Autonomy

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Autonomy Reviews

Updated Jul 5, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 317 reviews

42% Approve of the CEO

Autonomy SVP & General Manager Robert Youngjohns

Robert Youngjohns

(36 ratings)

18% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free breakfast Wednesday, free lunch Friday(in 33 reviews)

  • Nice office space and free lunch on Fridays but thats about it-(in 11 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management has a HUGE disconnect between their employees(in 19 reviews)

  • Hiring staff was difficult as senior management would only approve a new hire if they came from a university that was acceptable to them(in 18 reviews)

152 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
in
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    12 people found this helpful  

    A horrible place to work

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Vista, CA

    ProsIt's really hard to think of any - but to fair, if you're in the right place at the right time, you may get an interesting project to work on. Oh, and six weeks of vacation, but I'm pretty sure that's just because it was grandfathered in from the previous company that Autonomy acquired.

    ConsIt would be really hard to list them all here.

    Senior management is somewhere between incompetent and evil. They come from the Karl Rove/George Bush school of PR - i.e. the belief that if you tell a lie enough times it will become true. One example: The day after there were company wide layoffs in the QA department (on the order of 50 people overall), the company newsletter was sent out containing the quote "You should be proud to work at a company that has never had economic layoffs". Perhaps including the qualifier 'economic' makes it technically true, but only in the most weasel-like of ways. The dismissals were definitely *not* due to performance or other issues.

    Senior management is also terrible when it comes to basic communication. If there is long-term vision or strategy for the company, they do a great job of keeping it a secret.

    As far as opportunities for advancement goes, there doesn't seem to be any. Nobody in this office has gotten a raise or bonus in the past two years. There are people working for me that are producing above their pay grade and have completed projects that have led directly to large sales, but all requests for raises or bonuses have been met with a deafening silence. I could handle it if we were given a reason why the requests were denied, or maybe some constructive feedback about what senior management would like to see before granting the requests. But there is none.

    Probably the most galling thing of all, and the thing that makes me most glad to be leaving, is the complete lack of commitment to producing quality software. We are being ordered, from the CEO level, to ship software that does not, for any sane definition of the word, work. It may install and launch (on a good) day, but there is no chance that it meet the customer's needs. None. The problems have been clearly communicated to the level of the CEO, but they don't care.

    It makes me especially angry that the current lapses in quality can be traced directly to decisions forced upon us by senior management:
    * Reducing the need for dedicated QA staffing by increasing the amount of automated testing that is done on a product is a good idea. But the rational way to achieve this is to first build up your suite of automated tests and train your engineers on how to produce testable code. Starting by simply firing your QA department and then ignoring the ensuing quality issues is just insane.
    * Replacing royalty bearing libraries with internally developed code can be a smart move. But the rational way to do this is to first work on your internal library until it's quality is on par with the third party library. Providing a library that runs four times slower with accuracy levels that might have been acceptable 12 years ago and forcing us to ship with it is insane.
    * Replacing royalty bearing libraries with appropriate open-source alternatives can be a smart move. But canceling all of your contracts before you've determined that the open-source alternatives can do what you need, is just insane.

    I could go on. But I will stop here.

    I feel sorry for companies who purchase Autonomy software expecting to receive value for the money they spend.

    And I am sickened by what is being done to what was once a proud company, and to the customers we've sweat blood for over the past 10+ years.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTone down the arrogance a bit.

    Communicate more. Provide actual guidance with goals, expectations, etc.

    The company has had three straight quarters of record growth and profit. It is really hard to get excited about the good results when the only rewards are seeing your coworkers laid-off and yet another quarter with no raises or bonuses. Share at least a little bit of the wealth!

    Allow local offices a bit more autonomy in how they run their business. What works well in Cambridge, England might not play as well in California. Set measurable goals and then reward (or not) based on whether the group meets those goals. Having butts in seats from 8am-5pm is a poor measure of how productive an office is.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    14 people found this helpful  

    The British are coming! Run away as fast as you can!

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Pleasanton, CA

    ProsI came to Autonomy from an acquisition and I don't have anything good to say about Autonomy. I have a lot of great things to say about the company that they acquired and destroyed, a company that had solid management and friendly co-workers and good communication and no insane paranoid policies. They provide free lunch on Friday, whoopee.

