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AO Foundation

The Switzerland based association manages a global network of 500,000 surgeons. 800 courses are held globally for around 54,000 surgeons, researchers, lecturers and more, every year with the goal of sharing innovation in the field.

AO Foundation is the world’s leading educational and research organisation who promote excellence in patient care and outcomes in trauma and musculoskeletal disorders. The Switzerland based association manages a global network of 500,000 surgeons. 800 courses are held globally for around 54,000 surgeons, researchers, lecturers and more, every year with the goal of sharing innovation in the field.

Key Results

Simplified renewals and the joining process


Standardized components and access to cloud based storage

Access to more accurate reports and data alignment

The Challenge

When it comes to running a membership organisation that is global, there needs to be a strong and safe system behind it. The AO Foundation worked on a software called AO Connect, based on Microsoft technologies and Sharepoint, which they hoped could streamline their processes and data. It soon became clear that this system was not going to work; it was hard to support, challenging to upgrade with a long life cycle and rigid supplier. Even the IT team could not leverage the system to allow staff to use its tools effectively. Instead of maintaining a monolithic and costly product, AO Foundation looked to Fonteva for its membership management solution.

The Solution

Armin Donhauser, CIO, worked closely with Fonteva and led the way for AO Foundation in adopting a new digital strategy. The new approach included a loosely coupled architecture, with standard components and a standardised way of communicating. The AO Foundation wanted an ‘off the shelf’ product, with minimal coding, low configuration, and easy updates- all of which is offered by Fonteva. As Armin states, this allowed them to “have a lot of things available from the beginning without having to do a huge software development”.

AO Foundation also found the simplicity of the Fonteva’s easy renewals and joining processes for members were a key component in choosing the CRM software their members would benefit from. Not to mention, the ongoing support and investment by Salesforce.org, which Fonteva is proud to be the leading ISV for.

“We had the chance to unify our membership model and that alone gives a better user experience.”

Armin Donhauser,  CIO,  AO Foundation

Fonteva worked with AO Foundation to successfully implement the membership management solution. As Armin continues, “it’s not helpful to have huge projects that take one or 2 more years that never come to an end”. Fonteva’s standardised components allowed AO Foundation to have cloud based storage, a 360 degree view of members and effective data overviews.

As AO Foundation has multiple branches, including AO Spine and AO Vet, the CRM solution allowed for a systematic process to follow while assuring all users working with the security that all data was safe and streamlined. Before each department had different ideas of what membership was and even what the onboarding process involved. Not only did Fonteva provide AO Foundation with data alignment, it allowed them to unify their membership model and define what ‘Membership’ meant to them. 

The Bottom Line

AO Foundation quickly learnt the benefits of up-to-date data and easy to follow processes. The user experience significantly improved amongst their staff allowing them to be “more efficient” and “more effective in what they do”. Armin outlines that “when it comes to reporting it was a lot easier to provide the correct numbers”. Having accurate data helped gain support from the board to get those much needed resources. 

AO Foundation is World-leading in their research and is constantly creating cutting edge innovative solutions to improve patient care and find new treatments, they now have the technology they need to support them in their mission. Fonteva is there to support AO Foundation with their ongoing digital transformation. “Everybody has to do digital transformation”, Armin explains. When it comes to a Digital Transformation, Armin advises that “you have to be fast, flexible and agile” and Fonteva’s solution gives you the power to be just that. 

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