Innovative Interfaces, Inc Reviews

Updated July 7, 2015
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1.8
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Kim Massana
37 Ratings

Pros
  • Interesting work, extremely nice and talented colleagues (in 3 reviews)

  • People are great, and really care about the library space (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • I believe the culture will have to even out between the oldies (against the new management and change) vs newbies (hired by the (in 6 reviews)

  • The company has been 100% owned by a private equity firm since earlier this year (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (12)

    The new normal, I guess.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people are the best part of this job, far and away. I love my coworkers. The combination of library and computer backgrounds makes for an amazing bunch. Since we got bought by the larger company, a lot has changed - there are a lot of new faces as they hire new people here instead of in California where they'd have to pay them more, and many great people either left or were laid off. But the team we have here and even middle management are really solid characters. I feel like they have my back and commiserate with our issues. I love my work. It's interesting, it's engaging, it's challenging.

    Cons

    Yeah, it's clearly obvious that once private equity happens, the new goal is not customer satisfaction or quality products but the bottom line. That's not revolutionary news, it's just an inescapable reality. Middle management is totally on board with us, but it's easy to see that upper management are not playing the same game at all. There is a major divide in interests. Again, I'm not saying anything shocking here, this is business as usual. We all come to work every day knowing this, and we do make the best of it, and we like our work, when we can concentrate on doing it. As a smaller company we sometimes got a bonus, but even in lean times we got a gift card to our local grocery stores for Christmas. Our old president really, genuinely cared about each and every one of us, and that was apparent at all times. The first year we were owned by the larger company... we got a water bottle. We were promised our benefits would be the same or better after the acquisition, and then from the sound of it, upper management was genuinely surprised at all the benefits we had. Those went bye-bye. Sure, health insurance just gets worse year by year everywhere, but our fringe benefits tanked. Remember this: a company will never implement a policy that doesn't directly benefit it. Unlimited PTO sounds fantastic: you're no longer limited to just this many days! Take as many as you need! But what it really means is that you no longer "own" your vacation days. If you don't use them, they don't roll over, they evaporate. You will never be reimbursed for the ones you don't use when you leave. You are always beholden to your superiors for final approval for each day - there's no end-of-year "these days are owed to me, so I need to take them." To use a library metaphor, it's like going from ownership to a license model: it's sold to you as an improvement, but all it means is that you no longer have something that's yours. There are always strings.

    Advice to Management

    I don't have any. I know your interests are totally divorced from ours. We want to do a good job, make good software, make a smooth experience for our customers, be liked by our customers, help them in their work. You want to profit, and look good, and doing quality work is just peripheral to that - if it benefits you, that's good, but if not doing a good job benefits you more, that's what it'll be. That is your work. There's no persuasion to be done. We're along for the ride, hoping we don't get laid off before we retire, hoping we can help our customers without policy getting in our way.


  2. Helpful (7)

    Rush to the bottom.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Some good people are still hanging on. May be able to survive once the company is sold and the inevitable reorganization happens...again.

    Cons

    Huge loss of institutional knowledge and expertise from the layoffs and staff abandoning ship. So lean they can no longer develop or support the software.

    Advice to Management

    Go ahead and sell it already; the longer you hold it the worse it will be. The trends have to be worrying you, sell before you do any more damage.


  3. Helpful (12)

    Cluster**** Inc.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good health plan, Decent compensation, generous PTO policy, Many hard-working front-line contributors

    Cons

    Inept management Zero career development opportunities Low morale among employees Shabby facilities Extremely slow product development process High Turnover in middle management Incompetent Customer Support org

    Advice to Management

    With, only two or three exceptions, the rest of you need to relieve yourselves of your duties and go elsewhere. Oh, and just a suggestion... Hard to be considered a legitimate business when you don't even have a receptionist. you need to have products that work and stop selling ones that don't.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    good space

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Pros

    good people to work with and good customers

    Cons

    future is still unknown and depends on team to make innovative the success meant to be

    Advice to Management

    lean on team more


  6. Helpful (5)

    Not really that bad

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

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Excellent work/life balance. There is almost never a call to work nights or weekends. - Coworkers are friendly and knowledgeable. I like coming to work. - Libraries are still important, so the work is important.

