AT&T to open overseas innovation center in Ra’anana

Israel will be the home of an international innovation center to be opened by telecommunications giant AT&T by the end of the year.

By
July 19, 2010 01:39
2 minute read.
FROM LEFT: AT&T’s chief technology officer John Donovan and CEO of operations John T. Stankey attend

at&t. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)

Israel will be the home of an international innovation center to be opened by telecommunications giant AT&T by the end of the year.

AT&T plans to open three innovation centers – which will enable startups and innovators to work together on product development and problem-solving – this year. Two of them will be in the United States; the third will be at the headquarters of AMDOCS Israel in Ra’anana.

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In a press release issued Sunday, AT&T and AMDOCS announced that the innovation facilities “will enable AT&T scientists and engineers to work directly with device makers, application developers and network equipment providers to expedite development of an ecosystem of mobile and wired broadband services and capabilities for consumers and business users. Third-party developers will have access to a wide range of AT&T services and network capabilities to facilitate development of new applications.”

AMDOCS CEO Dov Baharav, who on Sunday spoke to the press for the first time in seven years, said the announcement marked “a historical moment because AT&T chose for itself a new path and has picked Israel as the first place to carry this path out.”

Baharav said he saw the decision to build the center in Israel as “on one hand, recognition of the Israeli high-tech industry, and on the other hand, a great opportunity for many start-ups in Israel.”

At the press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, John T.

Stankey, chief executive officer of AT&T operations, said the company had made the decision after “we looked into Israel for many months and met with many companies that have roots here, and it became apparent to me that something very unique is going on here.”

He added, “I’ve spent much time getting to know the start-ups here, and I walked away from that visit eight months ago very impressed. We realized that there is something we need to do here in order to further our development.”

According to Stankey, “the world is changing, and so is the way information is transmitted. Some of the greatest innovations are happening in Israel; we want to be closer to that and take advantage of that.”

John Donovan, chief technology officer of AT&T, said Sunday the company was developing the innovation centers “to be able to provide our own experts an opportunity to learn how innovation works and to teach start-ups how to more rapidly deploy in our world.

“There will be a benefit for the small start-ups in not having to invest in things they traditionally do in order to gain access to experts and resources,” he went on. “We have confidence in Israel as a center for continued innovation, because of how many start-ups are fostered here.”

Moreover, Donovan said Israel was at the cutting edge of telecommunications development and that “what’s taking place in Israel is very well aligned with telecommunications and the future of services that we’re looking to provide.”


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