Here’s a feeling I know you’ll identify with. You see the announcement of the reunion tour of that great rock band that you grew up with. Yes, it’s been a decade since you last saw them, and they’re certainly not getting any younger. But, still, you feel that awesome youthful excitement when you think about what could be.

You wonder how, or if, the lead singer will hit all those great high notes. Or, whether that lead guitarist will finally be sober enough to play those amazing solos. Or, you wonder most importantly, will they be able to work together like they used to. Will it be rock and roll – or a complete train wreck?

Make no mistake about it – it’s time to get the CMS and Document Management band back together. It’s finally time for these two to make sweet music together.

It’s Even Better Than The First Tour

It’s certainly no secret that some of the first enterprise Web Content Management systems were born out of the rock and roll super group called document management software. And this, in turn, really gave birth to what we know as the classic rock and roll genre called Enterprise Content Management. As industry organization AIIM notes in its definition of ECM:

“Document management eventually was subsumed into content management in no small measure because there is more information available to us today than ever before, and most of it is not being created by us.  Thanks to the mainstreaming of a whole range of sources like the Web, thumb drives, smartphones, cloud, etc., the need has accelerated to deal with information of all kinds”

Eventually, there would be many systems used for managing documents, assets, web content, social content etc…   But, at its heart, “document management” became an enterprise solution – really designed on creating a manageable way for the exponential number of documents created by a company would be managed and archived.

And, for a while – the digital experience seemed to really forget about document management. Even as it played classic rock in small bars, all the attention was paid to the new bands on the block such as Web content management, and blogging, and social media.

But guess what?  It’s time for the band to get together and make some music.

Customer Experience Is The New Audience

The marketing team’s remit has, no doubt, gotten MUCH wider over the last few years.  Now, businesses must create cohesive customer experiences over any number of media – including social, mobile, desktop, kiosk and on and on.  It’s no longer good enough to simply manage the Web site channel and call that a strategy.

No – today creating a great customer experiences means being able to deliver any kind of asset that a consumer needs across any channel they desire it on.  Businesses need to get to a digital ecosystem that enables them to deliver these experiences. And – the key is that it is a seamless integration across those digital channels, despite whatever asset it may be delivering.

For example, a very recent study conducted in the UK found that two-thirds of consumers expect the same quality and speed across the website, mobile and/or tablets. And over half of these shoppers said that the key to increasing the overall customer experience is to provide this multi-channel quality.

Then, combine this with another study that looked at insurance companies specifically and found that more than two thirds of these companies (as an example) are looking at Web-driven self service projects to deliver electronic documents as part of a broader customer experience initiative.

The conclusion is clear: documents and multichannel customer experiences are ready for the global reunion tour.

Get Your Great Musicians Together

Integration and working together – this is the key. A great digital customer experience that delivers the most up to date and relevant documents will only be possible with systems that work together like a great band.

You’ve got to have strong document management – that focuses on pulling all those assets together and facilitating collaboration – coupled with a powerful Web Content Management solution that enables personal and relevant experiences across any channel.  Put simply: your Web content management solution should be able to hook directly into your document management system, understand the most recent version of a document – and then display that out to the Web, mobile, social – or really any digital channel.

Yup – it’s time to get that feeling again. A classic is coming back – and together they will put on a customer experience show like you’ve never seen before.

That’s rock and roll.

this blog originally appears on the Hippo CMS blog