The AT&T news release states that it will be merging the nascent technology with its “edge-to-edge capabilities” such as its Internet of Things (IoT) services to add automation and monitoring, enabling advanced permission-based blockchain supply chain capabilities.
Targeting clients within the manufacturing, retail and healthcare industries, the U.S. based telecoms giant stated that its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) platform will equip its clients with:
“better resources to track and manage information across multiple parties”
Collaborating with IBM, AT&T is also integrating its asset management operations centre with the IBM Maximo Network and Maximo Asset Health Insights to create secure and traceable service provider networks for infrastructure asset management.
Microsoft Azure’s blockchain platform is already successfully collaborating with a number of other well known enterprise ledger protocols, it supports Hyperledger Fabric, R3‘s Corda, JPMorgan’s Quorum and Ethereum. AT&T believes that together with Microsoft, its BaaS will bring an extra layer of transparency to supply chains.
The release goes some way to attract its preferred clients, highlighting its platform’s attributes for manufacturers to track the provenance and movement of goods, as well as increasing efficiency of stock management for retailers, and allowing healthcare providers to securely share up-to-date patient data, whilst maintaining high levels of privacy.
AT&T’s VP of Alliances Business Development, Andy Daudelin explained that AT&T’s solutions enhance blockchain for supply chains, not only to automate the tracking, but also to monitor the environmental conditions throughout the process. Daudelin stated:
“Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s transforming the way many companies conduct business.”
AT&T has quietly been looking into blockchain for a number of years. Back in June 2017, it was awarded a patent for a home content delivery product that aims to provide content, whilst verifying subscriptions using blockchain technology.
There has been a flurry of major firms launching their own enterprise blockchain offerings, such as the Oracle blockchain product launched back in May. As per a previous BCTech Report, Global software giant SAP introduced Blockchain as a Service to its Leonardo service, with Hyperledger Fabric and MultiChain.
We have also seen tech behemoths partner with emerging blockchain firms, such as Microsoft and KPN teaming up with blockchain startup Unchain.io to create an enterprise blockchain platform, or the Google blockchain cloud service that launched with startups BlockApps and Digital Asset to offer enterprise solutions.