Connected data enables leaders and programs at World Economic Forum.

The Forum integrates 64 systems with 0 downtime for improved constituent experiences.
3 min read

The Forum can connect disjointed data systems, build and manage custom apps, and track success all on the Einstein 1 platform to power its global events, reports, and initiatives.

About the Organization

The World Economic Forum (“the Forum”) is an international institution based in Geneva, Switzerland that brings together government, business, and civil society to improve the state of the world.

The Challenge

Large-scale initiatives require data from multiple systems.

The Forum is known for hosting annual events like Davos, where private and public leaders from around the world gather and discuss global issues. Throughout the year, the organization also ignites discussion through reports and initiatives on topics like health equity or reusable resources. To help stakeholders scale their causes, Forum Spaces provides an online platform for accessing resources and collaborating.

Because the Forum’s programs are large and varied, they require careful data management of every digital aspect, from event logistics to mobile apps and microsites. Previously, this was done through email attachments and spreadsheets, which was both time-consuming and error-prone. But connecting the data in these systems required extensive IT backend work. The Forum needed a standard way to integrate data and manage apps that didn’t require as much time or resources.

How Salesforce Helps

MuleSoft connects system data for smoother member experiences.

Now, MuleSoft connects all the Forum’s data. This lets the organization reconcile data from systems like those for event bookings, member management, or communications in one place. In 2023, the Forum actively ran integrations for 64 systems with zero downtime, delivering better experiences for every constituent. 

MuleSoft also adds an extra layer of security, keeping data secure and compliant with privacy laws like the CCPA or GDPR. Salesforce Shield encrypts and controls access to this private data as it flows. 

With a standardized integration approach, information from any new Forum system is visible across other integrated systems. For example, the Forum integrated the HR system Workday with seven other apps in just four months. Thanks to reused APIs from previous projects and the MuleSoft Anypoint API Designer, the Forum was able to accelerate deployment from the Anypoint Studio.

Developers build and launch new apps fast with Heroku.

The Forum’s online community platforms like Forum Spaces are mostly built on Heroku while its mobile app APIs fully run on Heroku. Heroku Connect makes these processes easier by pulling in data like contact info and names. The data is not moved from Salesforce, but “mirrored” in a secure and accessible way to easily build new apps. This allows for tailored permission management, user interface, and other features based on accurate data. 

Forum developers use Heroku to build, deliver, and monitor more than 120 sites and apps. A microservices architecture lets developers get new applications up and running faster, so they can quickly respond to customer needs. And with a managed infrastructure, developers can easily build and launch apps using compute and data “building blocks.”

The ability to push new ideas to our users quickly and not worry about where we’ll host our applications or who's going to manage them is probably the most important thing for the scalability of our platform.

Abdel El Yahiaoui
Head of Engineering, World Economic Forum

75% fewer dashboards leads to stronger insights.

The Forum also added Tableau Cloud to its data warehouse to simplify analytics for better decision making. Now, with a single source of truth for both internal data (like event attendance) and external data (like climate issues or sustainability), stakeholders can quickly find the answers they need to take action.

The Forum used to have more than 100 dashboards for insights on subjects like finance or partner relationships. Now, it's consolidated to just 25. The new dashboards offer a more robust set of visualizations to monitor KPIs, leading to faster insights. 

For the first time, the Forum’s annual Global Risks Report includes an interactive Tableau dashboard. It maps the Global Risks Network for the upcoming year, helping companies prepare for risks like failure on climate action and its downstream effects.

Easier data accessibility improves all event processes.

Event processes are also easier when the Forum’s data is connected in one place. For instance, the Forum uses Sales Cloud to track event attendees and leads for potential memberships. When members have questions about their event registration or hotel booking, support agents respond to emails and calls through Service Cloud. Knowledge articles help agents give more accurate responses. After the event, the Forum can use feedback from member surveys to improve its event planning. 

Marketing Cloud also gives the Forum easy access to member data to send hyper-personalized emails leading up to important events. Integrations with event and scheduling systems let the organization send tailored schedules to each attendee.

Success teams work behind the scenes to ensure events run smoothly.

To make sure events like the Forum’s annual meeting run smoothly, a robust Salesforce Signature Success team works behind the scenes to prevent outages and data limit breaches. This includes technical account managers, customer success managers, product marketers, program management directors, and support.

Next: AI will bring productivity to data.

Data connectivity is just the beginning. The Forum plans to prepare its data for advanced analytics and AI in the future. Generative capabilities will help the organization search and analyze data easier through natural language instead of querying in complex programming languages.

The Salesforce Difference

The Einstein 1 platform is the Forum’s central “hub,” unifying CRM, AI, and trusted data to build a 360-degree view of Forum constituents. This makes it easier for the Forum to provide quick and easy experiences, whether for event planning, support requests, or marketing. The result? Global leaders can stay focused on greater world issues.

systems integrated with 0 downtime since launch
months to integrate Workday with 7 systems
75 %
reduction in necessary dashboards