Verizon Business and IBM announced today that they are partnering to work together on 5G and edge computing solutions to help enable the future of Industry 4.0.
The companies intend to work together on solutions combining Verizon’s 5G and multi-access edge compute (MEC) capabilities, IoT devices and sensors at the edge, and IBM’s expertise in AI, hybrid multicloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.
Industrial enterprises are looking for ways to use edge computing to accelerate access to near real-time, actionable insights into operations to improve productivity and reduce costs. The IBM and Verizon team-up will address this need with its initial solutions expected to be mobile asset tracking and management solutions to help enterprises improve operations, optimize production quality, and help clients enhance worker safety.
For these first solutions the companies intend to leverage Verizon’s 5G ultra wideband network, and multi-access edge computing capabilities, alongside Verizon’s ThingSpace IoT Platform and Critical Asset Sensor solution. These will be offered together with IBM’s Maximo Monitor with IBM Watson and advanced analytics. According to the announcement, the combined solutions could help clients detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system anomalies, monitor asset health and help predict failures in near real-time.
IBM and Verizon are also working on potential combined solutions for 5G and MEC-enabled use. Edge computing’s decentralized architecture brings technology resources closer to where data is generated and this can help decrease lags in response time and increase processing speeds and reliability. 5G’s low latency, high download speeds and capacity can increase the number of devices that can be supported within the same geographic area, and the ability for organizations to interact with those devices in near real-time, with computing power in the proximity of the device, meaning that applications such as remote control robotics, near real-time cognitive video analysis and plant automation may be possible.
“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,” says Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications, Blockchain and Ecosystems, IBM. “Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multicloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data center all the way out to the enterprise edge.”
“This collaboration is all about enabling the future of industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” adds Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business. “Combining the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G UWB 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.”
The companies also expect to collaborate on potential joint solutions to address worker safety, predictive maintenance, product quality and production automation.
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