AT&T and Amazon Web Services will work together to optimize delivery of integrated solutions built on the companies' respective cloud and networking capabilities.
The collaboration will focus in three main business areas, essentially melding AWS cloud computing capabilities with AT&T connectivity. In addition to cloud networking, Internet of Things and threat management will be areas where the two firms collaborate.
Though AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and other telcos have gotten into the data center business, all might be looking to exit the business. Some might say this is another example of telco inability to innovate. Others might argue that telcos are no different than other firms trying to innovate: failure is more common than success.
None of the U.S. telcos have been able to outperform the hyperscale cloud computing specialists--such as AWS--or achieve the scale of the data center specialists (Equinix, Digital Realty).
Some bets will work better than others, whether undertaken by Google or AT&T. In this case, AT&T likely has concluded that operating its own data centers provides less value than once hoped.
Some might argue that is not a problem. AT&T and other service providers must keep looking for new services and revenue drivers. As would be the case for Google, Apple, Facebook or any other innovator, not every bet works out as expected.
Failure is simply part of the process of discovering where value really does lie.