IBM and Verizon have announced a joint venture in which the companies will work together on 5G and edge computing technology to help enable the future of industry 4.0.
The partnership will combine the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G and Multi-access Edge Compute capabilities, IoT devices and sensors with IBM’s expertise in artificial intelligence, hybrid multiload, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.
In a press release, the companies said the partnership will help industrial enterprises find ways to use edge computing to accelerate access to near real-time, actionable insights into operations to improve efficiencies.
The first solutions planned from the collaboration are to mobile asset tracking and management solutions to hep enterprises improve operations, optimize production quality and enhance worker safety.
For those first solutions, the companies plan to leverage Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), ThingSpace IoT Platform and Critical Asset Sensor solution, which will be jointly offered with IBM’s Maximo Monitor with IBM Watson and advanced analytics. The companies say the combined solutions could help clients detect, locate, diagnose and respond to system anomalies, monitor system health and predict failures.
The companies are also working on potential combined solutions for 5G and MEC-enabled use cases like near real-time cognitive automation for industrial customers.
The decentralized architecture of edge computing brings technology close to where devices are located in an industrial setting, which can help decrease lags in response time and increase processing speeds and reliability. 5G can increase the number of devices that can be supported within the same geographic area and improve the ability of organizations to interact with those devices in near-real time.
That could pave the way for innovative, new applications like remote control robotics, near real-time cognitive video analysis and plant automation, the companies said.
Companies are beginning to return to full-scale operations, efficiency and productivity are top of mind, says Bob Lord, senior vice president of IBM’s cognitive applications, blockchain and ecosystems unit.
“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,” Lord says.
The collaboration is designed to enable the future of industry and usher in another industrial revolution, said Tami Erwin, Verizon Business CEO, in a statement.
“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,” Erwin said.