Virtual Telus-tropolis

If you build a virtual city, they will come.

If you build a virtual city, they will come.

Telus has crafted a Second Life-like online city, the Telus Innovation Experience (TIE), to showcase its industry-specific communications and IT business solutions.

If visitors want to learn more about Telus’ emergency-planning solution, SafetyNet, for example, they’re thrust into the middle of a municipality using SafetyNet to help it deal with a flood-related crisis. Multiple-choice questions pop up throughout the scenario to test visitors’ crisis management skills and keep them engaged.

As of Jan. 29, TIE included 15 different modules tailored for industries like health care, finance and oil and gas. To ensure all offerings are relevant, the Telus Business Solutions marketing department is segmented into vertical, industry-specific teams. They’re empowered to develop new solutions based on feedback they hear from clients. ‘Marketing is looked at as a strategic enabler of the business – gathering insights and building solutions,’ explains Jeff Lowe, Calgary-based VP marketing for Telus Business Solutions.

Visitors convene in ‘Telus Plaza’ to solicit advice from experts, chat with peers about best practices and eventually be linked up with sales reps. The plaza will also incorporate two of Telus’ research-driven online analysis tools: the Business Value Tool and the Wireless Solutions Roadmap.

‘This is not a technical discussion. This is a discussion with business leaders about staying ahead of the competition,’ says Lowe, adding that since TIE’s soft launch last summer, it’s been attracting about 50 potential clients per day. Lowe says awareness of Telus’ business solutions is quite low, so TIE can be an educational tool in the sales force’s arsenal. Plus navigating through a virtual city is a bit more exciting for clients than sitting through yet another PowerPoint presentation.

For now, there aren’t any plans to advertise TIE; potential clients will be directed there by the Telus sales force.

Telus worked with Montreal-based agency LVL Studio to build TIE.