Imagination and innovation are intertwined in Michael Albrecht’s daily role

July 22, 2019

481 words 4 mins

Spend some time with Innovation Project Lead Michael Albrecht and you might wonder if Imagination Project Lead would be a more apt title. After all, an inventive mindset is essential to helping him visualize never-before-considered solutions to challenging business problems – a key aspect of his work at the AT&T Foundry in Plano.

Part of a global network of AT&T Foundry innovation centers, the Plano facility is a place where engineers, designers, developers and business experts collaborate to catalyze innovation with impact. As one of the principal engineers, Michael works with his colleagues to conceive, build and test industrial and IoT prototypes for AT&T business customers.

The creative culture was something that first attracted Michael to the job after leaving graduate school six years ago. He was eager to apply his background in software engineering to a career that – at its core – is about business-aligned exploration and learning. “I like taking a problem and breaking it down, learning what we can and applying what we learned to create a solution,” he said. “Innovation takes constant iteration – you’re not going to get it right the first time.”

A distributed systems specialist, Michael enjoys seeing his work make an impact on AT&T and industry by coming to life as real-world customer applications. For example, the growth of cloud-based information management has created data security and privacy challenges for businesses. The AT&T Foundry created a prototype that led to the creation of AT&T Encryption Services (AES). AES simplifies data encryption by automating digital credential management. It’s now marketed with a comprehensive suite of encryption solutions to help protect data in motion, as well as securely store cloud data at rest.

Michael has recently been focused on exploring the impact of putting cloud-like resources at the extreme edge of AT&T’s network, examining what that means for application performance and looking at ways to efficiently spread applications across the network and the cloud.

Looking ahead, Michael is excited about exploring the opportunities 5G and edge computing will bring to technologies previously limited by older network capabilities. He expects AR and VR to quickly advance with better and lighter devices. In addition, autonomous vehicles, drones and robots will become more prevalent and change the way we do commerce.

With the decomposition of the public cloud, it will be essential to coordinate between all the components across MEC, NEC and the public cloud to truly capitalize on the potential of 5G and edge computing. Michael believes future technologies will require application components hosted across different physical locations to communicate and coordinate across a wide-area network. “I look forward to being at the forefront of making that vision a reality for AT&T and its customers.”

Learn more about Michael’s imaginative solutions to real-world business challenges in the video above.

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