AT&T, IBM Hook Mobile Workers Up with Secure Data, Network, Cloud

AT&T and IBM have partnered to offer a secure, end-to-end mobile workforce platform in the cloud.

Timed to coincide with an AT&T Cybersecurity report and conference in New York, the bundled offering handles security for device, network, and data. The companies are calling the four-part solution a reference architecture, and it incorporates several cloud elements also released in the past month.

From AT&T, the first of these is NetBond, which connects the carrier’s virtual private network (VPN) directly to chosen cloud providers, including AWS, Box, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft Azure, VMWare, Blue Jeans Network, Equinix data centers, and Sungard Availability Services. It also allows users to choose providers and bandwidth levels through an AT&T portal, and automatically scales bandwidth to handle peak loads.

The second is the AT&T Work Platform, which uses the app-segregating abilities of an end-user company’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) system.  With that separation, it bills a company directly for selected (and presumably work-related) data consumption on employee-owned devices.

From IBM comes the EMM, MobileFirst Protect, formerly known as MaaS360. From IBM’s Softlayer subsidiary comes server and storage cloud infrastructure in data centers around the world.

In offering a direct and secured link from mobile devices to workplace apps, AT&T and IBM say they are allowing enterprises to avoid the latency and network congestion incurred by sending traffic to the cloud via on-premises data center.

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