Navigating Through COVID-19

Blog Updated April 7, 2020

As the impact of COVID-19 spreads, we have two main priorities: caring for the health and safety of our team members, their families and our communities, and doing everything we can to take care of the needs of our customers and partners.

We are rolling out our own work-from-home guidance and supporting our customers as you do the same. We are going virtual with events like Dell Technologies World and Executive Briefing Center experiences. We have our own business continuity plans in place, and our supply chain and services teams are working around the clock to help customers meet business-critical technology needs.

We will use this space to provide our stakeholders with broad information and updates on how we are taking precautions, supporting communities, and enabling our customers and partners. If you have questions or comments, please post them. Happy to answer everything we can.

We’ve put policies and guidelines in place to help keep each other and our communities safe

Work-from-Home (Section Updated March 15, 2020)

  • We have established a global work-from-home policy for team members capable of doing so. We will reassess the situation frequently and update policies as we have more information.
  • Fewer people onsite makes it safer for those team members who must come in to an office, factory or lab to do their jobs and support our customers. In addition to “social distancing,” we continue to fully sanitize our sites several times a day, wiping down frequently used surfaces and disinfecting common areas with alcohol-based solutions. We’ve also increased the number of hand sanitizer stations around our facilities and encourage team members to practice healthy habits. Any employee not feeling well should stay home.

Team Member and Third-Party Visitor Travel Policy

  • We’re limiting international and domestic travel for Dell team members and contractors to business-critical and customer-critical only.
  • And, when employees travel to or through countries that have travel bans in place – for personal and non-Dell reasons – they must self-quarantine, refrain from entering any Dell Technologies facility or customer site, nor interact with any Dell personnel or customers for 14 days upon returning home.
  • We’ve put a third-party policy in place, ensuring visitors adhere to the same policy as our team members.  Our Customer Engagement programs have developed virtual offerings to ensure that customers and partners are getting what you need to fulfill your technology needs.
  • We’ve advised that if a person is feeling unwell or has recently had any symptoms of illness, they cannot enter our facilities.

Events 

  • We are evaluating all event attendance and participation in the best interest of our team members, customers and partners. This includes decisions on events across the Dell Technologies family.
  • We have decided to make Dell Technologies World 2020 a virtual event. The core of what we set out to accomplish together in Las Vegas is still important, which is why we will deliver keynotes, select breakout sessions and live chats with experts as a virtual experience. We will share more details soon via DellTechnologiesWorld.com.
  • The city of Austin called for the cancellation of SXSW 2020, so we will not hold the Dell Experience at SXSW. Austin is our home, and we will continue our commitment to the city and our community.
  • The PGA TOUR has cancelled all PGA TOUR events through the Valero Texas Open in April. This means WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play will not be taking place. This was done out of abundance of caution given the COVID-19 outbreak. We support this decision for the health and safety of all attendees.

Supporting Communities and Customers

We are working with our team members around the world to support our communities, customers and partners during these challenging times.

Giving and our Technology on the Front Lines (Section updated April 7, 2020)