    ConsManagement in England is arrogant and short-sighted. They acquired us with no plan for integrating the business units, and most of us left already in less than a year. Autonomy does not understand our business or our customers, and they do not value the people. They have no long term plan for the business and just move from one fire drill to the next, yelling at anyone in firing range. They are paranoid and impose policies that make it clear they do not trust any of their employees. Autonomy has no annual review process for employees and no annual raise. I talked to some longtime employees who had never received a review or a raise in years. HR is nonexistent, just a revolving door of clueless young cannon fodder with no experience with benefits or employee issues. In 15 months at Autonomy, not a single email was sent to employees from any of the Brits regarding the corporate strategy or plans. There is almost no actual software development happening at Autonomy. It is all bug fixes after customers complain that the software does not work. Press releases are issued before anything is implemented, just hoping someone will buy the vaporware.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou cannot continue to acquire and destroy other companies, losing all corporate knowledge in the process. You should communicate with all employees and not treat us like cattle who can be led to the slaughterhouse and replaced with a new herd next week.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    10 people found this helpful  

    Like working for a corner shop where everything is vetted by 'dad' (or his closest associates)

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsUnderlying technology is undoubtedly very clever and at the leading edge
    Some truly great people (albeit most of them courtesy of takeovers) to work with
    Very nice office location in London
    Ability to expand and grow technical skills if this is where your expertise lies

    ConsSole focus of the company is sales, sales, sales and then more
    Micro-management to the nth degree, bordering on the ridiculous
    Total lack of delegation by the upper echelons of power
    Absolute paranoia about making decisions/putting anything in writing/acknowledging client or employee dissatisfaction (delete as appropriate)
    No appraisals/pay rises/bonuses/career path/progression (all applicable)
    Mixed messages from senior management and constant moving of the goalposts
    Endless admin
    Everyone - bar the top dogs - relegated to status of worker bees and treated accordingly
    Bully-boy tactics if you are not deemed to be performing adequately (ie bringing in more sales revenue)
    Lip service only with regard to customer care and efficient/effective services

    Advice to Senior ManagementRegardless of how brilliant your technology may be, if your customers are not happy the bad news will spread faster than the good news.
    Put your money where your mouth is: show that you truly value your employees by empowering them to take ownership of areas where they can shine. And recognise this through fair, consistent and transparent compensation, not some subjective method that we should all be 'excited about', but actually means/gives nothing to the vast majority.
    Delegate authority - running a multi-million business like a start-up company is counterproductive when decisions need to be made 'yesterday'. Waiting until customers threaten to sue is not the way to guarantee satisfaction, far less recommendation.
    Courtesy: a please and a thank you every now and then is not too much to ask. Just because you sit at the top does not mean you have to cr*p over the rest of us. Repeatedly.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    15 people found this helpful  

    It's not worth the sacrifice - you won't be thanked.

    Sales Engineer (Former Employee) London, England (UK)

    ProsAutonomy pays pretty good salaries, and offers perks such as a free Christmas trip to Europe for their party, and for salespeople, a trip to Miami in January for a conference. Both of these trips are well funded, great hotels and lots of fun (Miami is also hard work, but in a good way!)
    The technology is really exciting, and the brand has a fairly good image. The 'story' is a good one to tell customers and the PR team are fantastic at their jobs. There's an amazing client list - although double check as some of those 'clients' are clients of acquired companies, and some of them are emphatically no longer clients!

    ConsPerks are NOT guaranteed - they are entirely at management discretion. Cross the wrong person and you will find yourself without an invitation, or even 'uninvited' by them providing you with 'vital' work to do which means you cannot attend. Holidays are the legal minimum unless you have come from an acquired company. Other benefits are nonexistent - no health cover, no dental, nothing. There's a discount on childcare vouchers, but frankly if you have kids...Autonomy is the last place you would want to work. Hours are very long, and weekend work is common - with no overtime, or time in lieu. Tough luck! Their approach is that you should be overwhelmed with gratitude for still being in a job - seriously.

    Autonomy suffers from a culture of endemic bullying endorsed by senior management. This is not a joke - even great performers can be shouted at or threatened if they are having a bad quarter. And at Autonomy, *everything* is about the quarter. Stand up for yourself, question management decisions in any way - and you will magically find yourself working away from home for weeks on end, or working till 3am over the weekend.

