NetBrain Technologies

  www.netbraintech.com
  www.netbraintech.com
There are newer employer reviews for NetBrain Technologies

8 people found this helpful  

Beware! Limited scope product, poor executive management, mediocre benefits!

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

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

Pros

Free snacks at lunch are nice.

Cons

The below comments represent my opinion, and are grounded by my experiences as a NetBrain full time employee. Please be advised that some of the other comments seen here on Glassdoor about NetBrain are authored by the companies executive leadership, and are intended to offset the negativity.

Leadership: Every minute operation of this company is run by the CEO. This is not dramatic prose from an ill-tempered former employee. Banner ads for websites, sales pitches, choice of computers for employees, travel arrangements, even the snack selection for the employee break area. Yes...everything. Go against the CEO's wishes? You will assuredly be shamed for your intentions and in some cases, publicly. The turnover rate is ridiculously high save a select few of the Chinese employees who have stuck with the CEO for some time. During my time at NetBrain, two of the CEO's direct reports left the company (one having only been there a few months), the HR Director, the recruiting team, and 1/4 of the marketing team. Back to the CEO, who is at the epicenter of why NetBrain has such a poor working environment -> The CEO has a bit over 4 years of practical networking experience, from the late 90's to early 2K's. He was a mid-level network engineer at the financial services department of Thomson Reuters. During the new employee training, he explained he was the "Chief Architect" at the "largest financial services company in the world". Hmmmm, not so much. The CEO has no formal managerial experience at any level; instead, he reads leadership epitaphs from global business leaders, siphons out nuggets of wisdom, and then perverts them into NetBrain company goals. Examples are "only manage what you can measure" or "in the end there is only the CEO" from the likes of Iacocca, Welch, Sun-Tzu, and others. Often these nuggets manifest themselves into cockamamie performance metrics or marketing touch points that provide no actionable information with which to guide the company. When challenged by any employee, the CEO professes his deep networking knowledge (4 yrs, ten yrs ago) or keen managerial expertise (no experience whatsoever) to supplant his point of view and then deride the unlucky soul who has a good idea.

Competition: The product has few direct competitors but to say the technology behind it is "unparalleled", is asinine. Several companies have parallel technologies in similar product suites that rival or best NetBrain. However, NetBrain is unique in that it combines a few select components into a single platform.

Profitability: The company is very profitable because the product preys on a weakness of every engineer...documentation. According to previous employees, the CEO has been touting "pre-IPO" status for the last 4 years. The company may well go public, and it is for this reason alone that some have endured the work environment. Keep in mind though that stock options are NOT given to the rank and file of the company. So if you dream of getting rich at NetBrain, prepare for some serious contract negotiations. The company recently received a LARGE investment from a VC firm in MA. Largest firm in the country? Hardly. Not even the largest in MA. During my tenure, a climate survey was never conducted, and employees were forbidden from engaging the VC firm until negotiations were complete. The CEO made it clear that employees should feel "comfortable" that he did not allow the VC firm to take any terminal control of the company and that he will still be in charge post-investment. Ok.

Culture: Simple...fear. The teams that enjoy isolation from the CEO's petulant, myopic arrogance (only the sales team) are in relatively good spirits. The other teams (engineering, marketing, HR, etc) do not enjoy such isolation. Because the CEO believes he possesses knowledge in these areas, they are run with almost tyrannical oversight. Employees carry a general sense of malaise and while some of the leadership attempts morale boosting activities, it is usually shot down as being too expensive or a waste of money. Senior management is enthusiastic? True and false. When not being chastised for independent thought or reprimanded for something the CEO knows nothing about, then yes, senior management is generally energetic and enthusiastic. New employees are told flatly by the CEO during their new employee training, "work hard and don't complain".

Ethics: In my opinion, the companies ethical boundaries lie somewhere between a patent troll and a professional con-artist. From artificially injecting positive reviews here on GlassDoor, to coaching executives with what they are supposed to say to potential investment firms, nothing is out of bounds. Keep in mind I was fairly low on the totem pole, so the fact that I was able to observe this first hand is quite ridiculous. Sales and sales engineering teams are coached directly by the CEO to overcome customer objections with empty promises of product functionality. Because the level three support team is 90% based in China, customers who do decide to challenge these guarantees submitted during the pre-sales process find it VERY difficult to find resolution post-sale.

