier network struck a similar deal with GE. Under this partnership, GE will be able to connect various machines and sensors using AT&T’s wireless and cloud networks to power its burgeoning ‘Industrial Internet’ – an ongoing effort to connect industries to the internet in a bid to make them more efficient.

With AT&T onboard, GE said that organizations will be able to remotely track, monitor, record and operate its machinery from virtually anywhere in the world, no matter where these machines are located. In addition, GE and AT&T’s innovation centers will work together to build M2M solutions for the former’s software platform Predix, which is designed to remotely control and maintain industrial machinery.