AT&T (News - Alert) is widely regarded as one of the biggest names around in mobile technology. GE is a match for most anyone when it comes to industrial hardware. Put the two together—as was recently done via the recent signing of a global alliance agreement between the two firms—and there's a new force in the M2M market that's a match for just about anything running.
The global alliance agreement gives GE machines the ability to access AT&T's network and cloud operations, which gives GE's machines the necessary connectivity to build what's becoming known as GE's “Industrial Internet,” a secure, wireless platform with machines in close communication. With the Industrial Internet in place, the two companies believe that customers will see improvements in productivity thanks to a greatly improved ability to monitor GE machinery from anywhere on Earth within range of an Internet connection. Plus, tracking and reporting features will also come into play, providing a ready means to manage operations from just about anywhere.
Further, the alliance calls for development operations to take place between the two firms, allowing AT&T and GE to work together on a variety of fronts, including building several products around AT&T technologies like the single Global Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) system, as well as cloud access for industrial products. Also, there are said to be plans in the works to bring GE's Predix system to the AT&T Foundry for further development and use in the field.
Both AT&T and GE seem to have high hopes for the new alliance, with AT&T Business Solutions CEO Andy Geisse talking about how, with the two companies' products working together, a variety of new functions become available, like the ability for an airline to address various issues with a fleet's engines from a centralized facility. GE's Bill Ruh, a vice president with the firm, noted that there were a host of options available in terms of not just tracking and monitoring, but even in some cases fully operating machinery via remote, a process that can better allow talent from around the globe to perform a variety of functions.
Indeed, M2M has a massive array of possibilities coming into form, and more and more companies—Intel recently showed off a variety of new possibilities in the field--are discovering the kind of value available when machines start communicating with each other all over the world. Improved efficiency, reduced redundancy, and leaner operations that better contribute to the bottom line are all a substantial part of the picture when it comes to M2M, and the combination of GE and AT&T suggests a new superpower in the making for the wider field. Just what will come out of this global alliance remains to be seen, but considering what's already been done, the future indeed looks bright for the M2M market.
Edited by Alisen Downey