  • We provided an initial donation of two million yuan ($284,000 USD) to fund badly-needed materials including surgical masks, protective clothing and eye protectors for local hospitals, under the guidance of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the assistance of China Youth Development Foundation and Hubei Youth Development Foundation.
  • We have extended our support in China, delivering an in-kind IT infrastructure donation valued at 6 million yuan ($853,000 USD) to the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in China. This donation has helped upgrade the IT infrastructure of Hubei CDC and enable the centre to respond to the epidemic situation more effectively. It has also substantially enhanced the Center’s ability to provide public health services over the long term by optimizing service support and enabling new capabilities such as hybrid-cloud-based PaaS.
  • We have set aside another $3 million USD in funds and in-kind technology donations to help meet the greatest needs of our communities and the front-line organizations working to treat and contain COVID-19 around the world. As the situation evolves, we will continue to assess opportunities to leverage our technology to deliver support where it is needed most. We will update you here with more information.
  • Through our Dell match program, we will match every team member donation to support the COVID-19 response, dollar for dollar up to $10,000 per employee per year. To help in the relief efforts worldwide, we have set up a targeted fundraising effort for global team members to donate to one of four charitable partners including: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization via the United Nations Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and CARE.
  • We are also working with customers in the area of infectious disease prevention and control.  For example, our advanced computing clusters are being used to understand disease outbreaks, including how diseases like COVID-19 are spreading and how to better track them. For example, The University of Texas at Austin and other institutions in Hong Kong, mainland China and France used the Texas Advanced Computing Center’s (TACC) Wrangler system to analyze comprehensive travel data from location-based services to develop a model of the spread of the virus through China.
  • The Governor of Texas announced the creation of a temporary Supply Chain Strike Force — immediately naming Keith Miears, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Procurement at Dell Technologies, to serve as Supply Chain Director for the state of Texas. Miears will be supported by former State Representative John Zerwas, MD, who will assist with hospital relations and preparedness, Clint Harp, Vice President of Transmission Strategic Services for the Lower Colorado River Authority, who will assist with asset research and procurement, and Elaine Mendoza, Chair of the A&M Board of Regents, who will assist with statewide child care infrastructure for critical workers. The Supply Chain Strike Force will be tasked with guiding collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure health care facilities have the supplies and resources they need to respond to COVID-19. In addition to working with the federal government and businesses to secure necessary personal protective equipment, the team will work to ensure day-to-day resources (including food) are available for Texas’ medical personnel, first responders and those who have contracted COVID-19.
  • Together with the City of Round Rock, Round Rock Community Foundation and the Round Rock Chamber, Dell Technologies is a founding member of Round Rock Cares, a fund with an initial investment of $100,000 USD to support small and local businesses in the Round Rock, Texas community.
  • To further support our local Austin community, Dell Technologies has made a donation to the All Together ATX fund, a joint initiative between the Austin Community Foundation (ACF) and the United Way for Greater Austin. This fund will support the Greater Austin community during the COVID-19 pandemic with needs including food insecurity, basic and medical needs, employment and child care. The fund will provide resources to nonprofit organizations working with vulnerable populations who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak. Dell Technologies will also serve on the advisory committee set up by the Austin Community Foundation and United Way for Greater Austin made up of philanthropic public sector leaders and community advisors.
  • Dell Technologies has provided the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) – a Dell Technologies strategic non-profit partner in the area of pediatric cancer – with access to Dell Technologies’ Zenith Supercomputer. TGen is conducting population-level sequencing for rapid genomic analysis, which gives public health organizations the ability to rapidly identify which strains of COVID-19 are circulating more than others, what might be causing focal outbreaks, and how fast the genome is mutating and changing. By comparing the results within the context of global genomic information, this COVID-19 sequencing program could inform biomedical researchers in the hunt for better targets for new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
  • To support Folding@home’s efforts to simulate the dynamics of proteins involved in COVID19 and hunt for new therapeutic opportunities, Dell Technologies is engaging users of our Alienware PCs to ‘lend’ their computing power. Each simulation a person runs on their own PC increases the chances of finding possible ‘druggable sites’ on the proteins, which can lead to treatment options for the disease. Learn more by visiting this site.
  • Dell Technologies is supporting Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of significant UK industrial, technology and engineering businesses from across the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors producing medical ventilators for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
  • Michael Dell’s family foundation, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, is doing its part to respond to COVID-19. They have dedicated $100 million to initiatives and projects to fight COVID-19 around the world. The contribution supports two priorities: 1) The eradication of the virus as quickly as possible through a commitment to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, and 2) relief for the communities MSDF serves with a focus on  healthcare, education, small businesses and social enterprises. You can learn more about the initiatives at msdf.org.
  • Our team at Boomi got together to hack ways to help our communities at this time. They came up with 100 ideas in just 24 hours. The idea that rose to the top was ‘Answers on Demand’ – a completely free question and answer ‘bot’ which can sit on an organization’s website and handle the huge influx of questions they are fielding during this time. It means that questions like ‘should I come into the clinic if I feel unwell?’ or ‘how can I access my school work online?’ can now be answered automatically, leaving them free to focus on how they can best support those they serve. And recognizing the limited IT resources at these organizations, Boomi designed Answers on Demand to be easy – it can be configured in as fast as 10 minutes with only the most basic technical skills required to set it up.
  • Working with the i2b2 tranSMART Foundation and its members, Dell Technologies are supporting the Foundation’s open source platforms to rapidly create a federation of translational research centers. This federation will enable large-scale population monitoring of COVID-19 patients, mobilizing the data from their network of more than 200 institutions worldwide to identify and collect datasets and tools that can be leveraged to study COVID-19 by the scientific and clinical research community. This timely, comprehensive data on COVID-19 patients across the globe is helping to broker research on prevention and cures, including identifying “hot spots” for where medical resources are most needed.
  • We have provided an in-kind laptop donation to the largest public health hospital in Brazil, SP Hospital das Clínicas. These laptops will provide a mobile solution to enable the team leading 3,500 physicians, nurses and support staff to collaborate in real time as they open up additional treatment areas to meet anticipated demand for those infected with COVID-19.

