7Summits Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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Paul Stillmank
17 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Great people. Great Work. Great Place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Officer in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Chief Executive Officer in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    As the founder and CEO of 7Summits and someone who thinks the company is quite remarkable, it’s hard for me to read the short, terse reviews from some of our former colleagues. I know it’s hard when transition gets thrust upon someone. I've been through several market shifts and down turns over the course of my career and sometimes those shifting priorities and markets impact people and it hurts. I know people personally who have been transitioned - it doesn't feel good. They blame their employer. They blame their boss. They might even "unlink" from past colleagues at the firm on LinkedIn. I don't recommend that - these are just near term circumstances in a career and those relationships will be important someday down the road. Some do blame the market or a company's shifting priorities. It takes some time to come back to self reflection and glean the entire picture. That's part of the equation as well. Reflect. Self-evaluate. And then get on with your career and life. 7Summits has been an incredible experience. The company’s premise is strong: “creating online community experiences that transform businesses and enhance people’s lives.” The expedition is fairly underway and some truly marquis clients and work are already in the mix. The interview process is thorough (grueling some might say). The people here are amazing and it's great to be part of it all. I consider myself fortunate to b here and the entire experience has been solid. Here are some of those pros:

    • THE CULTURE: this is a people company from top to bottom. We all have the opportunity to shape things from client outcomes to what products / solutions we are taking to market. There are regular checkpoints including Monday morning meetings where we all share news and updates, any roadblocks, and performance updates on how we are doing. At my last company, there was no transparency like this. Next, there are quarterly “team days” where more detailed updates are made as teams get up to share their work, report progress on internal projects, walk through case-studies, and then plan the way forward together. These are held at cool venues and food and libation always cap things off. We just has the honor of being listed as one of America’s 101 best and brightest companies to work for. This award is derived through indiscriminate calls to interview over half our staff during the selection process. I think that says a lot about our company as well.

    • THE COMPENSATION: the pay is good. The compensation process is generous, offering many ways to receive incentives. Last year at this time, we provided solid raises and a bonus. Sometimes work demands lead to billable over-time work as other reviews noted. However, we pay for that (something left out of other reviews). I don’t know of many companies who wouldn’t just pocket that extra money, but 7Summits treats it as a bonus for helping to support our clients as we continue to seek new talent to join our team. There are also incentives provided for getting certain certifications that support the future vision of the company. Finally, the company stepped up big time last spring and increased the company contribution to my healthcare costs. All in all, it’s a solid very comp plan.

    • THE PEOPLE: Thank you to our team for bringing this amazing collection of talent together! My teammates are awesome. A-players all the way. And that isn’t just about knowing their craft. Our employees go out of their way to help each other, regardless of job descriptions. I see employees greeting and welcoming interview candidates, pulling together adhoc teams to brainstorm product ideas, organizing happy hours and team lunches. For example I’ve seen many of our technology resources go way outside of their named role to help solve problems. And there are a couple of employee bands recording music in the office on some evenings and streaming it online. We’re a cohesive bunch and that make’s the challenging work we do fun.

    • THE CLIENTS: It’s hard to believe the caliber companies and the transformative type of work that we get to work on here at 7Summits. It’s one of the top reasons that employees come and stay here. Some of the biggest logos in the world entrust 7Summits with their transformational efforts involving business strategy, online communities, social intelligence and more. Global 2000. Fortune 1000, yes, but many Fortune 50 companies are in that mix as well. Healthcare, Higher Education, Manufacturing, Hi Tech / Software, CPG / Retail and Financial Services all have specific use cases that we strongly address for measure-able business benefits with these juggernaut companies - any of them multinational conglomerates. And we’ve started to create online community solutions for vertical markets, leading to trans-formative work thre as well. This "productization" of our solutions makes 7Summits an even cooler place to hang your hat.

    • THE WORK: we are truly doing transformative work here. Online communities are re-shaping how work gets done. From customer support and loyalty communities to collaborative intranets, this stuff is affecting the top- and bottom-line performance at our clients. And 7Summits isn’t just configuring platforms for clients like many of our competitors. We are helping them re-envision their business. We start by helping companies come up with a strategy and roadmap for how these social technologies engage audiences (customers, partners, employees) to help build their business. We’ve taken the best from ‘social’ and leveraged it to: provide better, more efficient customer support; engage sales teams to convert more business; enable global marketing teams to collaborate around the world; create efficiency and increase sales by engaging store associates across retail locations; provide innovation hubs that re-shape product roadmaps; fashion social intranets that drive up employee engagement and create efficiencies across all aspects of business. Again, the list goes on. The applications of our science and solutions are boundless and we are continuing to push the forefront of the space we serve.

