Telus Corp. is launching two new cloud services for businesses headquartered in Canada – one is a suite of collaboration tools for employees, and the other is a contact centre for customer service calls.

Announced today, Telus said its two solutions are powered by Cisco Systems Inc.’s Hosted Collaboration Solution, and they’re also both completely cloud-based, with the solutions being hosted in Telus’ data centres. That’s a boon for Canadian small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that may have been eyeing software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools with interest, but have been concerned about where their data is being hosted – especially as some businesses worry about storing their data in the U.S., where privacy and intelligence laws differ from those in Canada.

Telus’ Cloud Collaboration tool gives businesses access to voicemail, integrated messaging, instant messaging, voice conferencing, and video conferencing for their employees. The tool is also compatible with mobile devices, which is useful for employees who work remotely or who want to respond while they’re on the road.

Rolled out alongside the Cloud Collaboration tool is the Cloud Contact Centre, which will interest marketers, salespeople, and customer service reps. Instead of falling back on an Internet Protocol-based phone system, Telus’ Cloud Contact Centre allows employees to answer customers’ questions from the office or while they’re working remotely. Employees will also be able to answer customers’ questions using email, chat, social media, or over the phone, and businesses can pay for the solution based on a per-user, per-monthly fee.

Telus has been touting its Canadian data centres as a way of safely storing Canadian companies’ data for some time now. With data centres dotting British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, the company announced it had built a new one in Kamloops, B.C. this past January. With these cloud-based products, it’s clearly trying to make good use of those investments.

However, these two new tools from Telus and Cisco aren’t exactly new, as SMBs have been using SaaS solutions for some time now. But for customers who already wanted to invest in cloud-based solutions, but were held back by the desire to have them hosted in Canada, this offering may hold some appeal.

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