BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - February 17, 2011) - Using the same cell phone to call your boss and talk to your spouse seldom presented a dilemma, but when it comes to tapping into Facebook on the same device that brings CRM to the field, things could get dicey.

The wireless industry faces numerous complications from converging consumer and enterprise technologies, a trend that blurs traditional boundaries and challenges established ways of doing business.

As IT departments cope with employees using smartphones on the job, vendors must rethink how to serve these business clients and cope with the different cash flow and back office models that exist in the wireless realm.

A large IT reseller, for instance, is often unprepared for the common wireless practice of selling on a negative margin. If a smartphone for which a reseller paid $100 goes out the door for $50 because in three months there will be a bounty from the network operator of $300 for landing the customer contract, that's a new concept and a serious challenge to the systems and infrastructure resellers have built to serve their customers with their IT solution needs.

"No one challenges the economics, which can be very lucrative, but executing has to be easy," said Brian Corey, president of Brightstar's Business & Government Services unit. "Our challenge is to prove it can be easily done."

Corey's unit has a presence in Europe and South America and is rolling out service in North America. To overcome difficulties of adjusting an IT reseller's business to the wireless world, Brightstar can pay the commission upfront and provide a customized software solution in place of an off-the-shelf accounting system.

"We turn the rate plan into a box so the reseller can sell it like he sells a printer cartridge or a software license," Corey said.

Brightstar has assembled a massive array of help for a reseller's back office. It is a component of MORE, Brightstar's guiding philosophy, an acronym for Manufacturers, Operators, Retailers and Enterprises.

The goal for Corey's unit is to offer businesses both large and small, as well as government agencies, the ability to connect to wireless networks as seamlessly as possible by offering service bundles tailored to fit any enterprise need.

Working with and for manufacturers and operators is as much a part of Corey's organization as helping resellers. As new devices using wireless networks proliferate, network operators are either losing the oversight they once enjoyed or embracing a world where they don't have to touch every product that gets certified on their networks.

"A large enterprise may have many choices of operators eager to supply BlackBerrys or iPhones or Droids to its employees," Corey said, "but how do you accommodate the employee who wants a tablet the operator isn't selling through its own channels?"

"We have all these devices in our inventory, whether ours or a partner's," said Corey.

"We have the device and deliver it, connected to the network, in a seamless, bundled way. The operator doesn't have to spend money on hardware procurement, supply chains or the like. It's a beautiful business model for the operator.

"Even though our unit in the United States is relatively new, it already is the number one third-party activator in the business and government space for certain operators," Corey said.

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Michelle M. Merrell