AT&T* today celebrated the grand opening of its AT&T Foundry innovation center in Plano, Texas, marking a new phase in its initiative to expand opportunities for developers and speed the pace of innovation to consumers and enterprises.
The Plano center is the first of three permanent AT&T Foundry innovation centers opening worldwide. Permanent centers in Palo Alto, California, and Ra’anana, Israel, are planned to open later this year. Temporary centers opened in Texas, California and Israel in 2010, and more than two dozen multi-company projects are already under way. Initial development tracks include telehealth, HTML5, new ways to deliver rich media, advanced check-in and location-based applications, and APIs, application programming interfaces that make network services easily available to developers.
“At the AT&T Foundry, we bring the expertise of AT&T Labs into a collaborative environment with key industry technology providers and developers from Silicon Valley and all over the world,” said AT&T CTO John Donovan. “Together, we innovate in new ways, fast-tracking projects to cut the time from idea engagement to market by 3X.”
Developers who work in the AT&T Foundry innovation centers get access to AT&T network capabilities and test beds, in addition to technology experts and project coaches. The Plano center is an LTE test environment, and has connectivity to AT&T Labs and the other innovation centers. Developers also can participate virtually through AT&T’s developer portal.
“AT&T understands the need for speed in app development, and they’re bringing the people and technology resources together to get things done quickly,” said Preston Rutherford, director of partnerships for Cooliris, a company participating in an AT&T Foundry Plano project. “We’re looking forward to tapping into the AT&T Foundry Plano for the innovation center project surrounding our new group photo sharing application LiveShare."
“We have a long history of innovation and collaboration with AT&T,” said Robert Vrij, President of the Americas, Alcatel-Lucent. “The AT&T Foundry is a living example of the vision we each share for leveraging a dynamic ecosystem to fuel innovation and bring services to market faster than ever before.”
“Innovation and adapting technology in a grand way are part of the fabric of our Texas Heritage,” said Congressman Ralph Hall, Chairman of the Science and Technology Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. “It’s fitting the first of these world-wide centers would open here in North Texas.”
The AT&T Foundry innovation centers represent a $70 million investment. Alcatel-Lucent is the host supplier for the AT&T Foundry Plano. Amdocs and Ericsson are host suppliers for the Israel and Silicon Valley centers, respectively.
The AT&T Developer Program has ranked highest among U.S. wireless carriers for five straight years according to a survey of developers by Evans Data Corporation. The AT&T Foundry is the latest element in AT&T’s strategy to drive innovation, building on the resources of AT&T Labs and AT&T’s crowd-sourcing platform, The Innovation Pipeline. The company holds “speed date” proposal reviews to evaluate projects for inclusion in the program. It participated in more than a dozen “speed date” meetings at AT&T Foundry Plano earlier this week, and plans to hold 400 of the fast-pitch sessions in locations across the globe this year.