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M5 Networks Selects Blackboard for Employee and Sales Training

Seamless Integration with Leading Sales CRM Aligns Training, Business Goals

WASHINGTON—January 31, 2012 — M5 Networks, the market leader in cloud-based business phone systems, has selected Blackboard Learn™ for Sales as its employee and sales training platform, Blackboard Inc. announced today. With the product’s full integration with Salesforce CRM, coupled with community-based and informal learning tools, M5 determined that the platform will provide the most effective environment to help maximize employee learning retention and align with company performance metrics.

Blackboard Learn for Sales embeds the concept of social learning directly into the Salesforce CRM platform by incorporating social learning tools and Web 2.0 innovations, such as discussion boards, blogs and wikis, which enable collaborative, peer-to-peer learning experiences. The application can also be enabled for use on smartphones and other mobile devices.

"As soon as we heard Blackboard was offering a learning management system that was directly integrated with Salesforce, we immediately jumped at the chance to partner with them," said Heather Bennett, chief learning officer for M5 Networks. "We use Salesforce all the time and it just makes sense to integrate sales tracking and pipeline management with sales and product training. It is a great way to really move the needle on sales performance."

The selection was driven by an internal employee survey and by M5’s executive “People Team” that focuses on training, office management and workplace happiness. M5 employees will take up to 150 hours annually of cross-functional courses, such as customer management, investment techniques, and matching product solutions to client pain points. Blackboard Learn for Sales will allow sales reps to directly enroll in and complete training courses on Blackboard's flagship learning management platform, Blackboard Learn™.

Sales managers can measure the impact of training on sales growth, certify reps on new products, deliver training to geographically dispersed or traveling teams, and create targeted courses for reps needing improvement. Blackboard Learn for Sales is also integrated with Salesforce Chatter, allowing colleagues to instantly share information and ideas.

"Business learning in America is failing because people think adults learn differently than children, but they really don't," continued Bennett. "Project-based learning, collaboration and team building empower employees to embrace self-direction and utilize virtual, on-demand access to colleagues, experts and resources. As a result, sales reps improve their skills, are better prepared to make and close deals, and increase sales."

For more information about Blackboard Learn for Sales, please visit

About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard represent the Company’s views as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially as a result of various important factors. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
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