“It all just plain worked,” says Chris Mauritz, Vice President of Infrastructure and End-User Services for Freddie Mac, of his company’s suite of Microsoft collaboration tools.

Nov 18 2020

In a Year Like No Other, Collaboration Tech Solutions Shine

Businesses have discovered that their videoconferencing and other teamwork tech scaled better than expected.

Early this year, IT leaders at Freddie Mac were working to ensure that tools like Microsoft SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams could support any employee who needed to work from home in case of an emergency. Little did they know that just a few weeks later, the secondary mortgage market giant would need to enable every one of its employees to work remotely in response to the coronavirus crisis.

“The foundation was all in place,” says Chris Mauritz, vice president of infrastructure and end-user services for Freddie Mac. “Then, in the middle of March, with a day or two of notice, the IT department got the word that this was getting more serious than we thought. The business asked if we could go to a fully remote solution. Literally, over the course of a weekend, we got to a place where 95 percent of the company was working remotely. To be h­onest, I expected there to be complications with scaling so quickly at that level. I was pleasantly surprised at how simple and seamless the transition was. It all just plain worked.”

It’s an experience that was mirrored all over the business world this year as companies shuttered their physical offices in response to the coronavirus and millions of employees retreated to the safety of their homes. Use of collaboration tools skyrocketed, and many companies have reported that the solutions have held up remarkably well under the strain of dramatically increased demand. With so many workers experiencing how valuable...

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PHOTOGRAPHY By Jonathan Timmes