AT&T Business Summit is star studded, 5G look into tomorrow

Last week, the AT&T Business Summit showed how the company is growing, changing and expanding further into mobile, 5G and so much more for consumers and for companies. It showed what tomorrow will look like for every business, industry, government, smart city, hospital and more. Let’s take a closer look.

Dallas Texas Skyline at night

Last week, the invitation-only AT&T Business Summit held in Dallas showed what the future will look like for their business customers, organizations, governments, smart cities, hospitals and so much more. They showed not only how they are changing, but how everything else is too. At the core is the wireless network, the nervous system for our lives tomorrow. Let’s take a spin around the event and see what’s new.

First, it’s important to pull the camera back and realize that AT&T is changing. It’s bigger in scope than ever before. And if we pull the camera back even further, we can see how the entire wireless, communications and entertainment industry is changing.

Not only that, but multiple industries are merging and changing as well. And even further back we can see how every company in every industry is transforming. And all this change starts with the wireless and communications service providers at the core.

AT&T is not only transforming themselves and growing from a wireless and telecom company, to an entertainment company, but they are also helping their business customers, enterprises, governments, hospitals and the medical industry, smart cities and so much more transform themselves as well.

5G wireless, AI, IP and smart city technology are changing everything

This is an exciting topic for so many companies and industries, workers, users and investors. This same kind of industry-wide transformation has happened, time and time again in the wireless industry.

Let’s take a closer look at the opportunities and risks every company faces. When the iPhone and Android appeared in the marketplace about a dozen years ago, they completely transformed the wireless business, virtually overnight. Apps exploded from a few hundred to several million. That sent then wireless leaders like Blackberry, Nokia and Palm down to the bottom of the competitor list.

In fact, a decade before that the same thing happened with Motorola, who led the wireless handset space until Blackberry, Nokia and Palm took the leadership position was sent to the bottom of the competitor list. That’s how quickly things change. In the blink of an eye.

Things change quickly in wireless

It seems every decade the wireless industry reinvents itself. In fact, we are now beginning the next major transformation, and that’s what this Business Summit showcased. It reminded me of their other major event in Hollywood a few months ago and of what IBM does with their Watson events.

These companies are trying to educate and excite the marketplace. I think these events are meant to shake up the world, so we can have a deeper understanding of what is happening all around us.

The purpose is to bring the world up to speed on the advancements in technology and services and to see where we are heading. This is very helpful to all of us as we struggle to wrap our arms around this next transformation. It’s larger and different and involves more industries and companies and services than ever before.

This AT&T Business Summit was an event about what our world will look like tomorrow and how they plan to help us all get there as an individual user, as a company who needs to transform the way they do business, as a government, smart city, medical facility and more.

The fact is, every business in every industry will go through this transformation. Today, they are confused. I think that’s one major goal of these events.

If you think about it, the AT&T that is emerging is a much different, much larger, much more important company than it was a decade ago. We all know how the company is moving into new marketplaces like TV and entertainment with their aggressive push into 5G. But they are just as active in the business side of the space. Helping companies transform to lead their sectors.

This Business Summit is a great way for them to highlight where they are in the competitive and rapidly changing business marketplace.

As a wireless analyst I have attended countless events, but these are different

I’ve been a leading wireless analyst for the last 30 years. I have attended more events from more wireless and telecom competitors than I can count. They have all been pretty much the same… keeping us updated on where they stack up in the industry. Only a few really stood out.

Events like this Business Summit are different. They show how a wireless and telecom communications company of yesterday is continually evolving, growing and changing into something bigger, better and different.

Not only that, but they show businesses, governments and cities what the future looks like from their perspective. What the competition is going to adopt and what customers are going to expect. How they will have to change and adapt in coming years.

AT&T is not the only company involved with this transformation. They are one of many. But this is still a relatively small group of industry leaders. The future is all about growth and change. The same way the smartphone world has changed over the last decade, expect our world to change going forward.

This means individual customers, companies, government, hospital, smart cities, military and in fact every area of our lives in every country around the world. Yes, it’s that big and continually growing.

Your risk: missing this next transformation wave

This is an important growth wave and transformation wave you don’t want to miss. If you do, you will find the wave moved past you, leaving you behind in quiet waters wondering where your growth will come from.

That’s an enormous growth opportunity and challenge. It’s also a risk for companies who don’t participate in this transformation. It’s not like you can sit it out. If you do, you will eventually lose as your competitors move ahead. Many companies will fail. Many cities and governments will fall behind.

That’s why a few short years ago, the race to bring ultra-fast Internet service to certain cities got so much attention from cities who wanted it. In fact, that’s why cities are lining up and hoping to be the next HQ2 for Amazon. They know the coming change wave is both a huge new opportunity and threat.

AT&T is growing beyond just a wireless and telecom company

Everybody wants to be in the early years of this transformation wave. This is the future and it’s coming at us quickly. Yet only certain companies, cities and more are active at this early stage.

AT&T is staying focused on changing wireless, telecom, Internet, pay TV, entertainment, business services, smart city technology and more. This is what the Business Summit is all about. It helps AT&T stake their claim in this new world of growth and opportunity.

Stay tuned. I have a strong feeling we will be seeing many more of these events from AT&T and from other companies like IBM for both the consumer side and the business side. This is just the beginning of the next, new transformation wave.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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