Doxnet 2013: Strong Attendance with an ECM Focus

Ralf Schlozer
Jul 1, 2013

This year’s Doxnet conference and exhibition, held from June 17th to 19th in Baden Baden, Germany, was remarkable for two reasons: strong attendance and a focus on Enterprise Content Management (ECM). Doxnet (www.doxnet.eu) is a not-for-profit association for document experts and companies active in document management – usually for mission critical documents and traditionally with a focus on print output. The geographic focus is on German speaking countries and for obvious reasons the majority of members come from Germany with smaller shares from Austria and Switzerland. The event had 613 attendees pre-registered from a total of 218 companies, setting a new record attendance. The exhibition hall had strong representation from manufacturers of inserting equipment, but less so for printing system manufacturers, with only Canon/Océ, Pitney Bowes, and Ricoh exhibiting. There was also a strong showing in the area of electronic document solutions from software to service providers for electronic alternatives to printed statements.

In these times of tight budgets and heated competition, the strong attendance at Doxnet shows that there is still a lot of interest in peer-to-peer networking and dedicated educational events — even when these events are targeted at a supposedly declining segment such as bills, statements, and transactional documents. We have seen very little activity from similar national organisations in Europe where slow economies and the squeeze on printed transaction documents has curbed their overall activities — which is a shame since not only language barriers, but also different practices from country to country prevent the forming of multinational document associations in Europe.

The other remarkable detail about the event was the focus on the topic of Enterprise Content Management (ECM). It turned out that due to the all-encompassing nature of ECM on all documents in an enterprise it is overstretching a bit what can be handled from the transaction document production side. Accordingly the presentations focusing on the theme of ECM met the concept with some skepticism due its complexity. On the other hand there was no doubt that the industry is heading towards electronic document delivery and that improved tools to create, manage, and distribute print and electronic document are a necessity. Customer communication management (CCM) is a much more manageable component of ECM, focusing on customer directed communication only — however with the choice of channels and influx of marketing objectives it has its own complexities. Accordingly ECM and related topics dominated the outlook section of the conference, while most user and supplier presentations focused on day-to-day problems for today’s document production and possible solutions. Nevertheless, the user presentation in particular offered some good insight into the state and challenges of today’s document professionals.

For anyone who would like to learn more about CCM, InfoTrends is currently conducting a multi-client research study called “Customer Communication Management – Overcoming Implementation Challenges in Enterprises” that will provide detailed insight into CCM challenges and strategies based on in-depth user interviews.

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