IBM and Verizon Business Collaborate on 5G, Edge Computing and AI Solutions for Enterprise Customers

Verizon Business and IBM are working together on 5G and edge computing innovation to help enable the future of “Industry 4.0.” The two companies plan to combine the high speed and (yet to be proven) low latency of Verizon’s 5G and Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) functionalities, IoT devices and sensors at the edge, and IBM’s expertise in AI, hybrid multi-cloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.  These will be jointly offered with IBM’s Maximo Monitor with IBM Watson and advanced analytics. The combined products may help clients detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system anomalies, monitor asset health and help predict failures in near real-time. The first solutions to be aimed at helping improve industrial quality, availability and performance.

“Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multi-cloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data center all the way out to the enterprise edge,” IBM’s Bob Lord, SVP of cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems, said in a press release from the companies.

“Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multi-cloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data center all the way out to the enterprise edge.”

“This collaboration is all about enabling the future of industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business. “Combining the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G UWB Network and MEC capabilities with IBM’s expertise in enterprise-grade AI and production automation can provide industrial innovation on a massive scale and can help companies increase automation, minimize waste, lower costs, and offer their own clients a better response time and customer experience.”

5G Network Internet Mobile Wireless Business concept.5G standard of modern signal transmission technology.

              Image Credit: iStockphoto/LHG

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IBM and Verizon said their first offerings would target “mobile asset tracking and management solutions,” and that, eventually, they hope to offer products for remote control robotics, real-time video analysis and plant automation.  The two companies also plan to collaborate on potential joint solutions to address worker safety, predictive maintenance, product quality and production automation.

Many industrial enterprises are today seeking ways to use edge computing to accelerate access to near real-time, actionable insights into operations to improve productivity and reduce costs.  To address industrial firms’ need for edge computing ways to accelerate access to near real-time insights into operations, the first products planned from this collaboration are mobile asset tracking and management products to help enterprises improve operations, optimise production quality, and help clients enhance worker safety.

IBM and Verizon are also working on potential combined products for 5G and MEC-enabled use cases such as near real-time cognitive automation for the industrial environment.

Verizon and IBM also plan to collaborate on potential joint products to address worker safety, predictive maintenance, product quality and production automation.

Light Reading’s Mike Dano had this comment:

For IBM, the announcement underscores its efforts to offer products and services in the edge computing marketplace, an area that’s becoming a key focus for a variety of businesses looking for speedy computing services via nearby or onsite facilities.

And for Verizon, the announcement adds further momentum to its 5G and edge computing ambitions. Company executives have long argued that the combination of 5G and edge computing has a wide range of enterprise applications, and Verizon’s new pairing with IBM could open the doors to more potential customers for such services.

To be clear, Verizon has been working to stamp out a position in the 5G and edge computing sector for years. The company hopes to offer its high-speed, millimeter-wave 5G network across 60 cities by the end of this year, and concurrently it has said it will launch nationwide 5G on lowband spectrum in that same timeframe. Separately, Verizon late last year announced it would team up with Amazon to support its AWS edge computing initiative.

But Verizon’s edge computing efforts don’t stop there. The company joined América Móvil, KT, Rogers, Telstra and Vodafone to establish the “5G Future Forum” in January in part to accelerate the development of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC)-enabled solutions. The group this week announced it will release its first technical specifications in the third quarter.

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References:

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2020-07-16-IBM-and-Verizon-Business-to-Collaborate-on-5G-and-AI-Solutions-at-the-Enterprise-Edge

https://www.lightreading.com/the-edge/verizon-ibm-team-up-on-5g-and-edge-computing/d/d-id/762452?

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ibm-verizon-business-to-collaborate-on-5g-ai-products-at-enterprise-edge–1346836

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/ibm-and-verizon-business-collaborate-to-merge-ai-computing-with-5g-networks-for-the-enterprise/

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