At the heart of some of AT&T's new products and services is its Foundry program, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2016.
The Foundry program was first launched in 2011 in Plano, Texas, and has since grown to a total of six locations. Using a DevOps mindset, the goal of the AT&T Foundry program is to create fast-paced, collaborative environments for technologists at each location.
"At each AT&T Foundry location, teams work to explore new technology, solve business challenges and power new services for customers, both as internal cross-functional groups and in collaboration with outside companies and startups," said Igal Elbaz, vice president of ecosystem and innovation at AT&T Services, during a Q&A with Telco Transformation. "Over the years, AT&T has deployed numerous products and services that originated as AT&T Foundry projects."
AT&T's project managers, engineers and developers also work behind the scenes on initiatives that power the service it offers to subscribers, such as projects related to its goal of virtualizing 75% of the network by 2020. Through the work of AT&T Foundry, along with many others across its business, AT&T hit 5.7% in 2015 and was on track to hit 30% virtualization by end of 2016.
Some of the other fruits of the Foundry labors include AT&T's primary Internet of Things research and "software bots" that the company uses internally to help employees automate manual tasks. (See Elbaz: Foundries Are Driving AT&T's New Products & Services.)
— Mike Robuck, Editor, Telco Transformation