SMART Technologies Reviews

Updated August 14, 2015
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SMART Technologies President & CEO Neil Gaydon
Neil Gaydon
15 Ratings

Pros
  • This allowed for some work-life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Some great people still left but less everyday (in 8 reviews)

Cons
  • Poor Management, terrible politics, cult of personality around the founders (in 5 reviews)

  • Middle and senior management that came in around 2007 ran the company into the ground (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

29 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    Very Sad, company is being run down to the ground

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Manager in Coronado, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in Coronado, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great people and in the past great products, now only one to carry the company on. Smart is not a Software company,

    Cons

    Very heavy bad upper management who think they are still with Microsoft. no loyalty to the employees left and you always have to wonder if your the next one to get the pink slip with there ongoing weekly cuts. Company values ruined and stock now at 89 cents VS 5-7 $

    Advice to Management

    AT this point? you will no longer have any sales staff, no loyalty and time for upper management to get their selling suits on, best of Luck to the CEO, He made his money.


  2. Helpful (3)

    Sales

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Sales in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies (More than a year)

    Pros

    SMART Technologies still has a great product set in 2015. Every Enterprise has a need for some piece of the SMART Collaboration suite. This product set is engaging and fun to sell. Had a really good strategy/partnership with Microsoft for the Lync Room Systems. SMART has hired a lot of pretty strong sales folks that do know how to close business.

    Cons

    Poor leadership. It would be more accurate to say that SMART Technologies manages their business with a short runway based on a transactional model. Reactive not proactive approach to selling as a whole. Compensation paid out on a quarterly basis (not monthly) is an outdated model for this product line...this is not Microsoft. Surprisingly poor communications from HQ to the field and yes this is possible even for a collaboration based company. SMART Technologies has a cycle that has been developing where they make sudden layoff decisions every 12-18 months based on how the year's numbers are looking. Until there is a change in upper management history says this will continue.

    Advice to Management

    Great products are clearly not enough ensure success. Mission critical to have a step by step quality assurance process that is actually followed. This company can be turned around and could be successful. Your people will be the difference and you must invest in them more than products. Few people want to see upper management run this company any further into the ground. If you do not really listen to your employees on the front line (sales), partners and customers than the market will tell you how you are doing.


  3. Helpful (7)

    Should have listened to reviews

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good products and innovation. Some really nice people at home office.

    Cons

    Senior leadership lacks direction and ability to keep focused. Education is main business but no one at that level has an Education background. Too many changes too fast without staying on course.

    Advice to Management

    Pick your core focus and stay there. Let others into your group.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    Non headquartered field personnel

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Cool technology, good concept for collaboration.

    Cons

    CEO does not understand the business he is in. He wants to run another box company. He is a one trick pony that sheds head count every six months to make the stock more attractive.

    Advice to Management

    After 3 rounds of firing field personnel, it's time to look at changes on the leadership side.


  6. Helpful (5)

    It was great until....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Products were solid and the channel partners were the ones that did the heavy lifting

    Cons

    Middle and senior management that came in around 2007 ran the company into the ground. No experience in technology nor the education market led to their bringing in mid-level managers that knew even less so that no one could question the incompetence. Add to it that at the same time, new management saw the channel as a burden versus the reality that the channel was one of the reasons the company had done so well - the channel had to deal with product installations, unhappy customers and working with the end customers. When the company lost sight of this, the company lost sight of itself and has since floundered. It's a simple equation - work with the people that sell your products and the people that buy our products and listen to them.

    Advice to Management

    Quit faking it.


  7. Helpful (6)

    It was a great place to work at one time; now it’s lost, struggling to find its validity in the market.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The technology was a game changer, which positively impacted millions of kids throughout the world. SMART had great technology and great people that was focused on placing valued solutions in classrooms all over the globe.

    Cons

    As SMART grew at a very rapid pace, new hires were brought in, with lower pay scales. Most knew nothing, nor had experience with the market, product development or the sales channel. Quality, delivery, support and vision suffered. Management was out of touch with customers, the market, resellers and our own people.

    Advice to Management

    Hire the proper talent to do the job and then listen to their input. Remove non-preforming management.


  8. Helpful (5)

    Please don't leave a strong stable company, like Microsoft, for SMART! Don't do it!!!!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time

    Pros

    The business of collaboration is fun.

    Cons

    The company only cares about revenue at any cost. The company is basically going out of business...look at their stock! All the good employees are leaving for a more stable company. Anyone who sticks around to 'turn around the ship' is only met with a slap in the face. It takes more than a few months to turn around an underperforming business (Enterprise Business Unit). Management does not understand this nor care, and consequently lets people with huge potential go - only to start again with someone new who falls into the same trap. No wonder they have the terrible reputation as the 'revolving door'. Clients know this and are standing firm and basically not buying. The Education business is the only thing keeping the company afloat.

    Advice to Management

    Sell the company to Microsoft.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Professionals Need Not Apply

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good product, a Good place for people right out of school looking to gain some experience

    Cons

    No engagement from management, No professional development, Field units are very much siloed, No best practices established, Little to no training on product or procedures, Unprofessional business acumen.

    Advice to Management

    Upper Management, Increase engagement by ensuring that middle management actually engages with their teams. Listen to your employees and set some "Best Practices" for your business. Terminate ineffective managers as soon as possible.


  10. Helpful (4)

    Schizophrenic but salvageable

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    - Opportunity to gain experience, access to all parts of the business that you wouldn't get anywhere else. Anyone can make a difference - Some truly great and brilliant people. I loved almost everyone I worked with. - passion and dare I say love for the company and the the products - Great products, even with some flaws - Finally got away from the founders' direct, terrible influence and insanity - Hugs from teachers - Knowing your products are used by the most powerful people in the world.

    Cons

    - Still feeling the effects of truly crazy founders, despite the fact we can now have scissors and coffee in open cups, the inane policies and attitude of the founders still permeate the culture. - Terrible marketing and messaging compared to the competition...just awful - Middle management is generally the remaining problem (culture, communication and quality) - there are some exceptions, and these people aren't being recognized enough - Product quality, PM team is still stuck in 2007. - No growth opportunities - lack of career progression - HR team is scarily incompetent. - Still cliquey and siloed - The CTO's "high potential list" shouldn't exist - Overwhelmed with work, too many individuals with responsibilities for one aspect of the business and no backup when they leave/get sacked/go on vacation - if you aren't in Seattle or ex-Microsoft, you don't matter - general culture of malaise - recent losses of very talented, engaged people really hurt and should be of concern

    Advice to Management

    Promote from within, don't treat the hold-overs that you kept from the previous regime as "old SMART." You kept us around, now treat us like we mean something. Stop with the bullying tactics and harvest the love that many of us [had] for the company and products, instead of complaining that we left the office before 5 PM. Give the individual contributors some growth opportunities. We stuck with all of the craziness of the previous regime, we stuck through your bullying and lack of leadership. You didn't clean house in the level below you, and it's their inability to execute that is keeping SMART down, not the rest of us. We worked our butts off for you and were treated with disdain when things failed. Take note of the key people that have left this summer...that should concern you. I still want the best for SMART - kapp is an amazing product and opportunity,


  11. Helpful (5)

    applciation support

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at SMART Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Nothing, or maybe good location

    Cons

    many things, bad management and leadership



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