There are newer employer reviews for Innovative Interfaces, Inc

16 people found this helpful  

Employee morale in the toilet, software soon to follow

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Systems Librarian  in  Emeryville, CA
Former Employee - Systems Librarian in Emeryville, CA

I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time

Pros

Unlike some software companies, there isn't pressure here to work 60 or 80 hour work weeks.

Cons

This company has bled out too much of its talent (much of that self-inflicted), and may be in serious trouble soon as experienced employees move on to companies who will respect and give them the tools they need to do their jobs rather than grub for money across the globe.

For many of this company's dissatisfied employees, this is not about the pay which, while not stellar, isn't exactly paltry. What has caused so many to jump ship is the fact that this company has let go or lost a large percentage of the people who really knew what they were doing. So many of the company's processes and configuration points aren't written down or documented in any way, so once someone leaves, certain pieces of information can be lost forever. This can make it very difficult for employees to do their jobs, and working at Innovative can be like trying to decipher a foreign language with which you have no way of becoming familiar. It is as if employees are expected to clean up after the uppper management's poor decision to let go or fail to retain valuable, long-kept employees.

And the worst part is that the products have suffered and no one believes in what they're doing under the current management. Teams only attempt to fix something once it has failed, ticket queues become backed up, and things that should take priority are placed on the back burner if there's not clear profit motive for fixing them. This is why, in the halls and break rooms of Innovative, you will often overhear people talking about where else they've applied and when they're having their interviews.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Focus on making a quality product and give your employees the resources they need to do their jobs. This may require asking essential members of the company who have left (or were foolishly let go) to come back.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

33 Other Employee Reviews for Innovative Interfaces, Inc (View Most Recent)

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    Formerly good company on the decline

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Systems Librarian  in  Emeryville, CA
    Former Employee - Systems Librarian in Emeryville, CA

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Nice, nice colleagues. Many of the staff at III are genuinely smart, helpful folks who are willing to pitch in and offer their expertise when asked... and often before they're asked!

    The building, while not glamorous, has been spruced up quite a bit in recent years-- new paint (actual colors on walls, not just gray or beige!), some additions to staff room resources, and the building is convenient to the expressway, TransBay buses, and the Emerygoround to reach MacArthur BART.

    The company is 34 yrs old, and the market it serves is stable. Libraries aren't exactly a booming industry, but they're steady. III was one of the holdouts in the ILS market to remain under private ownership until 2012.

    Cons

    If I could magically go back to work at the III I started with years ago, I probably would. It wasn't a bad opportunity for a candidate straight out of library school, and have me lots of exposure to tech services issues and work.

    However, those days are sadly gone. And I want to be honest: even that "III of yore" was not totally amazing. If you were a librarian, the company did not offer any professional development opportunities (read, funds or time) in the field, which always had me scratching my head as to how I'd ever compete in the job market after leaving the place. Also, the path to "advancement" was murky at best, and seemed to shift review-to-review depending on your individual manager or the financial climate of the company. Some "promotions" seemed well-earned, others were long overdue, and others never came despite repeated, concerted efforts to rank up. It was confusing at best, hardly inspiring, and downright demoralizing at worst.

    Now, following the sale of the company by the founder/owner to holding companies in Q1 2012, the outlook has worsened considerably. Haphazard decision making by a new management team who may know software, but who know NOTHING about this very particular market, have the company I was once happy to work for in shambles. These decisions range the gamut from new, tiny cubicles without any privacy, to the purchase of two competitors, to abruptly changing the PTO policy, to opening a support office in India staffed with folks who don't know the market or the products well enough to be truly helpful, to beefing up the sales staffing as though a new library were being built every day. All these moves point to a pretty substantial misunderstanding of the customers, the employees, and the products themselves.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well... It's hard to know what to advise, since it's fairly transparent that this team is only around long enough to "improve" the company on paper and resell it to another holding group.

    If anything, I'd fall back on a gem of advice from a library professor of mine: "All libraries are local." Each of your customers serves a unique population of patrons, with unique collections and heritages, and has a charge to deliver information resources to that user population. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work well in this context.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 11 people found this helpful  

    new VC leadership has little understanding of the library world

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time

    Pros

    Many of the best perks were dismantled after the buyout, although I would still consider the salary/benefits package to be top tier. In many cases there also seemed to be room for advancement.

    Cons

    mid level management=deer in headlights (many are new or have been re-tasked or re-shuffled in the "business re-alignment"). executive team=completely disconnected. Some rounds of layoffs were probably beneficial (i.e., 'trim the fat'); others, not so much. Outsourcing to India was likely the first in a series of bad moves. They cut too deep and too quickly, without enough understanding of the nature of the library software implementation process. The astonishing volume of projects undertaken by a relative few would be shocking to most customers. Many employees work 13-hr days, weekends, holidays, etc.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    General consensus was that the company was ultimately being prepped for re-sale so the business decisions appeared to be entirely revenue-driven rather than customer-centered. Connect more wisely with the library world so that the future owners won't be left holding the bag....

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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