Innovative Interfaces, Inc

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Innovative Interfaces, Inc Reviews

Updated February 26, 2015
Updated February 26, 2015
53 Reviews
1.9
53 Reviews
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Kim Massana
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Extremely nice and talented co-workers (in 3 reviews)

  • Very dedicated, smart employees who really care about their customers (in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • the new management just doesn't care about the employees (in 6 reviews)

  • Private equity move has stripped library focus from all levels of management (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 7 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
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Was a good place...

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

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc

    Pros

    Good mission--serving libraries!--and nice people...

    Cons

    who were mostly laid of by the new private equity owners. Watch for them to sell out soon, they've almost wrung out all the money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy St Tropez

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 13 people found this helpful  

    Started Out Rad, Ended up Sad

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    When I first started there were some incredibly talented, passionate and generous folks both in management and the general workforce. The work load was reasonable and I thought the mission of supporting libraries was very noble. For many years I didn't realize that we were actually quite powerful and respected for the size of the company and the cost or our products. Even when I disagreed with management decisions, I didn't feel like I was being taken advantage of with respect to work-life balance.

    Cons

    When I left, all of the soulful people had departed, most of them voluntarily. The general demise began with the sale of the company to private equity. At the beginning, it was an exciting time. New leadership, new goals, new products & new investment. There seemed to be an atmosphere of change that was good for everyone. But that didn't last for long. The combination of layoffs, low market rate salaries (unless, I'm guessing, you are an executive), outsourcing to India and unrealistic job loads has made the place miserable, at best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop an office culture of learning, sharing and respect. If a sale is in the future, get on with it and let Innovative make great software for libraries. How about hiring executives who know software and who have knowledge/respect in the library universe?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 6 people found this helpful  

    Depressing, frustrating place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 5 years)

    Pros

    I'm surrounded by smart, nice, hard-working colleagues who genuinely care about libraries. Unlimited PTO plan.

    Cons

    I chose to work at Innovative shortly after graduating library school because it felt like a family business and not a corporation. I believed I could still serve libraries by working here, as the company culture was centered around helping libraries. After the company was sold to private equity a few years ago, everything went downhill. Multiple major layoffs in a short period of time eroded any trust employees had for the executive team or board of directors. The employees who remain still care about libraries, but we are deprived of the resources needed to do our work effectively and serve customers in the best way.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Employees want to feel as though their work is meaningful. When your corporate culture is built around increasing profits at all costs, employees are left feeling demoralized and undervalued. It's hard to feel any company loyalty or pride when I feel as though my company would replace me in an instant if it could outsource my work overseas and save a few bucks.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 11 people found this helpful  

    Not a place for healthy job

    • 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

    Pros

    Long-term employees dedicated to libraries

    Cons

    Very bad senior management, especially CEO

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 17 people found this helpful  

    Not the same company it was a few years ago

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 8 years)

    Pros

    Customers are the best. Working with and for libraries is a great way to spend a work day. Many great co-workers.

    Cons

    Pay is a bit on the low side for a tech firm, unless you're in upper management. We used to get a holiday bonus but that is a thing of the past. I used to know almost everyone in the company, but now people come and go at an alarming rate. So many of the people that have gone were amazing, valuable resources. We have a truly lousy ticketing system that might get replaced someday - too bad they didn't listen to us when we told them how bad it was before they bought it! I used to be really love my job, but it's getting harder when you are underpaid, under-appreciated, and you know management would replace you in a heartbeat if they could find someone to do the work for less. If it weren't for the wonderful customers that I get to work with, I'd be gone from here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the layoffs. Pay better. Reinstate our holiday bonus.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 16 people found this helpful  

    Actions speak louder than words

    • 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

    Pros

    What is any company, after all, but the sum of its people and its culture?

    A shared mission of supporting libraries is what once made this such a great place to work. This used to be a place to be proud of -- not perfect, not at all, but the sense of mission, the partnership with our customers, and the excitement of being a part of library technology were all fantastic. I, along with my mostly rockstar coworkers, took a lot of pride in my work. I was delighted to work here.

