The US telecoms giant AT&T announced yesterday the creation of a suite of blockchain solutions for its enterprise partners, designed to work with technology from IBM and Microsoft.
According to an official press release, solutions will be available to enterprise customers to help automate and digitalise processes and better track information across multiple parties, in industries such as manufacturing, retail and healthcare.
“Today, businesses are constantly looking to reduce costs, risk and simplify business processes. Blockchain creates a shared ecosystem across parties to exchange information in way that is permissioned and highly secure,” read the statement.
In launching the solutions, AT&T says it’s leaning on IBM Blockchain’s support of use cases from “supply chain, provenance and logistics”. It added that it would be integrating its Asset Management Operations Center with IBM’s Maximo Network on Blockchain and Maximo Health Insights for secure and accountable service provider networks for infrastructure asset management.
On the other hand, AT&T praised Microsoft Azure’s potential for “diverse topologies dev/test, single member, and multi-member consortiums”, adding that it will be used for integrations with its IoT (Internet of Things) platforms – to bring transparency and accountability “to even the most complex supply chains”.
On those industries mentioned, AT&T says the solutions can be used for tracking the movement and quality of goods in manufacturing; to ensure authenticity and the reduction of waste stock in retail; and to help maintain and allow for the secure sharing of directories of up-to-date patient records in healthcare.
“Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s transforming the way many companies conduct business,” said Andy Daudelin, vice president of alliances business development, AT&T Business.
“Blockchain improves security and enables better management of transactions through complex processes. Utilising 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.”
A feature on The Block last year predicted how telecoms applications could become “ripe for innovation” through the use of blockchain technology. Words from industry analyst Dean Bubley were cited in the piece, arguing that their position makes trust an inherently core aspect of telcos which can be enhanced with the technology.
“They’re intermediaries – that act of interconnection, even if it’s on the same network, requires databases, requires back-office systems, requires provision of third party services. All of that can be improved,” said Bubley, adding that data protection and data integrity were also ways in which blockchain technology could improve the experience for carriers.
AT&T says its new suite of blockchain solutions are now available on the market.