SMART Technologies

  www.smarttech.com
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SMART Technologies Reviews

Updated Feb 10, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.7 77 reviews

33% Approve of the CEO

SMART Technologies President & CEO Neil Gaydon

Neil Gaydon

(15 ratings)

36% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great team to work with, very progressive understanding work/life balance(in 9 reviews)

  • Business Casual, Great co-workers, Flexible hours, Ability to learn, Great starting company for your career(in 5 reviews)


Cons
  • Poor management, lack of mentorship, putting jr people into positions of responsibility without the right skills, poor compensation(in 4 reviews)

  • The pay is on the low side, which leads to high turnover(in 3 reviews)

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

    3 people found this helpful  

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

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsThe business of collaboration is fun.

    ConsThe 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 Senior ManagementSell the company to Microsoft.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Professionals Need Not Apply

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

    ConsNo 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 Senior ManagementUpper 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Frustrating work environment

    Program Manager (Current Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsSMART has some very creative people and good ideas. It is one of the few companies in Calgary and even Canada that conducts true product development.

    ConsManagement at this company was horrible from the 2006-2012 period. The new team brought in after Apax Partners Private Equity took a majority stake in the company was not experienced or a good cultural fit for the chaos that is the technology industry. The new management team is showing promise, but has not cleaned enough house and still seems to be chasing some of the dubious ideas (ex. video conferencing integration, Microsoft Lync integration) from the previous era. If that weren't bad enough, tablets have made SMART's existing products obsolete in most work and educational environments.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMove product quality and usability to the forefront instead of always taking the easy path and repackaging the same old crap. Bring in middle management with tech industry experience, especially on the Product/Program Management side (a Program Manager must have a technical background). Narrow the product focus to two or three key product lines. Throw the relic from the 1990's known as video conferencing in the trash heap and focus on modern collaboration technologies delivered through mobile devices. Find a more innovative reseller network to replace the existing professional audio/visual dealer network. Forget Lync. Microsoft will always keep the truly innovative technologies within its own stack.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Once was great, now just sad, mean and filled with unhappy, beaten down people.

    (Former Employee)

    Prosnice location in the city and good building to work at
    Some great people still left but less everyday
    Base technology is actually a great business tool and helps collaboration happen.

    ConsSenor Executive is greedy, selfish & arrogant. The CEO after arriving promptly cut 20% of the company's workforce then forced in a new business cookie cutter methodology that once apparently worked at his old company. Since then its been nothing change for change's sake and a failing attempt to transition from a hardware company to a software company despite hardware being 95% + of company revenue and poor software development teams in place.

    Day to day work life is like reading a dilbert cartoon, people at senior levels who are ignorant yet arrogant, CEO trying to insert artificial culture because that's what he learned at Harvard, people are bullied and belittled by senior management on a daily level.

    Micro management is rampant from CEO and CTO on down.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey are way too arrogant to read this but if they did, I would tell them to listen more to people on the ground, treat your people with more respect and understand your really not quite as clever as you think are and have ruined most of the things that made the company great.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Someone should put this company out of its misery.

    Sales Segment (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsNone. Company is primed for either sale or gutting. Penny stock. Enough said.

    ConsQuality control. Defective products. Weak leadership and that being generous. Outdated modes of thinking around marketplace. High turnover. Bring in a completely new batch of employees every 3 years so no one knows where the bodies are buried. The list is endless.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCull the entrenched parasites feed off of the company. They've all for each others backs and its never anyone's fault when things go wrong.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Just a political company

    Sales (Current Employee) Paris (France)

    Prosinteresting products with lots of projects possibilities

    Consunfinished products and no organization within the company
    company not driven to business

    Advice to Senior Managementchange your ways or you'll just hit the wall

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    5 people found this helpful  

    Very strange place to work and not a good time to join (2013)

    Functional Manager (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsInteresting technology, both hardware and software; have geniunely changed the way students are educated globally; very bright and enthusiastic colleagues; flexible working hours; nice, open plan offices in a modern building; gym on site; private childcare facility onsite; underground car parking (At a charge and long waiting list though); near Brentwood C-Train.

    ConsPoor leadership right from the top; lack of stability i.e. restructured twice in 2012; revenues in steep decline since 2012; facing an uncertain future; high attrition rate 33%; very low levels of trust especially inter-department; many departments badly managed; poor co-ordination between functions; Director's/Senior Manager's not open and receptive to suggestions to improve; most seem to spend their time managing up and not down; can be very political. How can a company full of so much talent, get it so badly wrong?

    Advice to Senior ManagementDon't rely on the Director's who presided over many of the previous years mis-management to make decisions about a restructure this large and do it so quickly with so little thought; Never ever restructure a company without involving the line managers of the functions you cull, unless the whole department is going. With the challenges SMART faces, how could you cut 25% of the workforce globally and not do it in a way that would put the business in a better position for success. Don't do it in a way that humiliates those who are leaving and creates even more suspicion and distrust among the remaining employees so that an estimated 5 to 10% more leave.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

    4 people found this helpful  

    Good when I started but then reality set in

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsGood place to get 2 years experience, after that get out. It was reasonably good 5 years ago when I started but went downhill rapidly just before the IPO. Seems like they are trying to turn it around but the executive needs to put a wrecking ball through management.

    ConsNo career progression in the company. People are rewarded for butt-kissing and not results. Micromanaging. Management is more concerned about not having staff that will outshine them than producing or developing. They also don't know how to schedule. They cut staff and keep the schedule the same.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI hope your days are numbered.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of potential but overall a poor place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsModern office space
    Flexible hours
    Work life balance
    Generous time off
    Some creative people

    ConsMediocre compensation
    Top heavy
    Poor leadership
    Lack of direction
    High turnover
    Limited career growth
    More of a marketing company than a technology company
    Poor product quality
    Rapidly declining business

    Advice to Senior ManagementSMART needs to focus on fewer opportunities and execute more effectively. The current organizational structure is geared towards pleasing the level above it and not much more. The growth in the business pre-2010, masked much of the disfunction and employee dissatisfaction. Most concerning is that SMART's technology is obsolete and the company has not been pro-active in developing the next big thing. A large number of employees are demotivated, disengaged and looking for work elsewhere.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Company has potential, but bad execution

    Software Developer (Former Employee) Calgary, AB (Canada)

    Pros- Nice culture
    - Great work/life balance

    Cons- Terrible compensation
    - Bad management and vision

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange CEO, and stop micro managing. Lose dead-weight and empower your employees. Increase salaries by 25-75%. Employees don't feel valued.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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