A Nova Scotia-based cloud service provider has opened its first Canadian data centre to assure potential corporate customers here personal or sensitive data won’t leave the country for storage offshore.
SimplyCast.com, which calls itself a platform-as-a-service marketing firm for organizations needing to automate email, SMS and social media communications, said Thursday it has opened a Toronto data centre after three years of operating from Michigan.
Co-locating in a Toronto facility is ideal for federal and provincial governments as well as Canadian businesses and institutions looking to keep their data safe and at home, SimplyCast CEO Saeed El-Darahali, said in an interview. "This will open up a new market that we previously could not enter."
Full account billing is done in Canadian currency, he added.
The first two Canadian customers are a university and a municipality, he said.
After three years of successful operations with customers around the world, it didn't have to come to Canada. But El-Darahali said a number of provincial and municipal governments, universities, banks and credit unions said they were interested in the services -- but couldn't sign on the dotted line because SimplyCasts' servers were in the U.S.
According to IDC Canada, a number of organizations in the country hold back from signing up for U.S.-based cloud services because of worries that personal data could be accessed by law enforcement agencies. Instead they look for providers who can give assurances their data never leaves the country.
SimplyCast offers a wide range of online services in 11 languages including email marketing, online surveys, event management, the ability to create forms, Twitter and Facebook marketing, link tracking and PR marketing.
Prices vary by service. For example, basic monthly email service starts at $3 for sending1,000 emails and goes up to $1,000 for 2 million emails. There are also professional and enterprise email marketing packages that include features like a dedicated IP address, dedicated server or an account manager.
It also offers industry-specific solutions.