On the heels of the IBM/Red Hat close, IBM and AT&T Business have announced an expansion of the companies’ 20-year partnership to bring cloud computing, the future of edge computing and 5G to AT&T’s enterprise customers.
Under the multi-year strategic alliance, AT&T’s customers — which are Fortune 1000 businesses in more than 200 countries and territories; roughly 99% of the world’s economy — will benefit from:
• IBM will become the primary developer and cloud provider for AT&T Business’s operational applications.
• AT&T Communications will use IBM’s expertise to modernise AT&T Business Solutions’ internal software applications, enabling migrations to the IBM Cloud.
• AT&T has been using Red Hat’s open source platform to manage workloads and applications in AT&T’s network cloud, and will expand those efforts through this agreement.
• AT&T Business will gain increased access to Red Hat’s open source platform to manage workloads and applications.
• The two companies will collaborate on edge computing platforms, which will help enterprise clients capitalise on the power of 5G network speeds and internet-connected devices and sensors at the edge of the network.
• IBM will make AT&T Business its primary provider of software defined networking.
Breaking down the IBM/Red Hat deal in the context of the software M&A space
Enterprises are increasingly seeking ways to move more complex workloads to the cloud, and they are turning to hybrid cloud strategies to help them securely and seamlessly transmit data across a variety of IT environments.
AT&T is already using Red Hat’s open source platform and has a strong commitment to utilising open source technologies. According to the announcement, the deal will provide even greater access to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift platforms; allowing for a massive network transformation that will enable faster deployment at a lower cost.
“In AT&T Business, we’re constantly evolving to better serve business customers around the globe by securely connecting them to the digital capabilities they need,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business. “This includes optimising our core operations and modernising our internal business applications to accelerate innovation. Through our collaboration with IBM, we’re adopting open, flexible, cloud technologies, that will ultimately help accelerate our business leadership.”
Cloud, at the edge and 5G
Expanding on the multi-year strategic alliance between the two companies:
IBM will be the primary developer and cloud provider for AT&T Business’s operational applications and will help manage the AT&T Communications IT infrastructure, on and off-premises and across different clouds — private and public. This approach hopes to enable AT&T Business to build and deploy internal application workloads, and deliver new, innovative services.
The two companies will also collaborate on edge computing platforms, which should help enterprise clients capitalise on the power of 5G network speeds and the internet-connected devices and sensors at the edge of the network.
Using 5G, enterprises will one day be able to rapidly transmit data to and from multiple clouds and billions of edge devices with increased reliability and security, reduced latency and dramatic improvements in bandwidth — this will eventually help businesses transform the user experience for their customers and optimise processes across industries from retail to financial services, transportation to manufacturing, to healthcare and beyond.
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“Building on IBM’s 20-year relationship with AT&T, today’s agreement is another major step forward in delivering flexibility to AT&T Business so it can provide IBM and its customers with innovative services at a faster pace than ever before,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, cloud and cognitive software, IBM. “We are proud to collaborate with AT&T Business, provide the scale and performance of our global footprint of cloud data centres, and deliver a common environment on which they can build once and deploy in any one of the appropriate footprints to be faster and more agile.”
The agreement between IBM and AT&T was signed in IBM’s Q2, 2019