Case study VMware Edge Network Intelligence

Asurion Relies on Wireless Networks, and Wireless Networks Rely on VMware Edge Network Intelligence

If you have ever cracked a phone screen, accidentally dropped your tablet into water, or dealt with a broken refrigerator, you may have had personal experience with Asurion. The company provides tech care services through uBreakiFix and Asurion Tech Repair and Solutions stores across the U.S. through a fast-growing network of more than 700 stores. Globally, the company serves more than 300 million customers in 14 countries.

What happens when the fix-it company needs something fixed themselves? If it’s a wireless network, Asurion relies on VMware Edge Network Intelligence™ for the data and insight they need to keep operations running smoothly.

Asurion’s customer-facing business relies on a complex infrastructure behind the scenes that is built on wireless technology. Wireless networks track the location of devices under repair, the shipping status of replacement electronics, repair status, and hundreds of other critical data points that support superior customer service.

Reducing time-to-resolution from days to hours with specific data

“VMware Edge Network Intelligence directly pinpointed the issue. It didn’t point us to where the problem might be. It specifically called out the exact issue, at the protocol level.”

Andrew Pandolfino, Wireless Architect, Asurion

One example of how VMware Edge Network Intelligence underpins Asurion’s operations comes from the company’s warehouse and logistics center in Nashville, Tennessee. Here, hundreds of thousands of barcoded devices and parts receiving warranty coverage are tracked with scanners, making wireless mission-critical. When scanners are down, the costs quickly mount, running into thousands of dollars per minute.

When Asurion finished building a new headquarters near the warehouse, the network began detecting IP requests from devices in the new offices. “Unbeknownst to anyone, a bunch of devices, like video conference and badge readers, started to ask for IP addresses,” says Asurion wireless architect Andrew Pandolfino. “And for some reason, they were not getting IP addresses back from their IP address management platform.”

The problem started to create a bottleneck. Then the warehouse scanners were unable to connect to the wireless network. “The scanners were connecting, then disconnecting and wouldn’t stay connected. I looked at the VMware Edge Network Intelligence dashboard and right there, it showed a DHCP outage,” says Pandolfino. “For DHCP to work properly, the client sends a discover and then the DHCP server sends an offer back, essentially saying ‘here’s an IP address for you to use.’ VMware Edge Network Intelligence called out that the clients were sending discovers and offers were not coming back from our DHCP server.”

With information from VMware Edge Network Intelligence, the Asurion team discovered a 36-hour backlog in the DHCP server. The team raised a critical ticket and resolved the problem in two hours. “VMware Edge Network Intelligence directly pinpointed the issue. It didn’t point us to where the problem might be. It specifically called out the exact issue, at the protocol level,” Pandolfino explains.

“There was very minimal downtime and very minimal impact to the business. Before VMware Edge Network Intelligence, it could have taken a day or two to solve the problem. Our mean time to resolution was cut dramatically from what I’ve seen in the past,” says Pandolfino.

“VMware Edge Network Intelligence hit a sweet spot for us. The deal clincher was that we could get the same great visibility into our new systems, and also into our legacy deployments.”

Andrew Pandolfino, Wireless Architect, Asurion

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