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AT&T and IBM Bring the Power of 5G, Hybrid Cloud and AI to Drive Innovation for Clients Across Industries

By William Stovall, Vice President, Mobility & IoT, AT&T and Bill Lambertson, IBM Distinguished Industry Leader, Vice President Telecommunications Industry | IBM
February 28, 2022

AT&T and IBM have been co-innovating and helping enterprise clients transform for more than 20 years. Most recently, the two companies announced plans to show the digital transformation potential of 5G wireless networking and edge computing.

AT&T and IBM have been co-innovating and helping enterprise clients transform for more than 20 years. Most recently, the two companies announced plans to show the digital transformation potential of 5G wireless networking and edge computing. Together, AT&T and IBM have created simulated environments for enterprise clients to physically experience the power of AT&T’s connectivity with hybrid cloud and AI technology from IBM. Businesses across all industries—including the public sector, manufacturing, and financial services — can tap into this collaboration to quickly and securely innovate and tackle challenges gripping several industries today – from supply chain disruptions to cyber threats and ransomware to demand for frictionless services in the world of 5G. 

Clients Across Industries Can Benefit from AT&T – IBM Experimental Innovation

The network is the foundation in today’s digital era, while hybrid cloud technologies enable architecture flexibility for clients to operate at scale and AI helps deliver insights from critical data for more informed business discussions. Applications in areas such as cybersecurity, device management and discovery, are starting to harness the benefits of network data to provide faster and more robust insights in real time. Enterprises all over the world, across industries can work with AT&T and IBM to address their most complex challenges to improve business outcomes and better meet the needs of their customers. For example:  

  • Manufacturing: Manufacturers can benefit from advances in visual inspection to help identify product anomalies and improvements to inventory management, which is critical to manage a healthy supply chain. Using video intelligence can help by creating designated “safety zones” so when something enters or exits those zones, the facility is alerted.

o   Healthcare: Medical practices are always looking for ways to become more efficient and smarter about how they provide care to their patients – all while maintaining security and privacy best practices. Telemedicine is another way in which medical professionals can consult with and care for patients by using voice and collaboration tools. Predictive analytics and connected therapies allow medical professionals to monitor patients through connected devices and sensors. Enabling highly secured, real-time access to digital images like MRI or x-rays via a mobile device can increase collaboration and a faster pathway to answers.

o   Public Sector: Collaboration doesn’t only happen in the classroom was a lesson we all learned over the past two years. Ensuring students, educators and administrators can connect virtually is important for continuous learning at all levels. The use of virtual reality can offer immersive learning experiences.

Bringing 5G Edge to Life Through Collaboration

Across multiple locations, IBM and AT&T researchers, designers, consultants are working side-by-side with clients to harness the power of AT&T’s network with IBM’s hybrid cloud and AI technologies to drive transformation in the digital era. By creating several simulated test environments, clients can experience the power of 5G. 

To help clients tackle some of the most complex challenges across the enterprise, IBM Yorktown, the headquarters for IBM Research, is now enabled with AT&T's 5G to create a joint customer showcase and center for 5G innovation, building upon IBM and Red Hat industry solutions and offerings.  Researchers, designers, and consultants from both companies are working together to unlock the possibilities 5G offers to clients to transform their businesses into the digital era.

Data now more than ever needs to move fast, securely and with purpose. Using AI technologies embedded into the network is designed to allow clients to analyze data at its very origin, filter irrelevant data and share data and AI models, within the enterprise to facilitate faster learning and problem detection. Enterprise clients can visit the IBM Yorktown lab and experience the simulated test environments to see where 5G delivers the biggest impact.

Escalating cybersecurity threats combined with President Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity1 have elevated the need for  government IT modernization and the importance of data security across high-priority systems, public-facing digital services and cross-government services. AT&T and IBM will extend their collaboration to the public sector by establishing a simulation center at IBM Bethesda Lab. The environment is expected to serve as a solution test bed for technologies including secure cellular, AI and cloud.

Lastly, AT&T and IBM are collaborating at the AT&T 5G Innovation Studio in Plano, TX to apply AI and machine learning for network insights to improve visibility across IT, OT, IoT and 5G networks. Enterprises can work with AT&T and IBM to accelerate their path to market for new 5G-centric offerings.

For example, IBM is working with Boston Dynamics to deliver data analysis at the edge to help industrial companies improve workplace safety, optimize field operations, and boost maintenance productivity in environments like manufacturing facilities, power plants, warehouses and more. Enabled by AI and hybrid cloud innovations from IBM Research, IBM Consulting has developed edge payloads that integrate with Spot, the agile, mobile robot from Boston Dynamics. At the same time, Boston Dynamics is collaborating with AT&T to add 5G connectivity on the mobile robot and evaluate 5G use cases requiring low latency, privacy and control at the enterprise edge.

Leveraging Data at the Edge

Edge computing helps enable faster, improved data analysis, creating an opportunity for deeper insights, faster response times and enhanced customer experience.  AT&T and IBM are helping enterprises capitalize on this shift.

Together, we are making it easier for enterprises to manage open hybrid cloud computing in a low-latency, private cellular network edge environment. Using the network strength of AT&T and IBM Cloud Satellite, the two companies are helping enterprise clients get faster, improved data analysis by accessing data where it resides. As workloads shift to the edge, IBM Cloud Satellite will help clients deliver low latency, while still maintaining security, data privacy, interoperability and open standards found in hybrid cloud environments.

Looking forward, IBM and AT&T will continue to drive collaboration at scale, bringing new innovation to life that helps makes the world a more efficient and smarter place.

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