Compensation: Mediocre. Again, the CEO's expertise is >10 years old but he still considers his metrics for employee compensation to be relevant. He alone controls ALL salaries in the company. The CEO interviews ALL employees (even the interns) and usually hires younger talent willing to work for much less.

Benefits: No 401(k) match, 10 days of vacation time strictly enforced, work from home is HEAVILY scrutinized, 30 minute lunch breaks. Healthcare is commensurate with other small companies in the area. The company will sell you on flexible work hours during inclement weather but be prepared to have to justify (and then be scrutinized) all of your decisions, even if your own manager has approved.

Product: The product is heavily Cisco centric because the CEO wholeheartedly believes Cisco owns >90% of the market share in network equipment. He even put this claim into his own employee training presentations. In his defense though, consider the last time he had domain experience in the field was over ten years ago :-). NetBrain is uniquely beneficial to the small/mid size companies who lack solid network documentation (diagrams, slides, maps, etc) and also do not possess deep troubleshooting expertise. That is not to say the product is not benefical to large companies, but usually larger companies have a wide assortment of vendors with very complex network topologies. NetBrains value decreases exponentially with the increase in a large networks complexity. Simply put, the tool has not matured enough to keep up with the constant innovation in this space. The CEO likes to tout "full multi vendor support" for a variety of vendors or "amazing adaptability to your environment" but the truth is, it is simply not there. Out-year software maintenance is frequently highlighted as a challenge for the sales team.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

20 Other Employee Reviews for NetBrain Technologies (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Fast-Paced, Evolving, and Exciting Business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing in Burlington, MA
    Current Employee - Marketing in Burlington, MA

    I have been working at NetBrain Technologies full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The technology behind the product is unparalleled and constantly improving. With it, the business is growing by leaps and bounds. Confidence in the company's growth has been bolstered by a recent infusion from the largest VC in the country. Having the opportunity to grow with a company and be part of the transition from startup towards IPO isn't an opportunity many people will have in their careers.

    The employees are great to work with and the senior management is passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic - traits which are contagious. As the company grows, so do opportunities. Hard work and results are appreciated and rewarded.

    Cons

    With a fast-paced company and constant change comes ever-shifting priorities on various projects. Sometimes it's difficult to perfect a project as it can be dropped for another priority. This can affect morale and sense of accomplishment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Define clear goals and trust in your leadership team to execute and achieve them, while fostering open communication and constructive feedback.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Joined with high expectations, left disappointed.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing in Burlington, MA
    Former Employee - Marketing in Burlington, MA

    I worked at NetBrain Technologies full-time

    Pros

    Unique technology that had few direct competitors, U.S. based employees were all great and were willing to help in any way they could.

    Cons

    CEO doesn't listen to anyone and was not open to suggestions (we already tried that and it didn't work attitude), little to no funds were spent on marketing efforts (except for Cisco Live), extremely limited benefits, management was paranoid about employee loyalty (was asked if I was a spy for my previous employer when I left), minimal resources to do your job with and expectations that you can do it anyways and then had to justify everything you were doing. Some of it may have been cultural, losing face etc.. but the difference in how U.S. employees were treated vs Chinese employees was apparent and highly discourteous. If you don't tow the line, you are out the door. They have gone through 4 marketing people since 2010.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve benefits package, treat U.S. employees with more respect, CEO needs to be more receptive to suggestions and alternative perspectives, listen to the people you hire for their expertise (you wouldn't have hired them in the first place if they were not experts)! Ideally, the CEO should move into a role that is more technical and a CEO that has the business acumen to realize the potential of the company and technology should be brought in.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    NetBrain Technologies Response

    May 14, 2014VP Operations

    We treat all employees equally here at NetBrain. Benefits include health, dental, vision insurances, holiday, vacation, personal days and 401K. NetBrain pays 100% for employee's health insurance ... More

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