Innovative Interfaces, Inc

www.iii.com
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There are newer employer reviews for Innovative Interfaces, Inc

11 people found this helpful  

Interesting, frustrating, underpaid, and

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Systems Librarian
Current Employee - Systems Librarian

I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

Pros

The coworkers are incredibly intelligent, educated, diverse and passionate people (1/3 of the employees have a master's in library science and many have multiple degrees). They are extremely hardworking, pleasant, creative people - and the customers are some of the best around. Innovative offers good health care and a reasonable amount of PTO (paid time off).

Middle management is great and as protective of its employees as any one could want. In fact, three of the greatest managers I've ever had are at Innovative. The company isn't "evil" - it's appealing to work for a company that does so much to help libraries do their so-very-important thing. It's a way to be in the library field and still make money, for one.

Also, unlike most other software companies, developers are not required to work around the clock to hit a deadline or a software launch. For many people, the work day really can end at 5 pm.

There have been some significant positive changes at the senior management level in the past 6 months, and there are a few more retirements due in the next year or two. There are signs that the new regime might correct a lot of what is wrong there, but change comes very slowly to this basically conservative company.

Cons

The company has a serious case of "founderitis", although there's hope that with some recent senior management changes the company can overcome it. Until 2010, no one at the executive level had ever worked elsewhere - a real problem in a 30-year-old company long-since outgrown the spare bedroom.

The company produces great software. The problem is that it is difficult to install, tortuous to maintain and herculean to upgrade. Ideas, plans, projects get squashed without rationale (even after executive buy-in or direction), temper tantrums from the top are embarrassingly common, and there has been a huge leadership vacuum between the VPs and middle management. Decision-makers have been actively and publicly vacillating on necessary changes for over for ten years. Really poor personnel management at the executive level allowed some truly awful, lawsuit-worthy situations to develop in the upper management tiers.

A really good example of how things have gone astray and the nail in the coffin for many (not for myself) - was the change in the PTO policy about 18 months ago. III used to have a great work-life balance - most employees were salaried and managers had the flexibility to handle their employee's schedules as they saw fit. 18 months ago this policy was changed; now, even salaried employees must account for every minute. So if you have an 8 am dentist appointment you have to take off 4 hours of PTO. Officially, there's no more working from home, and all employees had to change their schedule to be 8am-5pm. These changes were announced on a Friday afternoon, effective the following Monday. All the people who had painstakingly crafted slightly alternate schedules (to accommodate children, carpools, parental care, etc) were given precisely 0 days to make other arrangements. After a huge uproar, III backpedaled and agreed that perhaps there were circumstances under which other schedules might be permitted. III is within its rights, barely, on the salaried-employees-must-account-for-every-minute policy, but the implementation of it is a good example of what makes working at Innovative less and less appealing. The reality is that now everyone is sneaking around to try to maintain a sane and humane work-life balance for their employees. It's a shame.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Explain what's going on on a regular basis. Make decisions, even if the decision is no. Talk to your employees on a frequent, regular schedule. Get management training.

Also, pay more, or give more soft benefits - like training, bringing in outside experts, organizing events that tie the company to the two industries of which it is a part -- the library world and the software world. Make us love working for you again.

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

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Échec total en matière de gestion du temps. Big Time Management Failure

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

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time

    (Translated from English)

    Pros

    Salaire correct, collègues agréables, particulièrement les anciens, industrie sympathique, avec un passé fabuleux et sexy. Et c'est fini.

    OK paycheck, great colleagues, especially the old employees, nice industry, fabulous and sexy past. It ends here

    Cons

    Aucun respect professionnel ou personnel des employés, des pratiques commerciales sales, une gestion médiocre, un manque de compétences de gestion d'entreprise de la part des cadres supérieurs.

    No professional or personal respect to the employees, dirty business practices, poor management, no transparency, Executive Team's hidden agenda, inefficiency, lack of company management skills by top executives.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Changez la direction et son alignement sur les pratiques des grandes entreprises américaines.

    Change the Management and its alining on the major US corporation practices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Innovative Roller Coaster

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

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are some outrageously talented, dedicated, and sincere people working in this company. As other reviewers have noted, many good people have left due to the corporate situation but the cadre that are still standing continue to reflect a population that cares about libraries and wants to work to develop and support products that make the industry better.

    Cons

    The problems here feel insurmountable at times. Morale is a huge problem. Talent drain and the inability to stem the continued loss of key people is another huge factor. Really bad inter-departmental relationships create a culture of constant, "no, not enough resources" and CYA behavior which is not only frustrating but also inhibits any chance of building a collaborative environment to work through issues together. Add in a cup instability and fear, two heaping spoonfuls of stress, and a heavy dash of bitterness and you pretty much get the idea of what it has been like to work here the past few years. Are these problems unique to Innovative? No, but that doesn't mean these are problems employees want to, or are willing to put up with in the long term.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There were a lot of people in the wrong upper management positions, many of whom came in with the attitude that this industry is just like every other specialized industry. While that may be true in a lot of respects, that doesn't mean a "one-size-fits-all" solution will work for this company or market. A lot of them are gone now and I have some pretty high expectations from their current replacements (I am looking at you, development, support, and sales). Do your homework. Find out what your employees actually do and what they need to do their jobs better. Treat your employees with respect and maybe we will learn to trust and respect your decisions, policies, and ultimately your leadership. I really hope we finally have the right team of people. I want to be proud of the work I do, the company I work for, and not have to side-step the question when people outside the company ask me if I am satisfied with my job. Maybe this is a tall order and my expectations unrealistic; I am still putting it out here anyway on the off chance ya'll might read this or actually care enough to listen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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