Ironside Group Reviews

Updated June 10, 2015
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3.4
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Timothy Kreytak
3 Ratings

8 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good Company, Work in Progress

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

    I worked at Ironside Group

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Colleagues/Industry:

    Good ensemble of IBM Veterans many with years of experience in their respective craft. Many former managers and technical experts in their respective domain.

    People are friendly in this company and tend to cooperate with each other. There isn't that much tension between the internal staff and the consulting group. When benched consultants work at the solution center.

    Management and staff are generally very supportive when dealing with client activities and onsite technical problems you encounter.

    Good cross-section of IBM technologies mostly focused on BI and some predictive analytics.

    There will be a several projects that expand your skill set. Others that are more routine. Occasionally a bad project (see cons). Overall, the projects tend to be interesting. They switch up industry, technology or interpersonal situation between client and team. Overall, interesting work.

    Personal:

    Slightly higher than average salary compared to equivalent roles across industry. Slightly lower than large main stream consulting firms.

    Good bonus structure based on 40 hr/week billable basis (20%).

    Tries to enforce 40-45 hour work week maximum. See commute for the cons.

    Healthcare plan is good compared to most (HP), but deductible is higher than bigger corporations.

    Very nice 401k plan with 6% automatically put into your account gratis the company. No requirements on your end (basically free money).

    Not a place for a quick promotion. Titles have meaning in this organization and represent a technical or experiential depth that have to be earned. I consider the later aspect of this a pro since titles have value.

    Initial training is great and is strengthened by field experience.

    Great exit opportunities for positions requiring IBM analytics technology especially within the BI/predictive space. Very good reputation within IBM.

    Firm:

    I like the managers at this company, but wish they were a bit less inclusive and cliquey (they value loyalty). Overall, they are classy and nice people. They have good taste in food and so the yearly parties are the best I've attended (I've worked for a lot of firms). Every dinner I've attended with them has been great.

    Really cool ideas about thought leadership and the possibility to get published on their website.

    Great networking opportunities. IBM Consultants tend to move within the same groups and reputation really matters. If you have a good reputation, this will translate into a lot of great business opportunities in the future.

    Overall, a good firm. Just know what you are getting yourself into and some of the quirks. You should be fine.

    Cons

    Rapid Business Expansion (5 to 60+ consultants):

    A lot of processes are being formalized: project management standards, performance reviews, training and bench work. Management layer is also in development.

    Trainers are fantastic. Training after the initial sessions becomes more difficult and material isn't as easily accessible (also not led by trainers anymore).

    Senior management is doing a lot of organizational planning and are very occupied. Straining communication with the consulting firm as a whole. They are improving overall and actively trying to address this.

    Big Data team was in it's infancy.

    Tougher Projects:

    Most projects don't have these characteristics, but you might end up dealing with the below (between 6 mo -3 years duration for one project).

    Client over consultant mentality, with the biggest problem being commutes. Most clients have reasonable demands, but if pressed the firm will lean towards the client. An example, I had 2 + hour commute (1-way) and the client requested to minimize my hotel time. After a year of that, I was drained and wasn't happy. Note, most projects aren't like that, but a few always exist at any one time (if you can't tolerate this at all, consider it a deal breaker and apply to another firm).

    Most people in this organization are fine. There are a few rabble-rouser or management mishaps that can create badly run projects and cause morale lapses. Dealing with these issues effectively is still a work in progress. When this does happen the firm needs to be more proactive about it and provide those low morale resources a way to coup with the stress. I saw a few consultants leave for this reason. (again, exceedingly rare case).

    Revenue Driven, "By the Numbers":

     You feel that they wear their finances on their sleeves. Revenue will be the number one topic of every single quarterly meeting followed by an emphasis on networking and new skills. The organization is sales-driven (focused on client happiness).

    On the consulting-side, you start feeling paranoid like some menacing backroom financial model was controlling your fate, tallying the pros and cons of your employment. I saw 5+ employees let go over a year period and a small trickle afterwards. Some of them, freshly minted graduates with little field exposure. This made me wonder about the sales pipeline or if they had over hired. They claimed that it was them being more selective and pruning a bit (also reasonable). The point is, stay competitive, up-to-date and proactive if you want to stay in this firm as they are selective about who they keep.

    The bonus had a large increase, but raises are minuscule. Even if you do really well, it's in the order of a few dozen basis points, not percentages.

    Personal Ambition vs Loyalty:

    Joining Ironside to obtain a certain type of experience is probably a mistake. It can happen, but it's not guaranteed and they'll generally play to your strengths first before giving you the opportunity to test the waters. Long term, you most likely will gain a broader skill set and have an opportunity to transition to that line of work. That said, a few consultants did leave for this reason. (I'd consider myself a special case of this). (Basically, no guarantees).