    • THE VISION: the buck starts and stops here. The leadership team has always been at the forefront of the space. From conceiving the company to creating our own road-map for the future, 7Summits is well positioned to become a nationally known company. We've organized our vision across three time horizons going out several years and then engaged the entire company to review and build a “3 year playbook” to get us there. This future involves creating specific “solutions” which are product-like in nature; however built on top of many of the leading edge platforms that we work with (e.g. salesforce.com, jive software, box, etc.). So where as in the past, we have done projects to develop online communities, we are now packaging up these integrated solutions to make them more broadly available in the market. Admissions Communities, Student and Faculty Communities. Alumni Networks. Sales Enablement Communities. Innovation Hubs. Developer Networks. Social Intranets. Customer support communities. And there are many more that are currently too proprietary to mention yet with most of them addressing specific needs for a vertical market.

    Cons

    • We need more space in the Milwaukee Office. The agile war rooms were a nice addition; however we need more collaboration spaces and more humungous white-boards. As new staff come onboard, space will become too tight. Also having to work across two suites (even though on the same floor) presents some challenges.
    • The number of projects that the average employee is working on is too high. we are working on that as we juggle client needs and build our our teams and approach to work. I see much larger projects now getting underway, which I would expect would alleviate this challenge over time.

    Advice to Management

    To our management team:
      - Keep rhythm in the business. Weekly all-hands meetings are great now; however the best ones are the ones with those online presos to share how we are doing against our plans,
      - Team days are not occurring reliably every quarter. Sometimes we do three, sometimes we do four per year. We should consistently keep to our quarterly rhythm.
      - Want to see more of the leadership team sharing updates, communications, video blogs on The Hive.
      - We should come up with a prescriptive way to get solutions out the door while we’re still working on the fee-for-service part of our business. There’s not a balanced plan there now.
      - Don’t let those few negative glass door reviews get you down! We know that some of the pruning we did last year is a healthy thing and we are all already seeing the fruits of the changes that we’ve made.
     - I believe our roadmap is solid. Now let’s keep executing against that vision.
     - Keep involving your teams in all efforts of growing our company - they want to help more!

  2. Helpful (1)

    7Summits - Past, Present and Future

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Strategic Services in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Strategic Services in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Past: In my time at 7Summits I've witnessed amazing growth within myself and the company. I remember when I first joined this was a fast moving start up full of an entrepreneurial team with a can do attitude that we could achieve anything, and we did. We spent a lot of time educating the market on social business, and online communities and leveraging a lot of conceptual models and industry case studies to help sell work.

    Present: We have grown up a lot as an organization. We are almost 80 employees, I was number 8! Our clients and project sizes have increased in complexity and scope. We have launched over 100+ communities and others are using our case studies instead of other peoples . Our processes have also evolved significantly, and we’ve really improved everything from sales and marketing, project delivery, operations and employee onboarding and support by “eating our own cooking” and embracing social business technologies, process and project that we sell and implement for clients. Working in the business I honestly can’t imagine going back to a work environment that runs on excessive volumes of emails as a communication norm, lots of inefficient meetings and disconnect systems like intranets and network drives that don’t integrate to one another. Being a social business is our secret weapon. Our people include a mix of strategic consultants, experience design experts and creative technologists. I love this combination because your decisions be-it on internal or clients project are always balanced with different perspectives and input, and the best ideas come to the top.

    Future: It’s a really excited time to be a 7Summits. Our business is evolving from fee for service work to building strategic solutions and projects drawing from our vast experience and portfolio of work. We are also expanding into new verticals and geographic areas.

