"A place for people who want to make a change"
– Mattis Petersen, Creative Lead
The creative lead knew Visma was the place when he walked in for his first interview. Get to know his upbeat everyday life, communicating the things that don’t have a physical shape.
Hey Mattis! You’re originally from Denmark, have worked in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Asia for some years and now you’ve settled in Oslo. How come you chose to join Visma?
“Visma caught my interest because it seemed like a place with lots of opportunities, also for personal development. But the reason I accepted the job was after meeting the people working here. You often hear things about big organisations or jobs, and on paper, everything can sound good, but it’s not until you walk in the door you can feel the atmosphere. So when I came in here for my first interview, I felt it was the right place for me. There are so many things you can do here, and it's interesting that in such a big organisation, there’s still an entrepreneurial spirit. From day one I’ve felt that if you have a great idea, you can go ahead and do it. You hear that in a lot of companies. But here it's actually true.”
“The strength of working with people from other countries is that you get a broader perspective on things. And as an organisation, we serve global needs. Then it's important to have input from people from different cultures.”
As the creative lead, you work with the Visma brand, but also all the brands of all our different companies. Can you tell us more about your role and work-life?
“Yes, my role is to develop and protect the creative vision. Where do we want to go as a brand? What kind of creative projects do we need to support that? It could be anything from developing digital concepts to overarching brand concepts. Regardless of format, it’s about giving form to some type of communication. During the last few years, I think I've been involved in over 100 different projects. Visma is a place for people who want to make a change now. With the software we develop, we solve a lot of problems that currently exist in society. And I think that's quite special. Of course, Visma also looks into the future, but our focus is more on what we can solve right now.”
Working in the creative field with technology, what’s the challenge?
“The challenge is that technology doesn't have a physical shape. It's not something you can package. And we all have our preconceived ideas of what technology is. So the challenge is ultimately, how do we show technology without showing the hardware or the more literal forms? What’s interesting isn’t necessarily what technology is, but what it brings to the world, and what it can do for you. Technology isn’t a laptop or an iPad, that’s a piece of hardware containing technology. As for Visma, we cover the functional needs in society. It's business software, it's educational software and it's software supporting the healthcare industry. If you're a nurse, for instance, you can now support multiple clients. So instead of having to physically go and visit your patients one by one, you can monitor 100 clients at the same time – which is a super benefit for you, but also beneficial for the patient.”
“What I like about this place is the shared understanding of how important technology is for the future of society. I think people at Visma genuinely want to contribute.”
For those of us in creative jobs, but not in the tech industry – how can you explain what it’s like from your point of view?
“The interesting thing about being a creative here is that you have so many opportunities. You get to work with anything from print to advertising to film production to visualising data. And you get to work with a portfolio of almost 300 products, which is a unique opportunity. I think most people here are passionate about what they’re doing, and it’s more like they go here to follow their passion, rather than just ‘going to work’.”
You’ve got a long marketing track record – how would you say working at Visma differs from other companies?
“Visma isn’t one organisation, so you aren’t necessarily working with just one brand. There are multiple brands in multiple countries and for many different segments. So you have to understand both the purpose of the overarching brand, as well as meeting the local and more specific needs. We’re not just one industry, so every day brings a new challenge. One day I’ll be working on an educational product in Norway, whereas the next day I'm working on a business-critical piece of software in Finland. So you get to know a lot of different cultures, business areas and interesting people. You can kind of make your own path within the company – so if you see an opportunity, the door’s always open for you to go grab it. I think we have a strong entrepreneurial culture where personal initiatives are supported.”
As a multicultural company, you get to meet people from other countries with different points of view. What do you like the most about your community at work?
“You feel that it’s a place where you can be who you are. I think that's quite liberating. A lot of the projects I’m working on are not based on a set team, meaning it’s not always the same team that you work with. And we’re not just talking locally, but I often work with people from the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark together on one project. Our UX team is located in Malmö in the south of Sweden, a lot of designers are based in Romania and then there are people working with the overarching brand at the Oslo office. The strength of working with people from other countries is that you get a broader perspective on things. And as an organisation, we serve global needs. Then it's important to have input from people from different cultures. People also have different approaches. I think it always makes a project better the more people from different backgrounds you have involved in the project.”
“It’s quite a high-paced office. When you come in here, you feel like this is where things are happening.”
This all sounds like such good energy to be in! What’s the atmosphere in the HQ office in Oslo like – are there only people running around in suits?
“No, the atmosphere at the office is informal and relaxed. People are dressed in cowboy hats as well as business suits. Every Thursday there are waffles in the canteen, and there’s generally good energy here. It’s quite a high-paced office. When you come in here, you feel like this is where things are happening. What I like about this place is the shared understanding of how important technology is for the future of society. I think people at Visma genuinely want to contribute positively to society.”
Then for the last, million-dollar question … How do you think technology shapes society?
“I think the focus isn’t technology, but people. What can we do for people? It's not about what kind of technology we can develop, but what challenges we’re facing and how we can help society solve those. And everyone has their idea of how technology can help our current society and help it move forward. We all enjoy the benefits of our current welfare society and I believe technology plays a crucial part in maintaining that quality of life. When you join Visma, it's because you want to be part of solving current challenges in society and quite often very local and specific challenges. A lot of technology companies have ambitions of sending people to Mars – whereas we want to take part in solving the current challenges in our local societies.”