    The company does *not* support home working - they will not pay for any communications setup (though you can use your own broadband), and instead prefer to see employees work ridiculous hours in the office.

    You may be required to attend Webex conferences at any hour of the day or night. These are compulsory and attendance is monitored.

    Everything employees do is monitored and measured exhaustively. Underperformance for any reason will incur a humiliating 'conversation' with management, or termination. Employees are incentivised not to help each other out - there is no perceptible chain of command, so finding an answer to a query can take hours of messing around, buck-passing, or a blank wall of deliberate ignorance.

    There is no training given to salespeople - they get 1 week of 'training' how to deliver a slide presentation and as a result, most of them have little clue and are frequently told 'just sell it, say whatever you need to, and we'll sort it out afterwards' - NOT a recipe for customer satisfaction. Even the top long-serving performers are not informed of new developments/acquisitions until after the event.

    Staff turnover is absolutely terrifying - they say here that unless you've been to Miami twice, it's not worth getting to know you. Sad, but not much of an exaggeration. Leavers are not talked about - they become 'the vanished', and usually the only way you will find out is when they stop responding to your emails and you ask around.

    There are just a few people at the top of the company who are proud of 'running like a startup'. Even so-called 'senior managers' and 'directors' have no power and have to refer upwards even for minor decisions, yet they're given the most unpleasant tasks, e.g. firing people.

    You are expected to 'believe' - the company's arrogance knows no bounds, competitors are denigrated rather than investigated. At the moment, the technology is truly exciting - but execution is very poor in places. Don't believe the PR juggernaut, many of their customers are very unhappy indeed.

    I have worked for 4 major PLC companies in the last 15 years, and have never worked in such an unpleasant, unfriendly, unprofessional environment. Both customers and employees are treated with total disdain. Leaving the company was the best decision I ever made, what a sad thing to have to say.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to treat your employees as human beings - they have lives, families, and a lot of loyalty to give. 'Presenteeism' is not a good culture for productivity! It would be much better to build a friendly atmosphere of ethical success, with a culture of training, growth and promotion, and employee loyalty would be fanatical. Having to constantly find more 'cannonfodder' to replace constant staff turnover is expensive and counterproductive. A focus on quality and testing instead of PR could make Autonomy bigger than Microsoft.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    14 people found this helpful  

    Calgary office is a sweatshop

    Technical Support Specialist (Europe) (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    Pros-You'll have the chance to work with unique technology, Enterprise Search, E-Discovery, Call Centre Management Software, E-Mail Archiving and Business Process Automation.
    -Software supported on several platforms, opportunity to learn new skills.
    -There are great people at Autonomy Calgary (ex Verity)

    Cons-There is no PMO or SDLC in place, no agile or waterfall, software is developed and released with poor planning. The customer base is unhappy with the product quality and support, customers have learned that the only way to get a bug fixed is to go legal.
    -There are banned words at Autonomy, for example; if you tell a customer you have found a bug in the software, you'll be fired. You'll be reminded via email not to say or write the banned words or else. This practice creates paranoia and high levels of stress.
    -Micro-management defines Autonomy. Managers at Calgary office have no voice, everything is done according to the directives of a few people in the UK, they decide hiring, terminations and everything else, Calgary managers execute orders no questions asked.
    -You'll be promised bonuses, salary increases and much more but in reality you won't get anything and forget about career growth.
    -Work life balance doesn't exists. It is extreme really, they will check the ID card readers to check the time you got in and the time you go home and monitor the time you take for lunch. I have seen nasty emails sent to employees for leaving 10 minutes before close of business. My manager did a good job at fighting this culture but gave up, he left the company.
    -The workload for each tech is so high it is ridiculous.
    -Don't expect a performance review or manager feedback on goals and achievements.
    -Promotions are given to managers friends and even relatives. nepotism?
    -Lastly, do not bother applying for a job if your GPA is less than 3.5

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou are not running a startup, it is time to change your management practices and stop the micro managing style.
    The best asset in Autonomy is the people, you need to take care of your staff, don't just promise, walk the talk and reward (at least say thanks once in a while) your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    14 people found this helpful  

