The “end-to-end solution” helps machines connect to the cloud without the help of public internet. The new offer will allow businesses to “retrofit” their equipment into smart devices, according to AT&T and Microsoft. In addition to connecting to the cloud, the device helps businesses connect their equipment to the Azure IoT Central application platform.
The solution, which the companies are calling a guardian device, utilizes AT&T’s cellular network and the Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT security solution.
“AT&T and Microsoft share the belief that technology should serve people,” said Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business executive vice president and chief product and platform officer. “Working with Microsoft, we can offer a truly global solution with strong security and data insights that can help a broad array of industries simplify operations, manage costs, and become more agile in any market.”
The companies touted the security aspects of the guardian device. Azure Sphere provides security on the hardware, operating system and cloud levels, while AT&T’s network offers “multilayered security.”
The device will use AT&T global SIM to enjoy connectivity in upward of 200 countries and with 500 carriers. AT&T will also provide managed services and support for the device.
AT&T and Microsoft last year announced a multiyear partnership, making Microsoft AT&T’s preferred cloud provider for non-network applications. AT&T publicly stated that it would move most of its non-network workloads to Azure by 2024.
They expanded the partnership in November around 5G, edge computing and cloud.
“Our work with AT&T is a prime example of how the convergence of secure cloud computing and network technology helps businesses unlock new customer value and continuously simplify every aspect of our personal and professional lives,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president of Microsoft Solutions.
The two companies been working together around IoT for some time. AT&T in 2017 launched AT&T Asset Management – Operations Center, which uses Azure and Microsoft Power BI analytics.