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IBM and Verizon collaborate on 5G, AI-based enterprise solutions

by Chuck Martin
Article ImageFirst stop: AI for supply chains and industrial organizations

IBM and Verizon have entered into a collaboration on 5G and edge innovation, tapping IBM’s expertise in AI and Verizon’s 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities.

The companies’ initial plan is to focus on solutions for mobile asset tracking and management, helping enterprises improve operations, optimize production quality, and enhance worker safety.

As the first step, the partners intend to add IBM’s Maximo Monitor, powered by Watson, to Verizon’s 5G Ultra-Wideband (UWB) network, MEC services, ThingSpace IoT platform, and Critical Asset Sensor solution.

The combination is expected to help clients detect, locate, diagnose, and respond to system anomalies, monitor asset health, and help predict failures in near real-time.

The future of industry

“This collaboration is all about enabling the future of industry in the fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Combining the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G 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.”

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

The idea is to leverage the decentralized nature of edge computing to bring technology resources closer to where data is generated, to help decrease lag in response time and increase reliability and processing speeds.

“The industrial sector is undergoing unprecedented transformation as companies begin to return to full-scale operations, aided by new technology to help reduce costs and increase productivity,” said Bob Lord, SVP for cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems, at IBM.

“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 to the enterprise edge.”

The collaboration is expected to include development of potential joint solutions relating to predictive maintenance, product quality, and production automation.

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