SMART Technologies

  www.smarttech.com
  www.smarttech.com

SMART Technologies Reviews

Updated September 27, 2014
Updated September 27, 2014
90 Reviews
3.1
90 Reviews
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Approve of CEO
SMART Technologies President & CEO Neil Gaydon
Neil Gaydon
22 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great team to work with, very progressive understanding work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Worked with some great people, learned some good skills, delivered a very visible project (in 8 reviews)


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

  • I like many was let go in one of the waves of layoffs, but was not at all surprised at the time (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

17 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Constant REORG!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at SMART Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A job is all i can say, not a career!

    Cons

    Too many to list, bully type managers, bad product decision especially with NB 2014 allowed on competitors products, no marketing dept, job titles and responsibilities always changing, managers who have not sold anything in the field in over 15 years yet they know about the process of sales for a manufactures rep, territories too large.........shall I go on? Company has no money and the stock is horrible.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of your senior level management and mid level managers who have been there over ten years and some of your recent hires, they are just bullies!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    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 ManagementAdvice

    Sell the company to Microsoft.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Professionals Need Not Apply

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SMART Technologies

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Missed Potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Learning Designer in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Learning Designer in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Beautiful building, close to LRT. Good vacation package. Worked with some great people.

    Cons

    Poor Management, terrible politics, cult of personality around the founders. Toxic work environment. Limited cafeteria choices. A place where the ignorant and the desperate land. Sooo many good people left or where chased out of that place.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit being two-faced backstabbers. Karma will come back to bite you one day.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Frustrating work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Program Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at SMART Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    SMART 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.

    Cons

    Management 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 ManagementAdvice

    Move 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    nice 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.

    Cons

    Senor 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 ManagementAdvice

    They 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Someone should put this company out of its misery.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Segment in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Sales Segment in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    None. Company is primed for either sale or gutting. Penny stock. Enough said.

    Cons

    Quality 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 ManagementAdvice

    Cull 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 6 people found this helpful  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Functional Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Functional Manager in Calgary, AB (Canada)

    I worked at SMART Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting 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.

    Cons

    Poor 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 ManagementAdvice

    Don'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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good when I started but then reality set in

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Calgary, AB (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Good 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.

    Cons

    No 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 ManagementAdvice

    I hope your days are numbered.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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