    Cons

    - Executive management just can't get out of their own way, creating problems where none existed previously for no good reason. - Product quality suffers from a lack of modern development practices and technology. - Generally not a place to grow your career.

    Advice to Management

    Find someone with a lick of common sense and run your ideas past them before carrying them out. This would have avoided the UPTO fiasco, the holiday bonus debacle and any number of other boneheaded moves.


  7. Helpful (14)

    Stereotypical sociopath CEO

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Pros

    Great customers. Librarians are the nicest folks in the world. We have some old technology but it's the perfect place for non-CS graduates to have the chance to learn software and tech if you have the library background. Generous benefits package (401k matching, flexible PTO). Amazing co-workers. My teammates and managers are often responsive and helpful which is rather surprising considering our ridiculous workload, unstable environment, and all-time low companywide morale....

    Cons

    In 2012, our founder who ran the show for 30 years sold his company to an investment firm and passed his duties onto a new CEO. Since then it's been... Broken products. Broken processes. Every new release has more bugs than the last one. No developers to maintain any of the solutions we're marketing and selling. Constant back and forth structural changes. Sudden mass layoffs every quarter. Plus people quitting on their own (average of 2 people a week for the past year). I don't even bother investing in a relationship with new managers or directors since they vanish in a few months anyway. Interdepartmental collaboration is like pulling teeth. Every team is understaffed, underresourced and in a crisis state. Crooked CFO designed illegal policy to cheat employees out of millions of $$ in accrued PTO, then cleared his bank accounts and fled the country before auditors could get to him. Every day is an adventure at Innovative.

    Advice to Management

    How do you advise a sociopath? This section would only be relevant if your interest was actually in improving our products, customer experience, and your staff. I want to tell you to just sell the company so you can cash out and be happy. But you've screwed things up so badly that there might not be anyone dumb enough to acquire Innovative at this point. I used to think that you could get away with anything because this market lacks serious competition and our frustrated customers have no choice. But with OCLC releasing their own ILS in combination with you running this company into the ground, I'd say Innovative's days are done.


  8. Helpful (12)

    Knowledge not valued

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Coworkers are very helpful and kind.

    Cons

    This company bought and reorganized another company. In the reorganization, several long-term and knowledgeable staff were terminated, leaving remaining employees struggling.


  9. Helpful (12)

    Innovative Roller Coaster

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.


  10. Helpful (12)

    Sinking ship

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

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Fantastic non-management personnel were a wonder to work with. The initial vibe I got when I first started was that everyone was there to help everyone out and I would actually move up with the company.

    Cons

    The organization change routed me into a dead-end position not related to the career path I had originally envisioned. High-profile personnel started resigning, upper management and the executives started laying off other personnel resulting in missing information about important systems and forcing individuals into roles that they should not be in.

    Advice to Management

    Remove the dollar signs from your eyes and listen to the employees. This company stayed afloat for 30+ years without the help of private investors so throwing money at a problem won't make it better.


  11. Helpful (15)

    Bring back Jerry ....

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Maintenance dollars still roll in because most customers don't understand that if they go out to RFP they'll save at least 30% on their annual maintenance even if they have no intention of leaving.

    Cons

    Former CFO ripped off the company for millions because the CEO was too focused on his own self promotion like his blog which he didn't write one word of and protecting his $6+ million in options. Needless to say the current CEO (Kim) knows little about running anything, if he'd been paying attention the company wouldn't be in the toilet bowl like it is.

    Advice to Management

    Hey Kim you are well on your way to another accolade as the worst CEO ever....nice job!



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