Autonomy
2.0 of 5 315 reviews
www.autonomy.com Sunnyvale, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Autonomy Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 315 reviews

                             

43% Approve of the CEO

Autonomy SVP & General Manager Robert Youngjohns

Robert Youngjohns

(35 ratings)

18% of employees recommend this company to a friend
315 Employee Reviews
in

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:
  • "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
  • "maybe that the upper management could have more direction in what they are doing"
    in 18 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    A highly rewarding challenge

    Technical Specialist (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsUnlimited potential for advancement and compensation. The company is a work hard/reward/play hard environment, which rewards success but also identifies those not up to it. That is not an environment for everyone. The company is involved in some of the most interesting information challenges inside enterprise, at the edge of issues companies and governments face based on the deluge of unstructured information. Clients are world-leading companies tackling real issues. Huge opportunities for travel in my role, meeting with senior execs of major companies. Bonuses regularly awarded for excellent performance. Share options also awarded based on merit.

    ConsIt is a hard-work environment, delivering sophisticated technology to customers. That said colleagues are absolutely top notch and learnign opportunities abound.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWithin my part of the company, continue to promote from within as this has been extremely effective during my time here.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    10 people found this helpful  

    Autonomy has great potential, but there needs to be many changes before it can make the next step onto the big stage.

    Sales Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsAutonomy is a mid-sized company with about 1500 employees currently, but is growing and expanding. It is the leader in enterprise search and information access, and the potential of its products are boundless. IDOL conceptual search can be used in any industry for any purpose, and, with the acquisition of ZANTAZ, legal and compliance products now comprise the other strength in Autonomy's portfolio. In short, this company has the potential to become a worldwide leader and a household name one day, with its IDOL technology as ubiquitous as any industry standard.
    Compensation was very good, with quarterly bonuses for Sales Engineers dependent on the number of proof-of-concept demos that led to sales. Medical benefits are one of the best for any company's I have seen. The Sales Engineers are also very smart people.

    ConsThe culture at the company needs a massive overhaul, with no mention at all of work/life balance. Sales Engineers tend to travel at least 50% of the time, and work long hours both at the office and on the road. One time while working for a big project, a team of around eight Sales Engineers including myself had to work late into the night (way past midnight) and also on weekends. The two reasons why I believe this happened are that the sales representatives (account managers) were trying to sell clients features that do not exist in our software, so we had to implement workarounds ("hacks") to get the features to work; and also that the work culture among the team does not foster finishing projects in time and getting home early (most of the SEs are single guys, so they spend a lot of time eating/joking/taking breaks and letting the projects drag into the wee hours).
    In addition, the software, although with a lot of potential, is still very buggy and lacks serious documentation. For example, one of the most important features (stub IDXes) which SEs use all the time is surprisingly missing any documentation explaining how to implement it (in the PDF manual, there is only one or two sentences defining the feature, but not explaining its usage). Likewise in training, certain software components do not work as the training manual states, but the instructor simply ignores this. This confusion is also found on the company intranet, which is not really an intranet but more of a hodge-podge of documents and an employee directory, not a centralized source where new employees can find important information and get up to speed on things quickly.
    Last but not least, there is no 401k matching, and new employees are given only 10 days of vacation. Also, I have to question the quality of a company's products if the company does not use it itself but only sells it. Autonomy software (as the sales people say in their PowerPoint presentations) can be used anywhere, but nowhere is it found implemented in the company itself. Why does the company not eat its own dog food?

    Advice to Senior ManagementChange the culture, it's not easy, but the corporate culture at Autonomy needs to address the work/life balance of employees if not anything else.

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Autonomy, it could be a great place to work (but for now it's just ok).

    Technical Support Specialist (Current Employee)
    Calgary, AB (Canada)

    ProsAutnomy's Calgary office is very well run and a pretty fun place to work. The management in this office is very good about giving praise and letting you know that you have done a good job.
    Autonomy's products interface with so many other vendors that it is possible to get exposed to a wide array of technologies (whether through supporting or developing the product). In addition to this, Autonomy has some really cool products(from voice and video search to liquid office) so there are some really fun things to play with. If you like to be on the cutting edge then Autonomy is a great place to be.

    Autonomy keeps buying other companies so over the past while there have been lots of chances for transfers and advancement in positions that might be a better fit for you.

    ConsAutonomy's senior management doesn't seem to know that there are many unhappy employees in the company. While the regional management is doing an excellent job, the senior managers don't seem to care, or be aware of what it takes to keep the employees happy.

    Autonomy claims that it will only hire the best. However, excellent people leave the company on a regular basis because they are displeased by the lack of support and understanding from Autonomy's head office.

    The senior management seem very quick to try to solve "problems" by throwing the easiest solution at the problem. However, this causes issues in the future because often the quickest solution isn't the best.

    Autonomy has very VERY poor communication with its lowest level of employees. Very little information is spread through methods other than "the grapevine" and Autonomy never seems to reveal its mission to its employee base. I would guess that most employees have no idea what the company's goals are.

    Autonomy has no long term benifits package. This means that if you plan on working with Autonomy for a long time you better make sure you have your own retirement savings.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI would suggest that senior management begin looking at ways of increasing employee morale. As far as I can tell, there are many unhappy people. I suggest that senior management hire a "employee survey" company to try and figure out what their employees want. Autonomy doesn't seem to realize that monetary rewards are very little incentive for an employee to stay with a company.

