Our summer internship just ended last week and we are eager to tell you what’ve been doing in Visma this summer! Our team consisted of Mikael and Håkon who both study Industrial Economics and Technology Management at NTNU, and Hedvig who’s taking her master’s in finance at NHH.
We’ve been working on the sixth floor in Visma’s headquarters at Skøyen for six amazing weeks. Sixth floor is the research and development (R&D) floor working with software and product development. Early on we learned that entering this floor required special access cards due to classified projects. However, it appears that they restricted access simply to prevent people from playing at R&D’s own dear foosball table. Surprisingly that worked out quite well for us with thrilling matches during coffee breaks.
Our task was to look at the potential for using machine learning and artificial intelligence to automate processes in one of Visma’s Enterprise Resource Planning-systems (ERP-systems). An ERP-system is basically a software system that companies use to keep track of their core business processes. The ERP-system we worked with was Visma.net Cloud ERP – a complete business solution, containing modules for managing finance, logistics and projects.
Does an ERP-system sound complex to you? We thought so too. We spent the first week trying to get insight into the different work processes supported in the system. And that was quite overwhelming considering how many different tasks that can be performed in Visma.net Cloud ERP! However, it was absolutely necessary in order to get an idea of which processes that could be automated using machine learning or artificial intelligence. We tried to get an overview of the functionality simply by setting up meetings and discussing with product owners, developers and other colleagues. Apart from learning a lot, this process gave us a good opportunity to get to know all the nice people at our department.
As two of us were NTNU students, machine learning courses from the university came in very handy. We found it truly exciting to apply theories from uni to real life cases. As a business student I had to quickly dive into the world of tech and learned what amazing opportunities that lies in using data efficiently.
A lot of data is generated through costumers’ usage of an ERP-system. A machine learning model can extract rules and patterns from historical data and use this to infer future events. Or in the context of automation in an ERP-system: the model can learn how customers perform certain tasks and apply this knowledge to perform the tasks accordingly in the future. In particular we identified one area within the system that could be improved greatly through using machine learning. Our project owners and colleagues found our idea interesting and expressed a true willingness to take the idea further. It was motivating to identify and formalize an idea that Visma considered relevant to implement at a later stage.
Apart from an exciting project we’ve been enjoying getting to know all the nice, brilliant, passionate and intelligent people working in Visma. Through several social events and,daily meals we really got to bond over the summer. Actually, during the first week all Norwegian and Swedish interns went on a cabin trip to Norefjell to kick-start the summer. Also well worth mentioning is the lunch at Visma – a gastronomical delight every day at noon. Not a single meal was alike, and we were served everything from reindeer to baked salmon. Well, enough dreaming now – it’s back to packed lunches and studying.