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Can AT&T take Otis to the next level?

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Eight of the world’s ten tallest buildings include Otis elevators, and the company employs more than 30,000 technicians to service and maintain its equipment. Otis turned to AT&T to provide mobile service for its field technicians and soon realized that the carrier could provide connectivity for its elevators as well.

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Now roughly 300,000 of the world’s 2 million Otis elevators use AT&T global SIM cards to connect to LTE networks. The carrier’s IoT platforms give Otis access real-time equipment performance data, which is analyzed using Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

“We’ve been able to write algorithms that predict the health of the elevators.” said Chris Smith, VP for service innovation at Otis. He said the combination of iPhones and IoT technology has streamlined the process of servicing equipment.

“Once we have the phones and the connected elevator you can start sending information directly to the mechanic instead of operations teams,” said Smith. “Before, somebody else determined if they really needed it.”

Custom iPhone apps help technicians diagnose problems and locate the parts they need to fix them. In addition to its own equipment, the Otis team services and maintains elevators made by its competitors.

Otis, which is owned by United Technologies, is also working to expand into building security and energy use management, and will leverage its partnership with AT&T for these initiatives. Smith expects to have another announcement soon about the expanding relationship between the two companies.

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