Burnaby, B.C.-based Telus has launched a series of new customized services designed to enhance business phone messaging in British Columbia and Alberta.
Based on Telus’ Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) platform, IntelliRoute is a family of services that enables three types of capabilities for all of a business’ calls -incoming and outgoing – including screening, routing and monitoring.
“I think what makes it more [unusual] in our industry than most offerings is that usually we’ll go and build a service that does some particular thing, and offer it,” explained Ron Skuba, product marketing manager for IntelliRoute at Telus. “But the way that we built this is that we didn’t build those individual services in or tariff them that way. We have the functions that AIN allows us to do, which is to route calls, screen calls or monitor calls.”
The screening capability, which allows companies to automatically accept or reject telephone calls, is available through Telus’s Authenticall service. According to the company, this new service ensures that only valid or approved users will have access to a company’s networks or computer systems, regardless of their location.
Users will also be able to route calls to alternate service locations through two new services offered by the company.
The first, ServiceFinder, is geared towards businesses that offer services or products across several locations, such as a fast food chain or government office. Through this service, all of the business locations are able to use the same seven-digit phone number, and calls can be routed automatically to other locations around the world. Calls coming in to the business are also routed automatically to a specific, pre-defined service point based on callers’ information, such as their location or phone number.
ServiceSaver, another new routing service, enables an organization to handle emergency situations or unexpected conditions. For example, if one location is flooded with calls, the calls can be temporarily redirected to another location.
Monitoring is the final new service offered by Telus. Through this capability, an organization is able to capture information about its telephone traffic. Through the Call Accountant service, companies are able to create reports on incoming calls, with statistical information such as the location of the caller and the time of day.
Some of the services were being tested in British Columbia, according to Skuba, and IntelliRoute services have been available in Alberta for a couple of years.
“Basically, the big step here is to have commercial service that’s available seamlessly across both B.C. and Alberta,” he said.
Jordan Worth, an analyst with Toronto-based IDC Canada Ltd., noted that the announcement of these services will benefit certain businesses.
“They obviously have companies in mind that are going to use this,” he explained. “When you’re talking across a whole scheme of verticals and different kinds of industries, their communications needs are all quite different, and they have specific needs that relate to the way they operate.”
Telcos generate about half of their revenue from telecommunications services for businesses, he said, and if there are enough businesses that have particular needs, the service providers are going to respond.
Worth said he was slightly surprised that Telus did not test the services in another area, such as Toronto, but also pointed out that the company’s customer base is largely in the West.
“My thinking is that it’s not a huge announcement, but it seems to suggest it is filling a particular need for a segment of Telus’s customer base,” he said.
As of yet, there are no plans to offer the services throughout the rest of the country, according to Skuba.
“That’s a long-term step, but that requires network build and things like that, and becoming a CLEC and situations out in Eastern Canada,” he said.
Pricing for the services is set by the functions used, according to Skuba, and based per call.