AT&T and HPE team up on edge networking and hardware for industrial IoT
AT&T will work with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to help businesses harness edge capabilities. The two companies have agreed a go-to-market programme for the sale of edge connections and edge computing. They are targeting customers in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and stadiums, in particular.
AT&T’s multi-access edge compute (MEC) offer, marketed to enterprises as “the short road to ultra-low latency operations”, optimises machine performance in cellular networks, including in new 5G networks, and incorporayes new capabilities to manage traffic through virtual network functions as well.
HPE’s Edgeline-branded range of edge hardware systems enable enterprises to keep applications on premises for lower latency processing. It has just released its top-of-the-line Edgeline 8000 unit, targeted at industrial IoT operations. HPE talks about bringing “enterprise-class compute and management functions”, traditionally confined to IT systems in cloud data centres, into the OT environment on the shop floor.
AT&T singles out retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and stadiums as venues for high-end processing using edge hardware and edge networks.
It gives certain examples: real-time edge data processing by automated robots using computer vision on the shopfloor to assist in restocking and inventory duties; video cameras and detection technology for identifying process errors and defects in production plants; the use of virtual reality (VR) in medical facilities to assist in pain management; interactive in-game payments, betting, promotions at sporting events.
Mo Katibeh, chief marketing officer at AT&T Business, said: “AT&T’s software-defined network, including our 5G network, combined with HPE’s intelligent edge infrastructure can give businesses a flexible tool to better analyse data and process low-latency, high-bandwidth applications. Bringing compute power closer to our network helps businesses push the boundaries of what is possible and create innovative new solutions.”
Jim Jackson, chief marketing officer at HPE, said: “HPE believes the enterprise of the future will need to be edge-centric, cloud-enabled and data-driven to turn all of its data into action and value. Our go-to-market alliance with AT&T will help deliver AT&T MEC services at scale to help our customers more quickly convert data into actionable intelligence, enabling unique digital experiences and smarter operations.”