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Let everyone choose their own combination of systems and processes

Tobias Olsson, Visma Spcs AB, Gästbloggare

Guest blogger: Tobias Olsson from Visma Spcs AB shares his thoughts on open APIs,
integration trends, the importance of being proactive, and what we call the race for
software connectivity.

Freedom of choice in combination with a safe and secure foundation will dominate how
businesses and accountancy firms select systems going forward. It will quite simply be a
hygiene factor for us as a software company to have open APIs and create clarity around
how different combinations of systems and functions add value for our customers. By
investing in a strong team for our APIs and listening to our customers’ needs, we can work
even more proactively to help our customers succeed.

Open APIs will be crucial for everyone who wants to remain relevant

Historically, Visma has acquired a wide range of systems in order to grow and meet the
needs of a wide range of target groups and industries. A consequence of this is that we have
different basic requirements for managing integrations depending on the system being
used. We have therefore invested in having a strong team that works to constantly develop
our APIs, to ensure that we have everything we need to succeed with services and solutions
that require several of our own systems, together with external solutions. Implementation
may look a little different at the moment.

We have systems for which we have developed new APIs from the ground up and others that are constantly updated to keep pace with the addition of new features. A good example of a large and open platform is Visma eEkonomi. We work to ensure that all new functions that are released must be available via our open API. This makes it easier to create new, smarter solutions with the support of our platform. Open APIs are increasingly becoming a requirement for systems to be selectable as part of a larger whole and we are at the forefront of driving progress in this area. We also have a
strong tech group behind us that prioritises the space around APIs and that support us as we
strive to be the leading integrations provider.

We grow with our customers

It’s extremely important for us to listen to what our customers actually need and ask for. We have
internally established processes that capture questions and requests we receive from users,
businesses, accountancy firms and software partners. This gives us invaluable insights that help us
stay focused. At the same time, we learn directly from data generated based on how our systems
are used and which integrations with other software are most in demand.

Proactivity based on good processes

Because we have good processes in place and large amounts of data, we can monitor
trends, identify areas for improvement and share knowledge internally and with partners to
create even better solutions and more value. This is an area that becomes even more
important when the number of systems and possible solutions becomes difficult to manage.

We monitor what is in demand and see what is especially popular. During the past two years
with covid, for example, we’ve seen how the e-commerce sector has grown rapidly, as
demonstrated by the interest in integrations with various e-commerce platforms and
payment solutions. At the same time, interest in integrations with various types of niche
systems for supplier invoices has surged. Expense management and smart business cards
are a third area that has clearly gained momentum and gone from being relatively limited to
something that everyone wants.

I see this as a natural addition for us to become even more proactive and offer our
customers solutions that we actually know can help them be more successful and work
smarter. It’s certainly an area where we can be even better.

Integrations provide greater freedom of choice and a more robust overall solution
Sometimes the other software we have are integrations with direct competitors with a part
of Visma, but demand is huge, and it is a great strength of ours that we can offer a powerful
holistic offering and freedom of choice within this framework. This also opens up new ways
of working. For example, using integrations, many customers transfer all information for
their invoices to Visma eEkonomi, where they then use our functionality connected to
banking, reminder management, bookkeeping, etc. In this way, invoice management
becomes part of our strong overarching offering, even when documents or invoices are
created in a specialised system that is better adapted to our customers’ business.

Focus on security

When data needs to be shared between a number of different systems, security
requirements also grow. This applies to everyone involved. At Visma, where we have a large
number of systems, users and integrations, we are of course keen to create the right
conditions for our customers to be able to work how they want without taking unnecessary
risks. In our case, this is about having the right technology and skill sets to be able to
understand what is happening around our API and to move quickly if something needs to be

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