Telecommunications giant AT&T has created a suite of blockchain solutions designed to work with technology from IBM and Microsoft.
The American multinational conglomerate has designed the technology to assist its enterprise customers in automating and digitalizing their business processes using the digital distributed ledger.
Its move follows the announcement of a joint initiative by the business in charge of the world’s largest container shipping, A.P. Moller –Maersk, and technology giant IBM, which together are applying blockchain to the world's supply chain.
AT&T has designed the technology to work with IBM Blockchain platform, an enterprise-grade blockchain environment supporting numerous live production networks, by handing its recorded data.
The solutions will also cover the Microsoft Azure blockchain technology, which builds upon Microsoft’s open, trusted cloud platform.
Azure supports a broad set of enterprise ledger protocols including Ethereum, HyperLedger Fabric, Corda, Quorum, and Chain, and offers diverse topologies for dev/test, single member, and multi-member consortiums.
AT&T said that integrations with its IoT platforms also aim to bring additional transparency and accountability to “even the most complex supply chains”.
Dean Croke of BiTA has discussed what blockchain could mean for logistics in a recent Port Technology technical paper
In its announcement, AT&T added that its new solutions would aim to provide “better resources” to track and manage information across multiple parties and across vertical industries with the goal of helping to solve its customers’ “complex business problems”.
“Today, businesses are constantly looking to reduce costs, risk and simplify business processes,” said the AT&T statement.
“Blockchain creates a shared ecosystem across parties to exchange information in a way that is permissioned and highly secure.
“We’re combining our edge-to-edge capabilities with blockchain technology. Our Internet of Things (IoT) solutions add automation and critical monitoring capabilities.”
One of the key logistics processes AT&T will cover is manufacturing, where it plans to track the origins and movement of goods through factories and the quality from creation, to delivery, to the consumer.
Andy Daudelin, Vice President, Alliances Business Development, AT&T Business, said: “Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency.
“It’s transforming the way many companies conduct business.
“Blockchain improves security and enables better management of transactions through complex processes.
“Utilizing our global network and IoT capabilities, AT&T enhances blockchain by providing edge-to-edge solutions that automate the tracking and that can even monitor the environmental conditions throughout the process.”