AT&T and IBM have struck a global alliance, through which they will combine their analytic platforms, cloud, and security technologies to create services initially for city governments and midsize utilities.

The two companies said they intend to develop services that can integrate and analyze vast quantities of data from assets such as mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras.

Such systems should enable cities to evaluate patterns and trends for planning purposes (e.g., traffic flow), and also identify and respond to incidents and service disruptions of all kinds. The goal for utilities, meanwhile, is to help them better manage their equipment to reduce costs. 

“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, strategy & 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 and IBM will combine the former’s M2M (machine to machine) platform, devices, and Global SIM, which helps business customers worldwide connect their assets to a single global network, with the latter’s software and analytics from its “Smarter Planet” portfolio which pulls key insights on data collected from intelligent devices.

AT&T’s M2M platform manages the collection, organization, storage and transmission of data to applications. IBM brings the Intelligent Operations Center, Maximo Asset Management, its advanced analytics capabilities, and IBM MessageSight MQTT Appliance, which complements the IBM MobileFirst family of solutions. IBM MobileFirst provides the management, security and analytics capabilities needed for organizations to capitalize on the increasing role of mobile devices in the Internet of Things.

“This collaboration of two world-class companies will help deliver a more connected planet,” said Chris Hill, senior vice president, 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.”