    Cons

    - We move quickly and this environment isn't for everyone. If your not a quick thinker or creative problem solver this probably isn't the right organization.
    - Workload can sometime impact work life balance

    Advice to Management

    As we grow and evolve our business ensure we focus on our founding principles:

    1) Ensuring every employee is 100% aligned to strategic priorities
    2) Communication rhythm, information transparency (this is what separates us from other places i've worked)
    3) Ensuring every employee has accountability and goals (so many organizations don't do this)
    4) Continue to foster an open culture that values ongoing employee feedback and input (every employee needs to have a voice, and ensure what they are saying matters)
    5) Reporting and data - As with any business we should invest and evolve here. Better data = better decisions (invest more here)

  3. Helpful (1)

    Project Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Consistent growth and opportunities with a large variety of clients.
    - Positive atmosphere
    - Work hard / play hard culture...this could be a negative to some
    - Lots of opportunities to wear different hats across projects due to the variety of work
    - 7Summits has been very flexible when it comes to work/personal life
    - 7Summits is taking steps to improve training and development
    - Ale Asylum being in the same building is amazing

    Cons

    - Quite the learning curve since there are multiple platforms to work on
    - Location can be frustrating at times if you're not located near downtown Milwaukee
    - Mac shop...I've tried to convert, but it still sucks
    - Building is fairly old

    Advice to Management

    - Please continue to invest in building out scaleable processes/tools
    - Invest in the creation of great/quality products/solutions

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  5. Helpful (3)

    Shady Company

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

    I worked at 7Summits

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Decent Pay
    - Youthful Culture
    - It's fun socially
    - Decent pay
    - Profitable, successful company

    Cons

    - No development of employees
    - Bad benefits
    - Soul crushing work
    - Greedy
    - Too focused on revenue at cost of employees work/life balance
    - PMs work on average 60ish hours per week despite being paid for 40

    Advice to Management

    This is not sustainable...

    The company makes tons of money but at what cost? I wouldn't recommend anyone work here unless they're in sales.

  6. Helpful (3)

    Meh

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

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - I've worked at worse places

    Cons

    - Hipsters.... everywhere
    - Everyone thinks they're much more talented than they are
    - Boring work
    - Lots of talk, little action from management
    - Minimal coaching/opportunity for development

    Advice to Management

    Leadership cares more about image than anything. They don't care about employees at all - as long as they get paid. This company is not sustainable. I cannot wait to get the heck out of here.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Disconnected

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

    I worked at 7Summits full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The sales message is clear and working on building communities in genuinely rewarding.
    A close connection with IA/UX and Design makes for some very compelling work.

    Cons

    Projects sizes are small, which means you’re working on multiple at a time. Communication and quality suffers. Its a sales and revenue driven culture though (which they freely admit), but its not value driven as some feel it should be.
    The amount of project overruns is substantial and it doesn’t seem as if anything is being done to combat it. Its as if there needs to a foot in the door, and then we can tell them what it really costs. This puts a lot pressure on the team to manage and reset expectations, deliver on unrealistic terms and usually cut critical portions of the project such as user acceptance testing, quality assurance and knowledge transfer. The net result has been more than one unhappy client who got something very different than what they were sold.
    Be prepared to operate in “red” mode the entire time that you’re here. Despite claims that our social style cuts down on meetings and working the off hours and weekends, this is exactly when the real work gets done. Don’t put in your 120% and prepare to be the next one laid off.
    I could go on and on honestly, but you probably get the idea. The Sverica deal made a great payday for a lot of people, but the influence of that investment on the culture is apparent.

    By the way, I can't wait to see the next campaign to address THIS review. Take a look back at the grouping of positive reviews to the last negative one. Think about that.

    Advice to Management

    You're going through some major growing pains right now, and you either don’t realize it, or you don’t want to admit it. But its painful to see a company who claims to be “a social business” and “eating our own cooking” failing to allow openness in the discussion.
    Your people are afraid to speak because of the recent layoffs with little communication as to why. Who is next?

  8. Helpful (8)

    Exciting Times

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - User Experience Architect in Milwaukee, WI
    Current Employee - User Experience Architect in Milwaukee, WI

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    7Summits is comprised of some of the best talent you'll find. I'm consistently impressed by the skills and dedication demonstrated by my coworkers. I am fortunate to be able to learn from them on a daily basis.

    Extra effort is made by management to create and sustain a positive culture and fun environment.

    Working here, I often pause, consider the types of projects I'm working on, the technologies we're working with, and the solutions we're creating, and say, wow.

    The company is growing rapidly, but responsibly. Senior management has a clear plan and has successfully executed that plan to effect of driving a major new infusion of capital in the company. 7Summits is poised for great things in 2014 and beyond.

