Sungard Availability Services

www.sungardas.com
There are newer employer reviews for Sungard Availability Services

6 people found this helpful  

Seem to be moving all operations overseas

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Philadelphia, PA
Current Employee - Systems Engineer in Philadelphia, PA

I have been working at Sungard Availability Services full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

decent pay good benefits flexible schedule.

Cons

could be let go at any time. Lack of communication or direction from management. No opportunity for advancement.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Haven't listened so far so I have no more advice.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

313 Other Employee Reviews for Sungard Availability Services (View Most Recent)

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Oh Boy

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

    I have been working at Sungard Availability Services full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Where do I start with SunGard, well, needed a job, so at SunGard you have that, the checks don't bounce. Other pros.....thinking....nope, don't have much.

    Cons

    It's a shame really, great legacy, great value proposition, absolutely no idea what they are doing from the perspective of management direction, vision, ways to improve morale, nothing. Don't be surprised if you work at SunGard and speak to your manager maybe 5 to 6 times a year. I'll be heads down on something on a random Friday and get up and realize, I'm the only one in the building here. Morale is terrible, like Chechnya in the 90s terrible. Standard greeting at SunGard is heads down, I don't see you, please don't speak to me or you may give me an assignment. It's hard to negatively rate the company because it sort of feels like you are kicking someone when they're down. But - if you have other choices, good for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Needs impreovement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Engineer in Denver, CO
    Former Employee - Engineer in Denver, CO

    I worked at Sungard Availability Services full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very relaxed welcoming culture as an employee I found that most were in high spirits because of the great deal of freedom.

    The engineers there have a very diverse set of experiences and you will learn alot in terms of equipment, best practices, well known bugs

    The good managers are very good and a pleasure to work for.

    One of the biggest pro's is that they are desperate for competent senior engineers. You can negotiate higher salaries, avoid relocation, breeze your way through reviews if you are competent

    Most enginers are given a great deal of autonomy so you will have near complete authority over the projects you work on.

    wide array of cutting edge technologies to work on. After you leave you will have seen more than most and be able to command a good salary.

    At least on the network side several different staffing agencies and similar companies have declared open season on sungard engineers. Sungard is one of the few companies that extensively use Juniper M/MX routers and haven't discovered the joys of employee retention yet. So if you ever want to work for the nearby large ISP's, Juniper or the legion of Juniper VAR's make a pit stop at sungard, friend some recruiters on linkedin and watch the job offers roll in.

    There were so many senior engineers poached that Sungard had to draft agreements with vendors not to hire any more engineers directly.

    Cons

    The recovery business bet the farm on tape based recovery and is on the decline while the newer disk based and cloud based products gain market share. This has created debt and there have been alot of layoffs on the recovery side as a result.

    High debt and a not so bright outlook for those that pay attention to this sort of thing. They recently put $1B in capex into improving the business, improving customer outlook, adding new products. According to the last quarterly earnings statement 5/1/2012 they had to sell Sungard Higher Education to pay off the lines of credit. I assume this means they weren't able to make their money back.

    Most of the upper management has only been with the company 3 years or less. This includes the C-level people. Expect to see alot of managers that aren't fully acclimated to their job or that seem to be unaware of things. Also, with new C-level people comes sporadic layoffs and reorganization as they bring in people they trust or restructure the organization to match the last one they were a part of. Recently there was survery among employees of what they thought of their direct manager. The average was below average. Last I remember my direct manager was making jokes about his low scores in our staff meeting. In my opinion it seems like they've bitten off more than they can chew in the area of organization development.

    Poor support from HR and internal groups for new hires. This may seem like a small thing, but some people have gone several months before they have or even aware of all the accounts needed to do their jobs. There is also no real new hire orientation or training and almost no technical documentation. Expect to be left guessing for the first few months, especially if you accept one of the senior positions out there.

    The review process is slow, inaccurate and highly subjective. There is no incentive for management to submit reviews in a timely fashion or not to play favorites. It also requires alot of red tape to even get someone hired in the first place so expect a long wait after your interview. Promotions and/or merit raises are almost non-existent unless you are part of the "boys club". In a recent town hall the head of my department said that this is the worst HR groups he's ever dealt with. In addition to that being a little unprofessional it had the ring of truth.

    There is a definite "in crowd" at sungard who are privy to all the secrets and enjoy all the percs. Even things like who get's training and comp time have no definite HR policy around them. It's pretty my up to the managers which makes it based on personal relationships. Management has enough fires to put out and largely turns a blind eye to this. If you want to progress or just be heard you either have to be accepted into the boys club or have support from management.

    As others have said the work load is insane. Think of sungard as a "fixer-upper" of sorts. It was bought by a private equity group a few years ago and taken private (it was formerly traded on NASDAQ) in order to increase profitability and either sell it or IPO again. Bad timing was the first road block. The 2008 economic downturn wasn't very kind, also there were a series of poorly executed mergers that left customers unhappy and customer attrition sky rocketed. There were also a series of Ill advised reorg's which caused most of the talent there at the time to jump ship (kind of happens when you teach everyone very marketable skills and then treat them poorly). The result is a virtual mad house. There are alot of outages as the large amount of change results in more outages in addition to the instability already inherent in technology. Customer requests are rapid as the change management process is new and not yet completely streamlined. Also, there are several major initiatives and projects all being executed at the same time. While this leads to an almost infinite demand for bodies, it also leads to alot of responsibility being placed on individual contributors and a high stress level.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dig deeper. If your subordinates tell you things are ok but you aren't seeing results look beneath the surface. Things are not always as they seem.

    Also, follow industry practices more. In general we are 3-5 years behind the industry in terms of recovery and cloud however we take a slow approach often reinventing the wheel. Send the senior people to more conferences so they can be exposed to preexisting solutions to current problems.

    Take better care of employees. Every time a new employee is hired they don't last because of the work load. Those that have been around for a while are discarded like old news. Customers are not happy because there aren't many people who have been around a long time. The people that are just become work horses. Things like profit sharing, or free training, or employee lunches would at least make things more bearable.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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