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

Improving metrics and analytics

Asurion provides services through more than 700 uBreakiFix and Asurion Tech Repair and Solutions stores across the U.S. The company relies on wireless networks to 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.

When wireless architect Andrew Pandolfino joined Asurion in early 2020, one of his goals was to improve the metrics and analytics of its wireless systems. His arrival at the company coincided with a corporate decision to reconsider its existing wireless hardware and network management vendor.

Asurion solicited a proof of concept from several vendors. “Two vendors had the best controllers and access point equipment, but their analytics were lacking,” says Pandolfino. “We really liked the third vendor’s hardware and analytics, but their offering couldn’t meet all our use cases.” Asurion decided to expand the search to include non-hardware vendors.

A vendor-agnostic software solution

Having prior experience using earlier iterations of VMware Edge Network Intelligence and impressed by the buzz about the solution from colleagues in the wireless sector, Pandolfino engaged VMware to pair VMware Edge Network Intelligence with its proof-of-concept winner to develop a wider range of analytics capabilities. “VMware Edge Network Intelligence hit a sweet spot for us,” says Pandolfino. “The deal clincher was that we can get the same great visibility into our new systems, and also into our legacy deployments.” Asurion now has close to 30 VMware Edge Network Intelligence crawlers on its networks around the world.

Saving costs by slashing mean time to resolution

In the company’s warehouse and logistics center in Nashville, Tennessee, hundreds of thousands of barcoded devices and parts receiving warranty coverage are tracked with scanners, making wireless a mission-critical technology. When scanners are down, the costs quickly mount, running into thousands of dollars per minute.

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

This error started to backlog the system. Soon, the scanners in the warehouse 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.”

The Asurion team discovered a 36-hour backlog in the DHCP server. With information from VMware Edge Network Intelligence, 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.

A forward focus on business-critical operations

Pandolfino appreciates the ease of use VMware Edge Network Intelligence brings to daily operations. The company can fine-tune different threshold levels for alerts to prevent routine issues from setting off unnecessary alarms. “Navigation through the dashboard is pretty intuitive compared with other vendor offerings,” says Pandolfino. VMware Edge Network Intelligence integration with ServiceNow is leading the company toward better automation. “Our ultimate goal is to build that last piece of automation, so the system creates an automated workflow to a ServiceNow ticket, and no one has to look at the dashboard 24 hours a day. We jump in only when there’s an issue,” he says.

Because VMware Edge Network Intelligence provides such a deep level of network knowledge, Asurion can free network staff from addressing wireless issues to focus on businesscritical operations. As more Asurion employees learn to use the solution, the company can redirect precious resources toward vitally important needs.

About Asurion

Asurion is a global tech care company that provides insurance, installation, repair, replacement and 24x7 support for a wide range of technology, from mobile phones and laptops to household appliances. With a workforce of 19,000, the company serves more than 300 million customers in 14 countries.

Company Name: Asurion

Industry: Technology

VMware footprint: VMware Edge Network Intelligence™

See Also

Asurion Improves Wireless Performance with VMware Edge Network Intelligence


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