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AT&T and IBM help companies unlock value from IoT data

Steve Rogerson
March 23, 2017
AT&T and IBM have unveiled a way for companies to unlock more value from their data in a simpler way, using AT&T's IoT analytics and the IBM Cloud.
The AT&T IoT analytics capability, a pilot collaboration between the two companies, aims to help enterprise users transform their industrial IoT data into analytic insights so they can take immediate action to improve business operations.
The demand for near real-time operations data is fuelling the IoT explosion among business users. The key for business customers, however, is not just collecting the data from their connected assets, but extracting meaningful insights from them and then making near real-time decisions.
"We have more than 30 million connected devices on our network today and that number continues to grow, primarily driven by enterprise adoption," said Chris Penrose, president for IoT services at AT&T. "Businesses are eager for actionable data insights from their connected devices that help improve their processes and take the guesswork out of decision making. Integrating the IBM Watson data platform into our IoT capabilities will be huge for our enterprise customers."
With this service, AT&T and IBM plan to offer AT&T's enterprise users insights from their industrial IoT data by tapping into:

  • AT&T M2X, Flow Designer, Control Center and other IoT services that allow AT&T's enterprise users to manage and monitor devices, as well as collect, manage and store data.
  • IBM Watson IoT portfolio for connecting, building, launching and managing IoT apps and devices, including analytics capabilities such as predictive maintenance that provides insights to improve asset performance.
  • IBM Watson data platform, a data ingestion engine with cognitive powered decision making. The IBM Watson data platform uncovers critical business insights by providing a collaborative environment where data from machines and devices can be combined with multiple sources of data, including a user's own sales and inventory data and publicly available information, such as weather and road conditions.
  • IBM machine learning service as part of the Watson data platform on IBM Cloud, enabling AT&T's enterprise users to employ machine learning from IBM Watson.
With this service, companies can use their own generated IoT data to predict maintenance and optimisation for their machines. For example, an oil and gas company wants to detect anomalous events within its wells. By using AT&T's IoT network and the IBM Watson data platform, AT&T's IoT analytics will ingest data from hundreds of wells, creating the models necessary with appropriate machine learning libraries and open-source technology to help predict potential failures or machine malfunctions. The company will be able to detect anomalies in less time and with more accuracy.
"With the tremendous growth in IoT adoption comes the need for more tools and services that will unlock the value in the IoT data being generated," said Steve Canepa, general manager at IBM. "As part of our continued collaboration to drive innovation, IBM is working with AT&T to combine our strengths and expertise to combine analytics on the IBM Cloud that will enable AT&T's enterprise customers to utilise their complex data in a meaningful way and deliver insights that can help accelerate their business transformation."
This collaboration continues to build on the strong links between AT&T and IBM to deliver IoT innovations to the market. The companies' strategic alliance brings together wireless connectivity, analytics and cognitive capabilities for AT&T's enterprise users to help improve their business processes.
In 2016, AT&T and IBM announced plans to integrate AT&T Flow Designer with the IBM Watson IoT platform and IBM Bluemix, IBM's cloud platform. Today, these combined capabilities are now available to enterprise developers, creating an end-to-end cloud experience that enables developers to build, deploy and scale their IoT applications.