Enabling Remote Work (Section Updated March 26, 2020)

  • Like you, we are prioritizing the health and safety of our teams, their families and the communities where we live. As you arm your teams with the ability to work remotely, we are sharing key elements of our Connected Workplace Policy and Program, established in 2009 to give our employees the power to choose the work style that best fulfills their work and life needs. It’s become a core component of our culture.
  • For technology needs:
    • Provide notebooks with supporting components like docks, monitors, headphones and software, all designed to work together, with built-in security.
    • Deploy these systems to employees, straight from our factory to their homes, with the apps and settings they need pre-installed, using Unified Workspace to manage Windows 10 devices remotely and help users get to work instantly and stay productive.
    • Arm users who have more heightened security needs with Virtual Desktop solutions.
    • Set up additional virtual desktops quickly with our HCI and cloud solutions.
    • To meet the dynamic demands of your organization, move applications to and from on-premises and public clouds with Dell Technologies Cloud.
  • Creating a successful remote working environment takes more than just the right technology. Organizations also need the right HR and leadership policies and guidelines. Later this month, we will be inviting you to join us for webcasts featuring our HR, IT and Security experts who are responsible for shaping and implementing our flexible work policy and environment. We’ll share more information here and directly with our customers through our sales teams.
  • Please let us know how we can help you implement technology to help keep your employees productive while they work from home now and in the future.
  • Creating a successful remote working environment takes more than just the right technology. Organizations also need the right leadership policies and guidelines. We invite you to view and share webcasts featuring our HR, IT, Facilities and Security experts who are responsible for shaping and implementing our flexible work policy and environment. You can learn more and view the webcasts by following this link.

Ensuring Business Continuity

  • Our services and sales teams, supply chain and partners are working together to meet our customers’ business-critical technology needs.
  • We are managing the impact on our business and supply chain operations through order lead times. Up-to-date information is visible to customers, partners and our own sales people during the order process.
  • All Dell Technologies’ products are manufactured in accordance with our global health and safety policy and undergo rigorous screening prior to shipment regardless of factory location.
  • Our Tech Support teams continue to serve our customers’ needs globally, by working from home where needed or shifting support calls to other locations.
Sarah Vela

About the Author: Sarah Vela

Sarah is the Chief Blog Strategist on behalf of Dell Technologies' global communications organization. Originally from New York, she has been living and working in the Austin area for nearly 20 years. She joined Dell in the spring of 2011, left briefly for another company, but realized her mistake and returned in November of 2019. Sarah has five kids, two dogs, two cats, and no free time.