    Sometimes the way opportunities were handed out seemed a bit strange. An E-mail could be sent out, people would respond, a certain number of individuals would be selected and others would wait for a new opportunity. Less experienced consultants might be discouraged from attending certain seminars over another (based on experience-level and target audience). I'm too much of a go-getter for that type of thing and so that didn't appeal to me (I'm a big open-source fan for this reason).

    IBM and deliverable focused. Most enterprises don't like too much custom code (maintenance cost). If you are more interested in developing products, working with open source tools or doing research, this company is probably not a good fit. If you are more service driven or interested in enterprise management, this is probably a better fit. (start-up/web-centric vs enterprise demands).

    Most projects are interesting, but some are not. Some are rather routine with more difficult interpersonal situations. This is normal, but should be noted (you'll have a handful of good projects, handful of average ones and maybe the occasional bad one).

    Advice to Management

    I wish managers focused on their internal perception more instead of just branding.

    If morale collapses on the few cases it does, better procedures should be in place to keep those individuals tied to the firm.

    Better training opportunities should be established and maybe technology mentors network etc.

    Overall, I liked working for you guys.


  2. Okay company. Has a lot to learn. Be careful of false promises.

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

    I worked at Ironside Group full-time

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

    Pros

    - The people who work there are very talented.
    - When you are on a good project, its very engaging.
    - Senior Consultants are exceptional mentors.
    - Family like community where someone can help you whenever needed and good work is praised.

    Cons

    - Poor management of the pipeline allows it so that consultants stay on the bench.
    - Sporadic firings and layoffs.
    - Raises and bonus compensation are horrid.
    - Firm often times cowers to the will of the client at the determinant of employees.
    - Training and learning of new technology is often times dissuaded. "Stick to what you know" mentality.

    Advice to Management

    Stay engaged with your consultants, no matter their level. They are the ones making you money.


  3. Good people, but need better direction

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

    I worked at Ironside Group full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Good people to work with

    Cons

    No direction at least at the tiem I was there

    Advice to Management

    Develop a larger pipeline of clients, to keep consultants off the bench


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  5. Let's grow together

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

    I have been working at Ironside Group full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Career growth potential, learning opportunity, high compensation, intelligent management, abundance of resources, hot space, constantly evolving, values employees, great people, great work environment.

    Cons

    This company wants to grow. I see a few complaints about the high amount of hours. If you want to sit in a cubicle and take a paycheck, Ironside is not for you. If you want to fight daily to help it grow while enhancing your skill set to grow professionally, Ironside may be for you.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the pedal to the medal.


  6. Surrounded by Talent

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

    I have been working at Ironside Group

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Tight partnership with IBM -- creates opportunities
    Great talent pool, few egos, generous knowledge sharing
    Compensation and benefits well above average

    Cons

    Tight partnership with IBM -- sometimes get steamrolled by Big Blue
    Experiencing typical pains that any growing company would
    Occasional mismatch of resources' skills with project requirements

    Advice to Management

    Get to know your employees better -- both skillwise and personally
    Be careful that growth goals don't compromise quality -- brand damage is hard to undo


  7. Know what you are getting into and its O.K.

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

    I worked at Ironside Group full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Like the other reviews stated, there are many talented individuals as this company. There is also a tie to IBM. Everyone is friendly and there is a bit of a team atmosphere but if you do not live it the Boston area, there is quite a bit less of a team environment. Pay and benefits are competitive.

    Cons

    Expect a 50-70 hour work week for your pay. You are expected to bill 40 hours plus a mandatory development program plus many internal meetings plus travel time. Travel time is not part of the 40 hours and mileage under 75 miles each way is not reimbursed, which seems illegal and if it isn't just the wrong message to employees. Phone bills are not reimbursed and it feels like the sales team is less under the gun than the consulting team. Rules are very rigid with regards to how projects are run. I don't think management understand growth quite yet as they seem to be growing for the sake of growing and are still very focused on nickles, dimes and how things were as to how they could be.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on clients first and consultants second. The bottom line will be there and you will have less turnover and much happier staff.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Hire and Fire Organization. They bill more number of dollars to the customer for a simple work which everyone can do.

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

    I have been working at Ironside Group full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Yes, It is a good organization if you look at the people who has more technical background.

    Cons

    They are just showcasing they have 100% or 200% growth and actually they don't. They are simply playing a game in market to sell the company as much as I can believe.


  9. Best employer you could ever find

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

    I worked at Ironside Group full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    - Everyone is extremely talented and motivated
    - Upper management is very open. They listen to you and truly care about you
    - Very good company culture. This is the best place to work

    Cons

    There is really no negative. I have to leave due to personal reasons and always dream to be coming back.

    Advice to Management

    As the company grows so fast, please keep hiring the most talented and maintain the culture. I really like the upper management style.



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