The 2015 AT&T Analyst Summit: Laser focus emerges around the Internet of Things (IoT)

Oct 02, 2015

Over the past 5 years, AT&T’s commitment to IoT has never been in question. The company made large investments to create and build up the 2 different divisions that now roll up into IoT. The Emerging Devices group focused on the consumer side of IoT and the M2M (Machine-to-machine communications) team focused on B2B and B2B2C solutions.  Under the leadership of Ralph de la Vega, Glenn Lurie, Chris Penrose, Michael Troiano and Joe Mosele, this group has emerged with a focused strategy to maximize AT&T’s value to IoT, both for consumers and enterprises.

Over the past 3 days, AT&T has hosted over 130 analysts from over 20 analyst firms including over 10 analysts from Frost & Sullivan. With coverage areas ranging from IoT, mobile & wireless, cloud computing, Ethernet, security and others, there were a host of topics at the analyst summit that matched the coverage areas of Frost & Sullivan analysts.

The overarching themes at the summit related to topics such as software, mobilization, video, IoT, security services and global coverage.

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The Internet of Things is one of the pillars of AT&Ts strategy over the next few years. Traditionally, carriers have focused on connectivity being their differentiator when competing with large IT companies that also focus on IoT. Over the past few years, AT&T has publicly touted its network as its key differentiator. In addition to the network connectivity foundation, the IOT team is building out their platform and service value proposition to develop a complete enterprise solution for IoT; one that integrates disparate devices using various types of connectivity. At the analyst summit, this stood out as one of the themes that AT&T focused on.

The company has spoken about the vertical markets that it targets. However, the point that is most interesting is the different types of services that AT&T now offers that range from devices and connectivity to security and platforms.

p2.jpgAT&T’s pillars for success in IoT are its global connectivity, platforms, solutions and innovation. Let’s take a look at how they are accomplishing each of these.

Connectivity

Over the years, AT&T has touted the strength of its wireless network. However, this year AT&T is doing more to communicate the strength of its Wi-Fi and Ethernet capabilities. Not all applications require (or can use) cellular connectivity and this is a significant acknowledgment of that fact and increases the appeal of AT&T to many industrial and government enterprises. With this slight tweak in the communication of its strategy, AT&T does well to establish itself as a leading contender for Industrial IoT and smart city deployments.

Platforms & Solutions

With the development of its platforms, AT&T has created an environment for platform providers and the developer community to create new IoT solutions quickly. By managing the user interface and back-end billing systems, AT&T makes it easier for platform providers to get solutions certified and deployed on their network in a matter of weeks rather than months. The commitment to IoT is most visible in AT&T’s connected car strategy. Nine car manufacturers now offer connected car solutions in their vehicles with AT&T. This has made AT&T the leader in connected car platforms and solutions with a wide range of solutions offered to end users.

Innovation

Innovation is critical for market penetration and advancement of IoT solutions. By setting up innovation centers across the country, AT&T is leading the industry with innovation while trimming off months of development time for partners. Whether we focus on Emerson’s connected ovens or Maersk’s refrigerated container tracking & monitoring solutions, AT&T is at the center of product innovation.

The Last Word

AT&T has always put on a great summit by making senior executives available for time with analysts. The past 2 years were all about developing a strategy to become the leading mobility enabler globally. 2015 marks the year that AT&T can build upon the investments over the past few years and marks the start of the progression of the company away from being a connectivity provider to a leading innovator that can help advance telecommunications, security services and innovation to increase mobility for enterprises and consumers alike.


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Dilip Sarangan

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