I’m just back from the international Docville meeting in Brussels. Docville is a community of professionals in the ECM and capture industry, organized and facilitated by Michael Ziegler which already has more than 800 members on LinkedIn. We connect regularly to exchange opinions, information and share trends. Or as his perfect motto expresses: Travel Once-Meet Many
This spring meeting in Brussels was again very valuable and provided many insights into technology and markets in this rapidly changing industry. As Michael puts it: Sharing ideas and learning valuable lessons from our peers in an environment of trust, respect and aligned interest is not only fun, it is mission-critical in today’s ultra-connected and rapidly changing world.
A lot of acquisition activity has been observed recently in this market: Lexmark buys Brainware, Readsoft buys foxray, Kofax buys Singularity and so on. Therefore it was a real highlight that the Docville community was able to receive a keynote on the topic presented by Christoph Löslein from Board Advisors AG. Christoph was cofounder of Dicom (which did a lot of acquisitions of which the largest and most successful was Kofax) and has specialized on consulting companies in this area since he left Dicom in 2004.
He presented reasons why integrations fail and I saw a lot of grins and nods in the audience as almost anybody has been through this once or many times when he showed the high level reasons why acquisitions fail:
- A vision but no plan of integration: Wishful thinking.
- An integration plan, but no common vision and tangible synergies: an 8‐lane highway leading to nowhere.
- Differences in culture no reconciliation of cultural differences
- Lack of communication internally
And the surprising number is that actually only 20% of all acquisitions turn out to be successful.
After this introduction we discussed in the now well-known and valued round table format topics of interest of the ECM market. At the round table there is one expert of the field who presents his insights and then leads an open discussion of 45 minutes to get the views of all participants and answers questions. There are technical, organizational and market round tables.
Some of the topics presented:
- From AP Invoice Processing to an Integrated P2P Approach- What are the Challenges and Opportunities?
- Changing Software Licensing & Delivery Models – Impact on Vendors and Customers
- From Scanning to Electronic Document Capture & Processing – Changing Platforms, Challenges & Solution Providers
- Document Service BPOs – what are the Global Trends that promise profitable growth?
- Is the Digital Mailroom having a Renaissance?
- SharePoint ECM: Leveraging Microsoft and Microsoft SharePoint Partners; Complementary or Competitive?
- What can Semantic technologies accomplish for Document Understanding and Document Management?
You can probably remember more than one event where the most valuable (and pleasant!) moments occurred during brief conversations with other attendees during short coffee and lunch breaks, or post-schedule drinks. These interactions might have led to subsequent collaboration and better business for you going forward if only you had more time to develop the conversation. This is especially true for Docville which continued until late in the night (or early morning) in the bars of surrounding quarters in Brussels.