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Business Impact Analysis – Asurion

Asurion, LLC is primarily an insurance company that provides insurance to smart phones, tablets, laptops, consumer electronics and electronic appliances. Asurion is privately owned global organization that operates in 14 countries serving millions of customers[1]. The company was founded in 1995 by Kevin Taweel and Jim Ellis by acquiring a roadside assistance company. Later, Asurion acquired a Nashville based company which provides insurance to mobile phones. This acquisition gave major boost to Asurion and it expanded its operations to all the states in the soon and in 2003 it expanded to Latin America and Asia to become a global organization.

Critical business operation

Customers purchases insurance for their devices from Asurion. If those devices gets damages/lost the customers files a claim about those affected devices and gets appropriate service to those devices either replacement or repair of the device. Customers can file their claims via phone or website. Currently, over 70% of the claims that Asurion receives are from Web. This website that facilitates the claims of the customers is the critical component of the Asurion’s business[1]. 

To support this critical website Asurion needs a big information technology infrastructure which includes from physical servers, server administrators, product owners, data base developers, cloud computing team, software quality engineers and software developers. The maximum allowable outage time according to the service level agreement(SLA) with the client is 20 hours per year.

Inputs and Outputs

The main inputs this business operation is the information provided by customers. Customers need to provide their personal information to validate their authenticity and information regarding the damage to the insured device. These two are the main inputs.

Personal information includes the customer name, address, mobile device number and a secret passcode created at the time of enrollment. With the combination of these personal details, Asurion is able to determine the authenticity of the customer. Damage/Peril to the device can be any of these three types lost, damaged or malfunction. Customers need to provide more details about the peril via text.

Based on the inputs provided by the customers, Asurion will provide the service to the insured device and a claim document which summarizes the details related to this particular claim.

No Federal, state or regulatory laws are violated if the website becomes inoperable because it is not causing any personal damage to customers as long as the website becomes operable after a short outage. Asurion keeps tracks of their stable version of the software the were running previously, If in case there is an outage, Asurion spun up the last stable version to become operable again. Even though this is a good strategy to restore to normal functions but usually restoring the previous stable versions sometimes take more time.

Another alternative is to have stable environment running in failover mode (J. Osrael, 2007). In case of an adverse event traffic can be diverted to this failover environment to recover quickly. The benefit of this approach is it’s fast recovery time. The advantages of this failover approach is that it cost a lot of money and resources to keep another environment running in failover mode. 

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