    Cons

    I'm sure that the $300 million the former owner took home is cold comfort as he contemplates the consequences of his decision to sell. The company might not have survived if he didn't sell, but of course we'll never know that.

    The great coworkers are mostly gone - laid off, fired, chased away, or so thoroughly angered and demoralized that they left. The few remaining talented, experienced staff - and there still are some, but only about one-sixth of the people who were on staff four years ago are left - are trying to shore it up as the software and company crumbles like sand. There aren't enough engineers to do the work the software needs, and there aren't enough people left in positions of authority who understand the customer environment and the software to make it right.

    The mission now is to make money for the equity investors, at all costs. This is not a shared mission, nor can it ever be - they must be paid at all costs. Those costs are high: not being truthful with customers, laying off valuable staff, failing to retain talented staff, failing to address serious architectural and software deficiencies, and continuing to reduce head counts while the work piles up. Lip service is paid to being champions, but actions speak louder than words.

    Upper management (and increasingly, middle management) doesn't understand how the software works or how it fits together. Software bugs are deliberately not being fixed. Insufficient staffing and time are being spent on building and bundling. Inexperienced individuals lacking in leadership ability are promoted to management positions. Customers are being sold software that management knows doesn't work - in some cases, hasn't worked in years - but these sales are still being pushed. Sales are what it's all about now ... not solid working library software, just generating the numbers so that the quarterly targets are hit.

    They are now offering $5000 hiring bonuses, and they still can't get current employees to recommend their friends. Don't you find that interesting?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Well done. You've extracted the value and have left nothing but crumbs and sadness. Your work here is done - this company is ready to be sold!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 20 people found this helpful  

    If you care about libraries, look for employment elsewhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Principal Software Engineer in North Syracuse, NY
    Former Employee - Principal Software Engineer in North Syracuse, NY

    I worked at Innovative Interfaces, Inc (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Excellent customers, smart co-workers, and interesting problems to solve. Innovative and the companies that it has taken over recently used to represent the finest software and customer service in the library industry.

    Cons

    Since the takeover by Huntsman Gay Global Capital this company has lost its direction and pursuit of excellence. Current management does not understand, or care to understand, it's customers, it's industry context, or the truly innovative software that it owns. Management does not feel any responsibility to live up to the expectations of its customers or employees.

    Frankly, it is obvious that the equity company that bought these companies were in it for the maintenance dollars, not to build software that helps librarians to serve their communities. They will milk these companies dry, sell out, then leave the fallout to the folks on the other end of the sale.

    You won't have much of a future if you work here. If you looking for a place to build something that lasts or matters, this place is not for you.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sell this company. The library industry is not a place that will make you rich. Admit you made a mistake, and get out, as soon as you can. Your customers, your employees, and the library community will thank you for leaving. Open is not just a word on a PowerPoint, it's the condition of the door we are holding for you to walk through.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 17 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a good company

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Innovative Interfaces, Inc full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    People are great, and really care about the library space. Good mixture of programmers and librarians. Commute is easy if you live in the Oakland/Berkeley area.

    Cons

    Once the company was sold, it really diminished in quality. Low morale, layoffs, lots of talented people quitting, and losing sight of the mission statement became the norm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I can see some managers are trying to do more for the employees, but they have a long road ahead. Too many mistakes were made, and it shows when new management doesn't understand library products or the customers, who are awesome.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 18 people found this helpful  

    CEO has $7M Options ...... Enough said!

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

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

    Pros

    Good customers, those that are left. CEO is destroying the company and is way out of his league. Why the PE guys have keep him around shows they don't have much of a clue either.

    Cons

    CEO lies, hides things and will step on anyone to protect himself and cashing out on his $7M options. This is a bad place to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you had any shred of decency you'd step down. But as many of us know who've worked for you ethics are void from your character.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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