AT&T Inc., Dallas, TX

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2014 American Business Awards

Company: AT&T Inc., Dallas, TX
Company Description: AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. AT&T is also a leader in mobile Internet and offers advanced TV services.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year - More Than 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: AT&T Inc.

Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2012 (up to 525 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

To bring the future to consumers first, AT&T jumpstarted its innovation program in 2011 with a heightened focus on four key initiatives designed to accelerate the development and delivery of new technologies: The Innovation Pipeline (TIP), AT&T Foundry®, Fast Pitch and AT&T Labs. Continuing to propel innovation forward in 2012, AT&T not only drove results via these four key initiatives, but it also tapped the creativity of developers inside and outside of the company.

TIP is the company’s “suggestion box.” With more than 150,000 employees participating, the program inspires innovative problem solving, empowers employees of all titles and levels to share their ideas, and encourages an internal spirit of collaboration. On average, more than 500 new ideas are brought forward each month, resulting in a total of 17 new services. 

The AT&T Foundry® consists of three collaboration and innovation facilities in Ra’anana, Israel; Plano, Texas; and Palo Alto, Calif., which has fundamentally changed how AT&T engages third-party innovators and works to turn ideas into products up to three times faster than previously possible.  Through the AT&T Foundry®, 29 projects have been brought to market. 

A critical element to the AT&T Foundry® is AT&T’s Fast Pitch program, which serves as the scouting arm for the centers to uncover the best ideas, the smartest programmers and the top designers around the world. This program has allowed AT&T to meet with more than 1,000 small firms and entrepreneurs to assess potential collaboration opportunities.

Upholding its 137-year heritage of developing world-class technologies, researchers at AT&T Labs are a key driver of AT&T’s average of two patents per day and their expertise continues to fuel the company’s heightened focus on innovation. For example, AT&T Labs Research recently shattered the record for optical network speeds, completing a successful test of 400Gb/second technology for today’s 100 gigahertz-grid optical networks. Researchers transmitted eight 400Gb/second signals over a record 7,500-mile distance.

Tapping the creative power of external innovators, AT&T hosted 27 Mobile App Hackathons in 2012, engaging more than 3,400 developers and producing more than 450 app prototypes. Hackathons are 24- to 36-hour innovation marathons that challenge developers and non-developers alike to prototype a new app that will help solve the defined theme.

AT&T is also increasing its velocity of innovation by focusing on openness and interoperability. In January 2012, the company launched the AT&T Application Programming Interface (API) Platform in collaboration with Apigee, a Palo Alto-based software developer. The AT&T API Platform provides internal and external developers with access to AT&T’s network, unleashing its power to create unique experiences for customers and advance the possibilities of technology. By exposing network intelligence via APIs, AT&T enables innovators to build new apps and services with enhanced functionality and value more quickly than ever before.

AT&T has quickly grown its API Platform to include 13 externally exposed APIs, which has helped to nearly triple the number of innovators registered for AT&Ts Developer Program since the beginning of 2012. Additionally, according to ProgrammableWeb, AT&T is in the top 20 of all companies for the number of APIs delivered — and the only carrier.

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Provide a brief (up to 125 words) biography about the leader of this nominated organization:

John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President — AT&T Technology and Network Operations, is responsible for the operations of AT&T's technology and global network, including the company's mobile broadband network.

Previously, Donovan was Chief Technology Officer for AT&T where he oversaw the company's global technology direction and innovation road map, including product development, network and engineering operations, AT&T Labs and the security and intellectual property organizations. Under Donovan's leadership, AT&T has turbo-charged its innovation programs and now is recognized as an industry leader in working with application developers and others to make AT&T's network open to collaboration and innovation.