“Capture, Manage, Store, and Deliver content and documents throughout the enterprise.” These are the key words on the AIIM website. Key words from the ON DEMAND (ODS) website say “PRINT, PUBLISH, DELIVER, and MANAGEdocuments.” This year’s event for both trade shows happens simultaneously, at the same venue. There’s been lots of talk about convergence, and this is one such area where convergence makes good sense!

Readers who follow my columns will remember my recent mention of a NAPL survey where printers were asked which new services they were likely to add within the next two years: 48% said digital printing and 16% said database management. Considering that printers first need to have the content in order to be able to print, I think this is flawed thinking for printers. Printers need to be the keepers of content, and add additional non-print related services in order to obtain and retain customers.

Being a veteran attendee at ODS, since the event’s inception, I am glad to see the convergence finally taking place between ODS and the AIIM organization. I feel this merger is incredibly timely and singularly appropriate. Management of business information, creation of B2B and B2C communications and developing strategies to learn more about customers is what business is all about. Companies need to look at customers from a lifetime value perspective. Companies also need to look for prospects based on knowledge and affinity based marketing programs. Through cultivation of customer knowledge and digital business communication strategies, all businesses will grow.

Having these two events co-located may provide the opportunity for print-centric attendees to consider which content management system they will need in order to keep their customers from going to a lower priced printer. As we all know, printing is only 10-15% of the cost of a digital document. The unseen portion of the digital-document iceberg lies in those content management services that will provide a mechanism for customer retention of your clients.