Light Reading

AT&T, IBM Adopt an Analytical Approach to M2M

Sarah Thomas
2/18/2014
50%
50%

Even as operators work out their own internal big data strategies, they are making use of the data they have to help third parties -- and turn a profit. A good example of this comes from AT&T and IBM today.

The tech giants are combining AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s network connectivity in much of the world via its global SIM with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)'s software, security, and analytics to add insights to machine-to-machine (M2M)-powered devices with the goal of giving cities, utilities, and other businesses new ways to collect and use their data. (See AT&T, IBM Form M2M Alliance.)

The team, which have been working together on cloud services for awhile now, says they will initially focus city governments and midsize utilities, which both ingest hoards of data around mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras. The hope is using AT&T's network and IBM's software, they'll be able to better evaluate traffic patterns and improve urban planning or, in the case of utilities, better manage their equipment to reduce costs. (See 2013 Leading Lights Finalists: Most Innovative Carrier Cloud Service.)

Rick Qualman, IBM's VP of strategy and business development for the telecom industry, said in a release that collaborating with AT&T will offer cities "insights from crowdsourcing, mobile applications, sensors and analytics on the cloud, enabling all organizations to better listen, respond and predict."

It's easy to see why operators are excited (and building huge demo houses) to show off the potential for M2M, or the Internet of Things. It represents incremental revenue with little impact to the network. But, the opportunity becomes a lot more exciting when predictive big-data analytics are in the mix. (See GSMA Predicts 250 Million M2M Connections in 2014 and Big-Data Is Key to Consumerization of M2M.)

AT&T is an early leader in the M2M movement, and IBM certainly has the software chops to make the partnership payoff for their city partners, which will make this an notable venture to watch once trials start this year. Both companies will also be showing off at Mobile World Congress next week, so we'll report back on what this ambitious combination of big-data analytics and M2M looks like in action. (See AT&T Clinches M2M Market Lead With GE Deal.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:58:15 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
Haha, good one! I would be okay with a little contact from my fridge if it helped change my eating habits, but no one wants to worry about malicious content and spam from their fridge...I don't even want actual SPAM in my fridge.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 10:53:36 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
@Sarah exactly! Now there have been a number of discussions about how to combat this problem. And I just have to share this comic I found on Google+. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:50:04 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
Ah yes, the spamming fridge. Here is that story: http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/01/16/263111193/refrigerator-hacked-reveals-internet-of-things-security-gaps
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:48:15 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
AT&T gave a nod to the privacy safeguards of the collaboration in the first line of its press release, because -- as you say -- the security and privacy issues are so important where connectivity and the cloud is involved. It'll be telling to see how they handle the first breach or DOS attack on a commercial deployment like this.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:43:02 AM
Re: analytics collaboration
True, kq4ym. I wonder to what degree some of these municipalities and businesses are already connected. If they have M2M connectivity already in their devices, then a platform to better analyze and monetize it would be appealing. But, if they're starting from scratch, opex savings will definitely have to be demonstrated to justify the up-front and, in a lot of cases, recurring expense.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 8:19:37 AM
Re: Security and Privacy
@Phil_Britt you're absolutely right about that. A few weeks ago, the news hit that even a smart fridge can pose a security threat, as many of the appliances connected in the internet of things have little or even no protection against hackers.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 7:45:46 AM
Security and Privacy
The more M2M data is out there, the more potential for it being breeched. While much of it will be meaningless or useless for hackers, having everything connected poses many potential issues, as you point out. I like to keep some of my info off the grid for some (albeit little any more) semblence of privacy.

Retailers have learned the good and bad of collecting and storing too much data the hard way. While maintaining some information is necessary for a retailer's sales, often they collect too much personal identifiable information.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 7:37:59 AM
Re: analytics collaboration
AT&T with IBM can certainly create a great dog and pony show to present to those mid-size cities and utilities to attempt selling the services. But, whether those mostly municipal leaders will find a place in tight budgets is probably what's going to move the pitch for analytics forward or not. The analytical approach is going to have to demonstrate some pretty good saving in operational costs, or the percieved ability to predict future scenarios. 
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 5:29:49 PM
Use cases
The release really emphasized security and customer data privacy, which makes sense given the heightened scrutiny around exposing your data. The idea in a smart city is to collect data from traffic lights to better manage traffic jams or parking meters to optimize parking lot layouts. It'll be interesting to see what commercial opportunities spring from it. You know there has to be some marketing-related activities in there too.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 3:03:56 PM
analytics collaboration
It sounds like a very ambitious projects. It'll be something to see the results of such a collaboration.
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Join us in Dallas as we discuss how to build a positive company culture at Light Reading's next Women in Comms breakfast on Sept. 16 ahead of NFV Everywhere.
As president of Partner Solutions for AT&T, McCorcle has helped transform how the organization works with enterprises, but also how it advocates for women in the industry.
Streaming video company says both new moms and dad can take unlimited parental leave, up to one year, without sacrificing pay.
T-Mobile was the big winner in the second quarter, as it surpassed Sprint in total subscribers, captured the postpaid phone growth and improved its financials.
Styf, Telecom Italia's VP of engineering and de facto 'idea woman,' shares her experiences as a woman in comms and advice for other women in the industry.
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Gogo Approved to Speed Up In-Flight WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/24/2015
Could Market Volatility Hurt Tech IPOs?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/24/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about data center, cloud and the impact of virtualization in the coming years.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?