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AT&T Control Center powered by Cisco, which was announced last week, deepens the companies’ cooperation on the complex challenges of managing and securing the huge and growing universe of IoT devices used by enterprises. The goal of the AT&T Cisco IoT deal is to mitigate security risks, identify anomalies in data usage and optimize traffic classification to enhance billing clarity, AT&T said.

Businesses will get near real-time visibility on all devices on their network and be able to gather device data to “drive business outcomes,” according to a press release.

The companies support customer organizations planning manufacturing, utilities, transportation, the public sector, retail, healthcare and FirstNet, the first responder network operated by AT&T.

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The companies have worked together for more than a decade on the AT&T Global SIM, which provides international roaming for IoT for more than 200 countries and territories.

“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Cisco with a new multi-year agreement,” Robert Boyanovksy, the vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility for AT&T Business, said in a press release about AT&T Cisco IoT plans. “Together we can help businesses deploy IoT devices and applications faster and more securely and get more value out of devices they use.”

Cisco is working with other companies on IoT management, which is a difficult job for a number of reasons. One, of course, is the sheer number of devices. Added to that, IoT devices must run on very low power and often are difficult or essentially impossible to physically reach. On the other end of the spectrum, IoT devices such as home surveillance cameras and baby monitors may be easily accessed by cybercriminals.

Enterprises, which spend a lot of time and money deciding their technology roadmaps, clearly think the issues are not deal breakers and are adopting the new technology.

In February 2019, Vodafone’s IoT Barometer surveyed 1,758 businesses worldwide and found that 34% were using ioT – with 70% of those beyond the pilot stage. Ninety-five of those are seeing benefits. The report established five levels adopters. Fifty-three percent of respondents in the Americas were the top two levels, which makes it the most advanced region.

Last year, AT&T and Microsoft announced a partnership that they said would enable enterprises to securely connect machines and equipment to the cloud around the world. The platform features an “AT&T powered guardian device” that leverages Azure Sphere, an IoT architecture that includes hardware, operating system and cloud services.

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