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TC Energy Raylene Charron FOL

Raylene Charron, director, Canada Business Enablement & Enterprise User Experience, Information Services, at TC Energy, is working from home like the rest of her colleagues. Photo credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

It was a seamless transition that only lasted a weekend.

That’s how long it took one of North America’s largest providers of energy to move its workforce from the office to working from home when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“We were able to mobilize our teams to work from home without skipping a beat,” says Raylene Charron, director of Canada Business Enablement & Enterprise User Experience, Information Services at TC Energy.

Yet the Calgary-based firm — named TransCanada Pipelines until 2019 — had done much of the groundwork long before the novel coronavirus arrived.

Over the past two years, the provider of natural gas and liquids (i.e. oil) to customers across North America had been working toward moving its computer operations to the cloud.

“That positioned us well for the pandemic,” Charron says. “We made a decision on a Friday and, by Monday, our entire organization of office staff were mobilized to work from home.”

TC Energy’s efforts in facilitating telecommuting for several thousand employees once again put the firm at the forefront of its industry.

“We are a leader for cloud-based computing in the energy industry, and we’re really proud of that.”

What’s more, the initiative is one of many illustrating TC Energy’s innovative spirit.

Founded more than six decades ago to bring energy from the oil and natural gas fields of Western Canada to consumers, TC Energy has since expanded to the United States and Mexico. It is also an energy provider, operating 11 power generation facilities across the continent.

Employing more than 8,000 people across North America, with about half its staff based in Calgary, innovation is embraced company-wide.

TC Energy’s recent digital transformation program is a case in point — big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence have been employed to improve efficiency and productivity.

These efforts affect almost every aspect of the company, from the seemingly mundane, like switching from paper documentation to digital files, to using AI for predictive pipeline maintenance, Charron says.

“If we can predict when a component will fail before it does, we can replace it ahead of time with minimal disruption to our customers.”

Technological innovation aside, TC Energy’s true strength is its people.

“We believe our people are our greatest resource,” Charron says.

The company’s employees are its heart and soul. Then again, so too are the communities in which the firm operates. That’s why TC Energy is deeply committed to supporting charities through a number of initiatives.

Its Empower program, for instance, allows employees to donate to and volunteer with charities of their choice. As well, the Build Strong program, a corporate initiative, supports community organizations wherever the company operates.

More recently, TC Energy has provided funds for employees to give to causes they support during the COVID-19 pandemic. As well, the TC Energy Giving Portal is encouraging and facilitating the public to give to charities with the company matching donations up to $500,000.

As Charron notes, the spirit of giving is as much a cornerstone of TC Energy as its spirit of innovation.

“It’s really just part of our DNA.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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