AT&T (NYSE:T) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) are partnering at just the right time, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

The two are cooperating to help cities and mid-size utilities glean data and insights from the Internet of Things. Principally, the idea is for AT&T to provide mobile technology and software while IBM contributes data analytics for helping assess the health and performance of city infrastructure.

Sound ambitious? Perhaps, but Tim says AT&T and IBM have no choice but to think bigger, thanks to huge changes in their core industries. Look at how T-Mobile has altered how we think of mobile pricing and contract commitments. Or consider how the do-it-yourself server movement has cut into IBM's hardware sales. Big Blue sold its low-end server division to Lenovo in response.

Teaming on smart cities won't offer any immediate relief, especially since IBM has already spent years pitching its "Smarter Planet" consulting services. But it's a start. Investors can't ask for much more than that, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. How are you investing in the Internet of Things? Please watch the video to get his full take and then leave a comment to let us know whether you would buy, sell, or short AT&T or IBM stock at current prices.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.