    Autonomy is anything but

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsNone, not a one, unless you like:
    Arbitrary and random decision making, (only by the most senior folks)
    Capricous and dishonest ethics
    Stingy and misery compensation and benefits that make Scrooge look like Mother Theresa

    ConsThe above plus:
    Stupifying incompetence of management
    The most backward of business operations, make Frankenstein's bride look like a supermodel
    The most superficial and plastic of companies--reputation is so important, yet it does very little to actual merit a reputation (bad product quality, marketing hype, analyst hype, poor support), makes Barbie seem like a real person

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet a clue, approved by Dr Headin Sand

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    15 people found this helpful  

    Acquire and dismantle as a business model

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe products and technology from Autonomy itself and from it's many acquisitions have a huge amount of potential. Given the right vision and leadership, the products could be fairly compelling.

    ConsThere is no vision and leadership, and this permeates the culture. I personally witnessed a thriving vibrant company filled with brilliant extremely hard working people transformed into a group so micromanaged and information starved that most of those who were no laid off left very soon after the corporate office started intervening.

    Independent thought and personal responsibility is actively squashed, somewhat weird given the name of the company isn't it?

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhile the balance sheets look great, they are misleading. Hand the company over to new leadership that has at least a minimal amount of respect for customers and employees and allows management below the C*O level to actually make decisions. At some point enough customers and potential employees will communicate with their peers that sales and recruiting will suffer.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    15 people found this helpful  

    Great until you realise you're putting in crazy hours and the rewards have dried up.

    Software Developer (Current Employee)

    ProsSome of the technology is excellent and genuinely exciting but theres far too much overlap due to the number of acquisitions.

    Bonuses and pay rises can be good but you won't know when or if you're going to get them.

    ConsNo feedback on performance, you'll either be told via email that you're getting an bonus/pay rise or you'll receive no feedback regardless of the amount of work you're putting in.

    Far too much micro-management from the top level. Simple things like holiday arrangements are controlled by senior management despite them not knowing or you are or what your're actually working on. Middle management have very little control and are largely tasked with reporting to the senior levels.

    Product development is purely sales driven, nothing happens without a sale or potential sale. When the sale does happen the pressure is put on the development team to get the product out the door as fast as possible, often with unrealistic schedules.

    For a company that sees information as all important theres very little internal communication and no discussion.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop the micro managing, there are excellent mid level managers who helped build succesful companys before Autonomy stepped in.

    Make the process behind pay reviews and bonuses review more transparent, especially for non sales.

    Unrealistic development schedules need to be addressed, the quality of the product is suffering.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    15 people found this helpful  

    I am not American, but if I reveal my location, it is easy to find out who I am. That will be very dangerous for losing

    Sales Executive (Current Employee)

    ProsThe products are great to sell, great customer names, good marketing support, payment isn't bad.

    ConsAt Autonomy the employees are not trusted in advance. I will never recommend Autonomy to people who are looking for a job. My direct manager will be passed time after time and Cambridge wants to be in tight control over all employees and activities. The result of the way how Autonomy is being managed is that many people are leaving and the ones who stay are trying to be 'of the radar'. For us as sales reps does it mean that the sales support is very poor. In the SMS calls on Mondays all the people involved are shouting about things they do not understand. Another ridiculous new rule is that sales reps will be fined for $5000 if they do not meet the minimum number of meetings and proposals!

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust your people, treat them in a fair way. Let the managers manage their own people. Stop the insane SMS calls. Approach your employees in a positive way. I am confident that this will increase the revenue!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    15 people found this helpful  

    Not a good place to work

    Software Developer (Former Employee) Boston, MA

    ProsThe offices at Autonomy are nice. All of the offices across the company are very nice. Most of the people that you interacted with on a day-to-day basis were very talented, dedicated, intelligent and worked very hard.

    ConsThe company operates under a fear-and-intimidation style of upper management. They want to make it certain, from the first day on the job, that you know you are dissposable. The most disfunctional company culture I've ever seen.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI honeslty don't think Upper Management would ever take advice from its employees. But, fear-and-intimidation management styles only get short-term results. I would put more effort into enabling talented employees to do their job and less effort into thinking up ways to squeeze more productivity out of them through threatining their job.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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