    Cons

    Rapid growth of course leads to occasional churning around process, roles, responsibilities, etc., however these are continually improving.

    Advice to Management

    Never lose the start-up passion. Grow responsibly. Continue to diversify partner network.

  9. Helpful (7)

    Challenging but rewarding place to work.

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

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Cutting-edge client work that makes a difference – Innovation is not just encouraged, it’s required, since we are often the first users of new technologies. The experience of seeing a client community go live, and watching the impact that community has on the business, is very rewarding. 7Summits also does pro-bono work for several local charities that has touched the lives of many people in need.

    The dedication and quality of the employees at 7Summits is unsurpassed by any other work environment I’ve seen. Employee retention is outstanding. When an individual approaches the management with a concern or a personal need, that person is heard and action taken when possible to address those needs.

    Internal projects that actually matter – the management team structures each year’s internal projects (called “rocks”) directly around the company vision. The Employee Excellence vision statement has a dedicated team of employees that have done an outstanding job (I'm not on that team btw). The Employee Excellence team conducts the annual employee survey and then follows through on top employee-ranked priorities to keep making our culture and work environment better and better. I’ve never seen such direct and timely planning around employee concerns.

    Capital-rich growth path – 7Summits recently partnered with Sverica International, an investment capital company out of San Francisco. Sverica has demonstrated high confidence that the company can continue its success. Before this, the company had experienced tremendous organic growth due to sound management and solid operating practices. The rapid growth of 7Summits is something that was virtually unheard of in the region before. This company is here to stay, and is on a strong success path.

    Fun events – Okay, this probably shouldn’t matter, but it does! Here is a list of some of the team day and holiday party events that have happened over the past few years: an evening at a ping-pong bar where every employee left with a gifts from Williams Sonoma (things like breadmakers, Staub pans, etc), a private dinner at the Pabst Mansion museum followed by seeing A Christmas Carol at the Riverside (tickets for each employee and a guest, hotels for out-of-towners), an evening seeing a meteor shower and viewing Saturn with the big telescope at the Yerkes Observatory, kayaking on the Milwaukee River (7Summits even gave away a kayak that day in a drawing – amazing generosity), rock climbing, "burger restaurant tours" for team building, and more. Each team day (3 to 4 per year) accompanies cool 7Summits-branded schwag like t-shirts, track jackets, fleeces, phone chargers, badges, and of course includes drinks and very nice appetizers afterwards. Each new employee is welcomed with a catered breakfast, babies are showered, birthdays are celebrated, kids come for trick or treat – this is a company that loves to celebrate important events. And the CEO’s homemade quiches and pumpkin pies? DELICIOUS!

    Cons

    I’m obviously a big fan of 7Summits, but of course there are areas to work on. The back office system is not scaling and requires more manual data management than it should. Thankfully, a new back office system is one of the top priorities for early 2014.

    With the amount of effort that has been required to complete the Sverica transaction and grow the business, I can see how some might feel that each employee's personal growth and mentoring needs were not anticipated correctly. I have no doubt with the high quality of the management team here, en employee who chooses to seek out a mentor will always find one, but less aggressive people might not experience this because they are not requesting the attention (in other words, the squeaky wheel gets the grease). A process should be put in place to ensure everyone has a mentor from day one - that would be a great rock for 2014.

  10. Helpful (5)

    Challenging, Rewarding, Fun

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

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Strong Executive Leadership
    - Incredibly smart and talented people in our technology, user experience and advisory services teams
    - Open door policy with the executive team
    - Full transparency into the growth of the company (Very rare)
    - Formal team building /bonding once a quarter.
    - Fast growth. Never a dull moment
    - Great entrepreneurial environment

    Cons

    I fought hard to join the 7Summits team and have no cons at the moment.

    Advice to Management

    Don't slow down.

  11. Helpful (5)

    A company that's 'On The Move'!

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

    I have been working at 7Summits full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    7Summits has great services & solutions, an amazingly talented group of people and an experienced, savvy leadership team that is working hard to build something unique.

    Cons

    Growing fast can sometimes lead to its own set of problems, however we've been able to roll with them and work them out.

    Advice to Management

    Always recognize & greet the team as you come & go - no matter how big we get! You are setting the example for this "social" company.

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