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AT&T's Role as Carrier in M2M Takes on New Meaning

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AT&T's Role as Carrier in M2M Takes on New Meaning


October 12, 2012

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

As a major telecommunications firm, AT&T (News - Alert) has a lot of public perception about it. Not all of it, of course, is good public perception, but then, not all of it is bad, either. But it's also constantly in flux, as AT&T finds out about new customer issues and then responds to those issues for good or ill. One such issue is AT&T's role as a carrier in M2M--Machine to Machine--deployments, and from the look of it, the response from AT&T will be one very welcomed indeed.

AT&T discovered, as expressed by Mobeen Khan, its executive director of Enterprise Mobility, that customers getting M2M systems installed didn't just want them built and then left to their own devices. No, they wanted a little more out of AT&T in the way of support, like end-to-end support. Given that AT&T has right around 13.7 million M2M devices in play--and certifies a total of 5,000 types of devices on its network--this was a pretty big market, and one they likely didn't want to offend and send running to competitors who would offer that which AT&T would not. Thus, AT&T found its role expanding in the M2M sector, and providing more bang for the buck.

Now, not only will AT&T create custom devices for customers in its device lab, but it will also go hands-on to provide that extra support that customers are after. Customers, AT&T discovered, were unwilling to provide that support themselves. Unwilling to hire people to manage the solutions, or take the calls to support it, or have to upgrade it down the line when conditions on the ground looked to overwhelm an aging solution, they turned to AT&T for more support, and AT&T provided.

With companies now able to not only get a solution directly from AT&T, but also build their own solution, it serves as a win-win scenario for both sides. Customers get just what they need, and all the extra support they could want, even up to the point where they can future-proof their offerings and be ready for whatever their future needs may look like. AT&T, meanwhile, gets a variety of loyal customers who won't want to throw over their current solutions sets because they're supported, and will be readily upgraded as need be by AT&T.

The value of customer service, and the value of providing value to others, is clear in this case, and shows how best to conduct business in a bad economy. Providing value is the key to unlocking consumer confidence no matter the conditions; when a provider can show, easily, that the value of their goods or services exceeds the value of keeping cash on hand, they'll never want for buyers.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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