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Johnston Press moves to Salesforce.com and Google Apps

More than 800 sales staff will also be given Apple iPads for remote working

The Johnston Press regional newspaper group is deploying the Saleforce.com platform to support ad sales teams selling through new media channels, and adopting Google Apps to support a company-wide, cloud-based email system.

Other media companies using Google Apps include Telegraph newspapers and News International, which also uses Salesforce.com.

The group's 1,500-strong sales team will benefit from Salesforce.com while all the group's 5,000 staff will use Google Apps. More than 800 non-office-based sales staff will be given Apple iPad tablets to allow them to work remotely and help improve their sales effectiveness at customers' premises.

Johnston Press says the technology will aid it in cross-selling ads designed for print, tablets, the web and mobiles.

Salesforce.com's social media capabilities will enable Johnston Press to build customer social networks "to transform the way it supports customers and interacts internally as a team", said the firm.

All management and salespeople will be able to access a single view of their customers and see what presence they have across all of the company's advertising outlets. This knowledge, said the company, will allow teams to provide customers with the most relevant advertising opportunities across both traditional print and digital media, "to ensure their advertising spend is optimised to reach a wider audience".

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield said: "This is the beginning of the transformation of local media to a 24-hour digital operation, and provides our new and existing customers with access to exactly the audience they want to reach, where and when they want to message them."

Four years ago Johnston Press rolled out a network to help its transition from traditional print to digital media. The company renewed and expanded its existing contract with Thus and handed over control of its infrastructure to the network services provider.

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