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AT&T Inc., Dallas, TX: Most Innovative Tech Co.

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

Company: AT&T Inc., Dallas, TX
Company Description: AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet with the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year - More Than 2,500 Employees

Nomination Title: AT&T Inc.

1. Tell the story about what this nominated organization achieved since January 1 2013 (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 and
AT&T Labs.

Continuing to propel innovation forward in 2012, AT&T not only drove results via these key initiatives, but it also tapped the creativity of developers inside and outside of the company as well as startups. TIP is the company’s “suggestion box.” With more than 130,000 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. Through the program, employees are able to share their experiences and come up with new ways to help customers and more efficiently run the business.

Driving a culture of innovation at AT&T, TIP is one of several ways AT&T is increasing the velocity of innovation and bringing new apps, products and services to customers faster than ever before.

AT&T has five Foundry innovation centers – in Palo Alto, Israel, Plano and Atlanta. The AT&T Foundry serves as a space where collaboration with developers, startups, and other companies takes place to quickly take ideas to reality.

Through its innovation centers, AT&T is coming up with new ideas, solving complex issues, speeding up the development process, putting innovative products and services into the market, and improving the network and customer experience of the future. The goal of the Foundry is to get all parts of the business to maximize innovation throughout the company by removing barriers and embracing risk and uncertainty.

Since its launch, the AT&T Foundry has met with more than 1,500 organizations through fast pitches and venture capital firms and has also developed relationships with other companies interested in working together. Additionally, the AT&T Foundry has started more than 100 projects and deployed dozens of new products and services.

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 that benefits the AT&T customer. For example, AT&T Labs Research recently developed SQM – a set of tools that has transformed the way the AT&T network is managed, pivoting from network-centered measures to a customer experience-centered focus. SQM applies proprietary tools to proactively detect, troubleshoot and resolve service issues, and reactively identifies customer impact of network events. Deployed, the tools reduce network response and repair times from days to hours or less– resulting in a better customer experience.

Through innovation, AT&T is helping customers improve their lives with technology by giving them the ability to do what they want, when they want it. It is working with others to deliver new, one-of-a-kind experiences at home, work, or play. AT&T is working with top auto companies to deliver new entertainment and communications services via our “Connected Car” initiative, and through its Digital Life service, we’re using the network to help give customers more control over home automation and security.

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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 of 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. After joining AT&T six years ago, Donovan assembled a team of 16 to enhance and accelerate the company’s ability to innovate. This led to the inception of AT&T’s innovation ecosystem, consisting of five AT&T Foundry innovation centers worldwide, The Innovation Pipeline, AT&T Labs and the AT&T Developer Program. Through Donovan’s work, AT&T has deployed more than 100 active projects via the AT&T Foundry, generated more than 25,000 ideas from employees through The Innovation Pipeline, produced eight Nobel prizes from the AT&T Labs, created more than 1,000 prototypes of apps, and more.