    In additon to this, Autonomy needs to firmly establish a set of goals or a mission statement for the company. Also, communication needs to be done through official channels and on a regular basis. I suggest that Autonomy consider regular company wide meetings to ensure that all employees are "on the same page". Ideally, these meeting would involve a video conference service so that senior management can be seen and heard through the world. In fact, each meeting should feature an divison of the company (Virage, Zantaz, Cardiff, etc). This would allow everyone to see what is being worked on in the various divisions.

    Hopefully the senior management can understand, happy employees are some of the best sales people available. If you are excited about going to work, you will tell everyone about it.

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    7 people found this helpful  

    Not a fun place to work

    Principal Engineer (Current Employee)
    Vista, CA

    ProsInteresting technology
    The people at our location are fantastic

    ConsSenior management (Officer level) does not communicate in a constructive way. It is obvious that senior management does not value the employees of the company.
    Since our company was aquired by Autonomy, morale and productivuty have plummetted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAllow business units more autonomy in day to day operations. Set goals for business units and then provide the freedom and the resources to get the job done.
    Recognize and reward productive employees

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Work Hard Play Hard and Bag The Cash!!

    Sales Exec (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsI've read the other comments and they all miss the point... you work at Autonomy to use the best kit, tools and work on the world's best information access projects and of course bag some big bucks. Forget "culture" and "information sharing".. that was all 20th Century. We all want the money!!

    ConsDepends who you are? If you're a Sales Engineer you won't be spending a lot of time in the office so you'd better like travelling! Some I know go all over the world. If you're a developer you might not like working on lots of different projects (some don't - fair enough) and if you're a bit dense between the ears you'll get to know it!!!!

    Advice to Senior ManagementSome of the managers ‘live to work’ and that has an inevitably impact on some teams... but then they tend to attract those people that like to 'live to work' too so maybe "birds of a feather flock together" and all that? Having said that, there are lots of social activities, games rooms, etc and they even own chalets in places like Tahoe which the supe- performers get to use FOC, so as I say, "horses for courses" eh?

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    6 people found this helpful  

    Rat race rewards strong, fast rats; others likely dissatisfied

    Consultant (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsAutonomy offers rewards and fast advancement for people who are willing to toe the company line and commit significant time and effort to the company.

    ConsThe company frequently expects 60 hour weeks, not including travel time. Support from the home office is weak at best; customer communication is (required to be) based on half-truths and exaggerations, which made keeping customers happy and delivering on promises difficult at best. The company's technology is weak - while it may be internally sound (although there's little evidence one way or the other) it's also buggy, (intentionally) incompletely documented, and the user and programmer interfaces leave much to be desired.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's perfectly possible to run a tech company without any tech, as long as you buy all your competitors. Buying Microsoft might be tricky though.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    if you have talent come here, fun and rewarding , if mediocre avoid

    Engineer (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, South West England, England (UK)

    ProsIf you have talent its a greatcompany, best technology unlimited rewards for the stars. Company is grwoing very fast and awards big opions grants to those that suceed. If youa re brifgr you will be surrounded by really smart people.

    Consif you are mediocre or want 9-5 avoid this company, if you don't like a hot kitchen this is not for you. The company is on a mission and you are either on board or not. People here do amazing things and when there is a crunch hours can be long for a week or two.

    Advice to Senior Managementmore training and as things are moving so fast it would be good to get more updates. Don't be told to put in more process keep it the fun place it is

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Good place to work for thick skinned employees.

    Director (Current Employee)
    Boston, MA

    ProsOrganizational committment to addressing any and all technical defects with the product
    Growing company with lots of potential
    Aggressive management who are committed to financial success

    ConsCustomer experience is sacrificed as the cost of getting product out the door.
    Very engineering oriented company, harder for non-engineers to be recognized/respected.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe company's reputation is questioned everyday as incomplete product offerings are released to the market. Need to fix this.

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Challenging, Dynamic and interesting place to work provided you like hard work!

    Development (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, South West England, England (UK)

    ProsHugely challenging workin environement. Broad exposure to new technologies. Excellent team ethos and dynamic working environment. Opportunties are varied and performance related. Excellent identification of an individuals skills and strengths. Hard work and dedication are rewarded. Strong competent management who quickly identify what is neccessary.

    ConsCore emphasis on sales and targets, placing enginering under strain. Acceptance that hours beyond 40+ a week are standard with no obvious financial reward; no clearly defined bonus structure. Dynamic working environment, wi'th 'upstart' approach is effective provided communication is clear and well maintained. Otherwise, lack of process can result in work being duplicated and poor quality results. Probably the result of rapid growth and huge success.

    Advice to Senior ManagementImplement basic processes and ensure products and services are sold clearly with regards to their capabailities. 'Yes' cluture places engineering under unsustainable pressure.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Great rewards provided you're willing to give up any sembalance of a normal life.

    Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsWork across wide range of industries and technologies. Pays well if you're willing to work very hard and are willing to have no boundaries on work life balance. Very challenging to work at, forced to learn new technologies and adapt quickly. Regardless of how they operate they are pulling in profit quarter after quarter so stock options are worth something.

    ConsNo regular review process so you better negotiate hard for your initial starting salary. Only get pay rises and bonuses if you happen to be working on high profile projects that are bringing in lots of money for the quarter. Often promises are made to clients before an engineering solution exists, which means mad scramble to get stuff done. Don't exhibit a lot of trust in employees. Seem to have a mentality that everyone is replaceable. No real development methododology to speak of.

    Advice to Senior ManagementExperience is worth far more than education.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Autonomy reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Autonomy CEO Robert Youngjohns. All 315 reviews posted anonymously by Autonomy employees.