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Brightstar handles over 80 mn devices every year and with its latest digital transformation, it looks to be involved at every state of a device’s lifecycle.


ike any product, today’s mobile devices have a clearly defined lifespan and Brightstar has placed itself firmly at

the heart of it. Tapping into today’s wireless ecosystem, the company looks after every stage of a device’s lifecycle for its customers, from the moment it’s manufactured to the


moment it’s time to trade it in and re-market it. Serving carrier, retail and enterprise customers as well as running programs for device brands directly, the SoftBank subsidiary processes over 80 million devices every single year. Now, to keep pace with today’s evolving market, Brightstar has embarked on a root-and-branch digital transformation, one which strives to standardise its solutions and deliver the same high-level service time and time again. Rising to the role of CIO of the company’s Asia-Pacific region, Mariela Millington has racked up an impressive 30 years of experience in the IT sector. During her past three years at Brightstar, Millington has seized the challenge and helped the company navigate

“We’re not just more effectively servicing our customers, we’re also delivering consistent services from one region to another” — Mariela Millington, CIO APAC, Brightstar

w w w.bri ghtsta r. com


Supply chain visibility – see, analyze and align your supply chain. Do you have a complex global logistics network? Do you know exactly where your products are? Can you predict the ripple effect of events into the future?


“That means we’re looking at how we can enrich the experience not just for our own direct customers, but also for our customers’ customers” — Mariela Millington, CIO APAC, Brightstar

level of service will remain consistent. “Before, when we sold similar services in different regions, they weren’t exactly the same and the customer experience wasn’t consistent,” observes Millington. “Now we’re rearchitecting not just our technology landscape, but also how we sell and distribute products and that will really help us.” Serving industry giants, Brightstar’s client base makes for impressive reading. But on this journey, the company hasn’t forgotten the end customers who are impacted by its services. It is this unique perspective, says Millington, which has helped the company cut through the

its latest digital transformation. “One

noise when debating functionality and

of our biggest focuses is that we are

service features.

re-architecting our environment,” she

“Strategically we look at how our

explains. “Through this, we are moving

services will touch the end consumer,”

away from offering a bespoke country

she explains. “That means we’re looking

or even single customer solution to

at how we can enrich the experience

deliver a more unified platform that

not just for our own direct customers,

still manages to be customer-centric.”

but also for our customers’ customers.

Pivoting from a mainly distribution-

That’s really changed how we create

focused organisation to a wholly

solutions. It’s really a reinvention of

service-orientated one, Brightstar has

Brightstar, how we look at ourselves

undergone many seismic shifts since it

and the way we offer our services.”

was founded in 1997. This latest change

With five major lines of products and

will ensure that, regardless of where

services – supply chain and logistics;

the company’s products are bought, the

device protection; financial services; w w w.bri ghtsta r. com


buy-back and trading services; as well as core distribution of devices and accessories – underpinned by a domainspecific advanced analytics capability, Brightstar has a substantial roster to offer. As a result, the company can offer complimentary services regardless of what phase a device is at in its lifecycle. “For us, having complimentary services allows the customer to really leverage the investment they made in their fleet of devices. Being able to manage those devices from birth 08

to death is quite unique in that we can

“For us,having complimentary services allows the customer to really leverage the investment they made in their fleet of devices” — Mariela Millington, CIO APAC, Brightstar

£1.5bn Approximate revenue


Year founded


Approximate number of employees

deal with both new devices and old devices in a seamless way. That’s one of our key differentiators.” Along this journey, Brightstar has also reformulated the way consumers interact with the company, introducing a new business process management (BPM) layer that orchestrates the interaction between all relevant parties. Through this initiative, the company hopes to establish itself as a digitallysavvy partner for its customers, allowing them to define the user journey and leverage Brightstar to enrich the experience along the way. “We’ve increasingly found that our customers would like to control their user journey,” Millington explains. “Therefore, we’re architecting our solutions to be digital-friendly so that they will play comfortably inside our customer’s digital platforms. Our customers will be able to inject our services into their workflow elegantly and seamlessly. To enable this, we established a business process management layer for the orchestration of our services. This will provide us with the ability to really customise these workflows; it will allow us to create w w w.bri ghtsta r. com



“We now think about the user journey from a consumer experience perspective rather than from a Brightstar one; that’s really helped us to connect with more businesses who want to include us in their users’ journey and experience” — Mariela Millington, CIO APAC, Brightstar

different rules depending on the different customers and services in play, but it will still deliver a standardised back end. With our platform, we’re going from a very bespoke development approach to a large de-coupled architecture.” Millington also points out how the company has developed robust technology partnerships to evade any legacy issues. “To develop this digital backbone, we recognised that we needed external help to succeed in our latest digital challenge,” she notes. This helped Brightstar reimagine its services and enhance its plug-and-play service offering. It has also helped the company keep its ear

to the ground to find out about the sector’s latest emerging trends. “One of the very strong partnerships we have is with Software AG and certainly we are using their technology to push the w w w.bri ghtsta r. com


envelope there,” Millington adds. Echoing a belief shared by many

needed. This was very well communi-

CIOs, Millington reiterates that this

cated and re-enforced throughout the

mammoth transformation simply

build journey which helped to provide

wouldn’t have been possible if the

stability and consistency in decision

company hadn’t fostered the right

making amongst a changing landscape.”

culture. Research by Microsoft in 2017

Brightstar also made sure that, whilst the

notes that the biggest challenge

team acknowledged the value of past

organisations are facing in promoting

systems, they didn’t pull any punches

transformation is not necessarily the

when noting where it could improve.

new technology itself, but the cultural


to look like and why the change was

With its feet firmly in the carrier,

change required to enable it. But how

retailer and enterprise markets,

did Brightstar overcome this hurdle?

Brightstar is present in industries that

“It’s a day-to-day challenge that you

are ripe for change. The company is

need to tackle proactively,” observes

readying itself for the innovations of

Millington. “We had a very strong vision

the future and, as continuous improve-

of what the global architecture needed

ment seems to be a well-versed


Mariela Millington CIO APAC Mariela Millington is Chief Information Officer (Asia Pacific) at Brightstar. Millington leads a team of 130 IT professionals based in Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur and throughout Asia. She is responsible for leading the architecture and deployment of supply chain platforms, applications, project portfolio management, and business development activity.


mantra at the company, it seems

and positioned us strongly for the

Millington’s work is far from over.

future. We now think about the user

“Have we 100% completed this

journey from a consumer experience

transformation?” Millington asks. “No, I

perspective rather than from a

think it’s a continuous journey. I don’t

Brightstar one; that’s really helped us to

think the work should ever be over

connect with more businesses who

because as solutions evolve, we’ll have

want to include us in their users’ journey

to adapt and evolve too.”

and experience.”

“Our journey hasn’t finished, but I


think the future is exciting,” she continues. “The re-imagining of our services and technology footprint has made us much more competitive now w w w.bri ghtsta r. com

Brightstar 9725 NW 117th Ave, #105, Miami, FL 33178 USA 33178 T +1 (305) 421-6000 |

Profile for Business Review Asia

Brightstar brochure – October 2018  

Brightstar brochure – October 2018  

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