SAN DIEGO—AT&T Executive Director of Enterprise Mobility Mobeen Khan message might seem simple, but it indicates that the carrier's role has evolved since the early days of M2M.
"Build it. Support it end to end. That's what our customers are asking of us, and that's what we do,” Khan says. "What we're hearing from customers is that it's a complex space," he says, noting AT&T currently has 13.7 million devices under management.
And while connectivity is certainly a big part of rolling out any M2M solution, it's just one small part of the solution stack, Khan explains. AT&T currently has over 5000 different types of devices certified on its network, and it can connect anything from a vending machine to an x-ray machine.
On top of that, Khan says AT&T's device lab creates custom devices for its customers.
"We don't manufacture the device itself, but we know where to go to get that module manufactured and certified for that customer," Khan says. "We work at every layer of the M2M space.”
AT&T's hands on, end-to-end approach to M2M is a testament to the opportunity carriers see in the segment. There are plenty of third-party providers out there looking to mitigate the complexities of bringing an M2M solution to market. But Khan says AT&T can and will help its customers do it all, from finding the right module to bringing the solution to market.
Perhaps the most difficult part of the M2M space, is bringing services to market, Khan says. From inception, to delivery and building the solution to supporting post-deployment, AT&T now provides a lot more than just connectivity. Companies can go in and actually help build the solution with a team of AT&T engineers, as well as get complete support for everything once it's up and running.
"More and more, we're seeing this from customers. They're saying don't just give me a solution, give it to me end to end, because I don't want to hire people to manage it. I don't want to upgrade it. I don't want to take calls for supporting it."