At the Mobile World Congress, companies have started to highlight how the combination of 5G, cloud computing, and AI are changing the way individuals live and how they’re transforming businesses. Specifically, IBM, Vodafone, VW’s SEAT, KONE, and Mitsufuji honed in on how the cloud and high-speed connectivity can help companies tap into an array of IT services, such as AI, augmented reality, and blockchain, to provide personalized experiences for customers and employees.
One of the biggest hurdles when implementing these technologies is getting everything to work in a unified system. Today, an average company uses up to 15 clouds and multiple types of AI.
In order to address this issue, IBM and Vodafone signed a landmark $550M partnership to bring together connectivity, cloud, and AI technologies to help remove the hurdles from digital transitioning.
“IBM’s partnerships with global telco companies like Vodafone will help speed up the deployment of 5G and provide easier access to new technologies such as AI, blockchain, edge computing, and IoT,” says Michael Valocchi, IBM General Manager of the new venture with Vodafone. “This is because the promise of 5G doesn’t just depend on fiber, spectrum and gadgets, but on advanced levels of integration, automation, optimization, and security across the ever more complex IT systems that companies are building in a bid to transform.”
Co-leader of the new venture, Greg Hyttenrauch, says by giving companies the means to manage their technologies across their IT systems, Vodafone and IBM can also help drive innovation and impact the user experience across different industries such as retail and agriculture.
Currently, SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, is using IBM Cloud and Watson AI technology along with 5G connectivity to reposition itself as a mobility services provider.
“At SEAT, we are working with innovative cities and technology companies to come up with solutions to make urban mobility easier and more efficient,” says Jordi Caus, SEAT’s Head of New Urban Mobility Concepts. “IBM is helping us invent new approaches to mobility with cloud and AI that will transform our business strategy while improving the lives of people living in urban areas.”
Another company using the IBM Watson IoT solutions is KONE, a manufacturer of elevators and escalators. Using this new integrated technology, KONE has been able to move to more predictive services.
“Our IoT technology can constantly monitor up to 200 critical parameters of a single piece of KONE equipment, bringing a totally new experience to maintenance services,” says Jean-Paul Bourgeat, KONE’s Service Director for South Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Working with IBM, KONE can now bring much more value to our customers, with services that can, for example, lead to a 25 percent improvement in first time fix.”
These technologies are also moving in the direction of wearables. Recently, IBM partnered with Mitsufuji, a Japan-based company that designs connected garments to alert workers of high-risk situations.
“Using IBM’s advanced analytics and cloud capabilities, we can create an almost complete picture of a worker’s safety,” said Ayumu Mitera, CEO of Mitsufuji. “Wearables, smart devices, and environmental sensors all produce vast amounts of data which are analyzed in real-time, helping our clients to create safer working environments and us to get our innovations to market three times faster than previously.”
Undoubtedly, 5G and AI will continue to proliferate any and all markets ready to integrate these booming technologies.