Setting the standard – Leading in software

Despite a year of turbulence in global markets, we continued to grow by delivering mission-critical cloud software, giving our customers the financial confidence to succeed in a shifting business environment.

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This year, we explore the reasons for Visma’s sturdiness and our position as the largest network of SaaS companies in Europe. In short, we’re setting the standard in our industry, via 1) Connected products, 2) Best in class technology, 3) Commitment to security, 4) Emerging excellence in sustainability, and 5) Unique Acquisition strategy.

Connected products

Customer expectations for business software have never been higher. The products we deliver today must reduce manual work exponentially, be enjoyable to use, and solve daily challenges while also forecasting potential problems down the line.

Meeting these expectations requires us to lead in software development, and to set the benchmark in terms of user experience. We have to strike the balance between standardised and customised, ensuring that our products are sufficiently adapted to local markets and regulations. Furthermore, we strengthen our offerings by acquiring SaaS companies with complementary products. New companies join us almost weekly, attracted by our strong customer base, pooled resources, and expertise.

With a steady stream of new companies on board, we’re better able to serve a growing need among our customers: connected software. Regardless of size or industry, our customers depend on multiple products to handle their core functions, from accounting, invoicing, and payroll to logistics, financial management, and business intelligence. But these systems must talk to each other to unlock the most value. Building APIs that support and connect our customers’ ecosystems is a top priority for us, as we strive to provide a fully connected experience for every mission-critical business function.

The connectivity through APIs is a vital element in our promise to customers: that they’re in total control as they grow, expand, and implement their business strategy. That’s why we invest in performance optimisation, continuously increasing the speed of API endpoints. By connecting products, we help customers to see their complex businesses as one, giving them the clarity to lead their businesses into the future.

Explore our APIs: Visit Visma Developer

Best in class technology

To meet our customers’ expectations, we need to innovate. To ensure that we can spend our time building better products, we’re always identifying and removing manual effort  and other friction from our product development work. This includes organising ourselves to maximise autonomy and minimise organisational dependencies, automating software delivery processes like testing and deployment, and taking advantage of self-service and automation enabled by public cloud technology. In 2022 Visma increased its deployment frequency, meaning how often we deliver product improvements, by 30% compared to 2021.

Ideally, we make software that people don’t have to use. The software does the work for you. To identify the most valuable problems to solve and to validate the most suitable solutions, we use both qualitative and quantitative methods: from running design sprints and interviewing users to analysing product usage and user feedback measured within our products. In 2022, we added 26 products to our product usage analytics platform and 35 products to our user feedback platform.

Improving our software through AI continues to be a priority. In 2022, Visma products processed over 105 million documents with Smartscan, our document data capture service. That’s a 75% increase compared to 2021. In Q4, we launched AI-based services for inventory optimisation for stock-holding companies and started development of anomaly detection for time registration and invoice data, continuously adding to a growing portfolio of AI capabilities that enrich our products.

Explore our engineering culture and practices

Commitment to security

Visma’s strong commitment to security is reflected in our significant investment and our management structure, as well as our implemented practices in well-published Security Programs. These programs enable Visma to deliver safe services and maintain a strong understanding of threats that apply to both Visma’s companies as well as our customers.

During 2022, Visma observed a relatively stable cybersecurity situation, despite obvious geopolitical instability. We observed an increase in global ransomware, as well as an increase in fraud attempts against businesses globally. We also observed that international police efforts made dents in the criminal organisations. 2022 also brought new insight into previously unknown cyber capabilities of nation states and their supporting structures in organised crime.

For Visma, the learnings from our observations have been implemented in our services accordingly.  Through this continuous effort, Visma continues to support our customers and ensure that the services we provide are safe. We share our security learnings through contributions to science, as well as transparent sharing with industry and the public.

Visit Visma Trust Centre

Unique acquisition strategy

Acquisitions are a central part of Visma’s growth strategy. This is how we normally enter new markets and verticals, as we appreciate the value and importance of local expertise and entrepreneurial spirit for business success. It’s also an efficient way to expand and improve Visma’s existing software offerings.

Through highly specialised processes for screening and due diligence, ranging from finance and technology to people and culture, our M&A team is able to identify the most attractive targets. We prefer to acquire companies with established cloud products that have demonstrated strong tech capabilities and high customer satisfaction, and that can enrich Visma’s ERP platforms through APIs.

We’ve acquired close to 300 companies in the last decade, enabling the Visma Group to quickly transform from a local Nordic player to a leading software provider in Europe and Latin America. In our industry, the best entrepreneurs always have a long line of suitors for their companies, so why do so many of them choose to join the Visma family?

We believe it often comes down to our unique value proposition, with a governance model built on autonomy, trust, and shared resources. Most companies acquired by Visma continue under their own brand and management, and remain in complete control of product development and strategy.
However, they’re also onboarded to a vast ecosystem of knowledge sharing and infrastructure in areas like security, finance, marketing, and HR, helping them grow and develop even faster than before.

2022 was another hectic year for Visma in terms of M&A, acquiring a total of 42 companies in 8 countries. These included our first acquisitions in France and Germany, underlining the potential we see for cloud software to accelerate the digitalisation of Europe’s private and public sector.

Emerging excellence in sustainability

To demonstrate our commitment, Visma became a proud participant of the UN Global Compact, the world's largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative. We also improved our impact in the areas we know best: our software and our people.

Visma has hundreds of software products that emit carbon, and that will continue as long as they’re developed, hosted and used. One of the most effective ways of reducing environmental impact is to have as many customers as possible using our public cloud products, which we’re proud to say are increasing by 5–10% each year. We’re also helping customers in their sustainability work by offering carbon accounting capabilities in our software.

See all our environmental efforts

Our people’s engagement, dedication, and sense of belonging are key to our success. Over the last years, we’ve evolved our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) discipline, we embrace our differences, and we foster an inclusive environment. People are front and centre in our software too, from our emphasis on accessibility, to our AI that minimises human biases, to our products that directly help disadvantaged groups.

See all our social sustainability efforts

Looking towards the future

Visma’s vision is to shape the future of society through technology, providing the digital tools that businesses and organisations need to organise, analyse, and improve their everyday operations. We strongly believe that technology, when used wisely, is a positive driver for both employee engagement – and happy customers.

By investing in our people and products, Visma aims to continue setting the standard for efficient, flexible, and user-friendly cloud business software.

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