Internet and phone giant AT&T has designed a set of blockchain solutions compatible with both IBM and Microsoft technology to help customers reduce risks and costs and solve other complex business problems. The company has been piloting the program since February 2018.
In a recent blog post, the company announced, “We’re combing our edge-to-edge capabilities with blockchain technology. Our Internet of Things (IoT) solutions add automation and critical monitoring capabilities. AT&T’s consulting team can design, deploy and manage blockchain solutions.”
By working with IBM, AT&T says its solutions can record data on the IBM Blockchain Platform, which hosts numerous live networks and supports several provenance, logistics and supply chains. AT&T is also integrating its asset management operations center with the IBM Maximo Network on Blockchain and Maximo Asset Health Insights to offer safer service provider networks to infrastructure asset management firms.
IBM (Wikimedia Commons)
In addition, AT&T is integrating with Microsoft Azure’s blockchain technology, which supports many enterprise ledger protocols including Fabric, Corda, Quorum and Ethereum, and offers varying computer network structures for both single member, multi-member and dev/test consortiums. AT&T believes its partnership with Microsoft will bring an extra layer of transparency to its growing list of supply chains.
According to Mark Wright, VP of media services and sponsorships at AT&T, further transparency is one of the company’s biggest goals.
“Who, specifically, are those tech providers [in the supply chain], and how much of a fee are they assessing to my working media dollars?” he asks. “It’s pretty murky, and thus you need technology to help you get under the hood.”
Customers that work in manufacturing, retail and healthcare will be able to utilize this new technology to both digitize and automate business processes. AT&T says they’ll have better resources to track information and manage goods from their creation until their delivery, while keeping directories up to date and secure. This can reduce potential waste, excess stock and the breach of private information.
Andy Daudelin, vice president of Alliances Business Development for AT&T Business, states, “Blockchain is far more than just bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s transforming the way many companies conduct business. Blockchain improves security and enables better management of transactions through complex processes. Utilizing our global network and IoT capabilities, AT&T enhances blockchain by providing edge-to-edge solutions that automate the tracking and that can even monitor the environmental conditions throughout the process.”
This isn’t AT&T’s first venture into blockchain territory. The company filed for a blockchain patent back in November 2016 for a home content delivery product that would provide content while verifying subscriptions through a distributed node network model. The server would act like a cable box while bringing further stability and security to existing systems.