Tech Data Teams with Brightstar on Mobility Services for SMBs

Joint venture called ActivateIT to help resellers capture sales in mobility market.

Tech Data Corp. said that it has teamed with Brightstar Corp., a provider of wireless services and solutions, on a joint venture called ActivateIT that gains channel partners a single source for activation, renewals and other key services offered to mobility business customers.

Officials said that the market growth of smartphones, tablets and cloud computing makes the new venture particularly attractive to and suitable for mobility-focused channel partners.

The ActivateIT program provides Tech Data’s channel partners a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)--marketed as TDMobility and phased in to the channel in the next year--for core services such as activation and renewals, and also data services, software, hardware, accessories, technical support, billing management, asset management, training and installation.

The two companies already operate a joint value-added distribution, services and solutions venture in Europe called Brightstar Europe.

Brightstar officials said that its acquisition last year of OTBT Inc., a distributor of wireless telecommunications products and services, enables it to provide Tech Data’s channel partners with wireless devices, services and software from a single source.

"We are thrilled to be partnering again with Brightstar to form this U.S.-based joint venture, and to accelerate our participation in the U.S. mobility market," said Robert Dutkowsky, Tech Data chief executive officer.

Dutkowsky said that the ActivateIT program is consistent with the distributor’s strategy to expand its reach into new, fast growing segments.

"It is a continuation of our strategy to use the efficiency and effectiveness of our broadline business to diversify into high-growth specialty areas,” he said. “The growth in the mobility market, particularly in the SMB space, and our demonstrated success with Brightstar Europe, make this an exciting and value-creating opportunity for our vendor partners, channel partners and shareholders.”

Marcelo Claure, Brightstar founder and chief executive, said that the market opportunity for channel partners to capitalize on activation and billing services is now.

“Since acquiring OTBT last year, we have demonstrated the market demand for our activation and billing services that allow our VAR partners to profitably and easily enhance their business offering,” said Claure.

“Expanding upon our success in Europe with Tech Data, we plan to scale ActivateIT’s services to Tech Data’s deep and broad VAR channel access.”

Charles Kriete, ActivateIT president, said that the “offering aligns with the current IT distribution model and will help the VAR community maximize the mobility opportunity that exists through the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and cloud computing.”

One channel partner, Paragon Development Systems Inc., a Milwaukee, WI-based IT solutions provider, offered its support for the TDMobility platform.

“We view TDMobility as an easy and innovative way to extend our reach in the channel, while creating a new and recurring revenue stream,” said Craig Schiefelbein, Paragon chief executive.

“TDMobility’s full-suite platform will simplify the management of wireless services in the channel and enable PDS to create a turn-key mobility practice leveraging our deep partnership with Tech Data,” he said.

TAGS: mobility,SMB,Tech Data,Brightstar,OTBT

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