Research Proposal

COVID-19 Thought Leadership Strategy


To inform thought leadership strategy by researching how Dell, HPE, and NetApp are engaging in COVID-19 thought leadership, what themes are they talking about, and are these companies making strategical moves, along with is legacy storage being discussed in context of COVID-19.

Early Findings


  • Dell created a blog series that updates customers and the Dell community on COVID-19 and how Dell is responding to it.
  • Included in the blog are examples of how Dell is enacting safety precautions, how they can help with remote work, and how they are making sure Dell continues to run.
  • Dell published an article referencing World Health Day during COVID-19 and how Dell donates to organizations by providing the "front lines" with technology and how their teams and systems are helping to track the spread of the disease.
  • Dell shared an article on its LinkedIn page stating how Dell has been working for 10 years to implement and enable remote work at Dell and how companies can learn from Dell's own experience. They also shared a link on how they can help children learn, no matter the age or learning style.


  • HPE recently offered $2 billion in financing and new programs to help customers during COVID-19.
  • The article explains how HPEFS can help businesses reduce outlays and align payments, along with how HPE can help customers during this time.
  • As a way to support and promote a business educational chat, HPE presented a live webcast of Goldman Sachs fireside chat.
  • HPE shared a link on its LinkedIn page from the president of Hybrid IT at HPE who commented on his experience with teams "delivering outstanding outcomes" and how HPE can provide around the clock assistance to customers during this time.
  • On their Twitter account they shared a post from a partner that recognized HPE for donating to pop-up clinics and commenting how the partner health organization appreciates tech companies that do good.


  • On NetApp's website they provide tips on how NetApp can help companies continue to run by connecting with remote workers and providing system insights through NetApp's cloud infrastructure.
  • The company also provided a letter from the CEO detailing how the company is responding to COVID-19 and that they are there to help businesses and can help businesses during this pandemic.
  • On their LinkedIn page they provided links to articles from their own employees on how employers need to stay connected to employees during this time, sharing how a school is helping to save lives with AI, and how NetApp can help simplify the adoption of diagnostic AI for digital pathology.
  • Their Twitter page also features links to articles about how NetApp won the Cloud Partners Technology Partner of the Year Award, NetApp's CEO on Fox Business talking about NetApp's response to COVID-19, and a link to a webinar on the rise of telehealth.

Legacy Storage

  • According to ZDNet, legacy technology such as vertical industry Windows client-server apps will need to be rewritten for PaaS and SaaS.
  • The article also states that cloud capacity and remote work software will be what gets companies through this pandemic and will be the main technology going forward.
  • However, the article does mention that because of the impact of COVID-19 on personal finances, people may still be holding on to legacy devices longer than normal.
  • A Forbes article stated that people have clung to legacy systems and COVID-19 is forcing people to accept new technology. COVID-19 is also forcing the acceleration of technologies and these quick changes will continue into the future.

Summary of Initial Research

  • We were able to find some information regarding how each company has reacted to COVID-19, how they are responding to the pandemic, and how their technologies and experiences can help customers.
  • Our initial research found that most of the "thought leadership" marketing from these companies was on social media accounts through the sharing of links to how their systems can help or other expert advice.
  • We were also able to find some initial information on how COVID-19 is affecting "legacy technology" currently and going forward.
  • Our one-hour of research did not allow us time to fully research whether these companies are making any organizational changes. There was little information regarding organizational changes for the companies besides going remote and offering additional customer service hours. We would recommend additional research into how companies are making organizational changes due to the pandemic.
Prepared By
Chris S.
79 assignments