SumTotal

  www.sumtotalsystems.com
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SumTotal Reviews

Updated August 1, 2014
Updated August 1, 2014
137 Reviews

2.7
137 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Hardeep Gulati
25 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Employer that will lie to you about ay raises, professional growth and WORK life balance (in 8 reviews)

  • Good people that are trying hard to make it all work (in 9 reviews)


Cons
  • Expect absolutely no work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • lack of vision, loyalyty to staff low base (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    An interesting experience

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

    Pros

    Good people that are trying hard to make it all work. Company invests in employee training. Products are heavily invested in and continue to gain visibility in the market. Lots of work from home opportunities.

    Cons

    Traveling is made to be difficult. Too much red tape to operate efficiently (for travel and other). Product marketing is weak but improving. Company is a result of many acquisitions and is still working through the mess. Lots of changes in management in last few years. A lot of attrition. Some of the products are behind the market.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Truly unfortunate

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

    Pros

    There are some true gems of employees who are still fighting to make it a better place to work.

    Cons

    Everything else. Hell on Earth. Too much work with too few employees. Constantly dealing with inter-fighting amongst groups and have to escalate everything to get something done. Do NOT work here unless you enjoy chaos and working at least 60 hours a week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Appreciate and compensate your employees because they're working hard for you. Take a step back and fix your product before it gets any worse. It's impossible to successfully implement a broken product.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    The Point of No Return

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

    Pros

    If you are single, have no social/family life, and want to work way more that 40 hours per week for maybe 32k a year, then this will be the perfect job for you.

    Cons

    The company requires you to "pass" an "IQ" test prior to being hired. They cannot hire people at the same rate that people are quitting/getting laid off due to this. They move people from one department to another trying to keep the employee happy so they won't quit, but refuse to hire and have that employee train someone which leaves the position open for months and requires others to pick up the slack. Then when someone is hired they have people who don't know what they are doing train the new hire and then no one knows what they are doing. The only direction people have are the interpreted guess on a process - things are changed so frequently, but those changes are rarely communicated.

    Practically everyone I know in the company are looking for other jobs.

    There is constant messaging about teamwork and how the US and India teams are one, but it is actually a fight between the two teams and the two locations have completely different processes where when things have to cross sides it becomes a whole ordeal because you spend more time arguing then fixing things for the customer.

    Anyone who is given a company phone is on call 24/7 and expected to work 24/7.

    When hired you are not told that there will be rotated scheduled weekend on-call work that you will have to do, or that there is Pacific time 11am EST-8pm EST rotated scheduled work weeks that need to be covered. These can vary for number of times per year depending on how many people work in your product line - twice a year to twice a month.

    There are also multiple other reasons for management to give excuses to manipulate you into working late or over weekends at other times throughout the year. Ex: We are releasing a new product soon and so they are requesting people work over Thanksgiving weekend with a few weeks notice. This company has no regards to you or your family.

    They have gone from legit international company to using "global company" as an excuse for outsourcing. Many US resources who had been with the company for a long time and were "making too much money" were let go. They refuse to give raises and question your motives when you ask for reasonable compensation, although they ask you to work triple since they refuse to hire more people. Although, they are bringing someone in a high-level position from India to fill the same position in the US - this includes, from my understanding, paying for his work Visa, paying for 3 months of hotel stay and cab fare, etc. until he settles in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop constantly asking how you can help make things better and then when a very reasonable suggestion is made do not argue and say there is nothing wrong and then turn the blame on the employee for not "going above and beyond" their pay grade, their job duties, and their departmental functions. If you think there is nothing wrong, stop asking us how to fix it.

    Stop playing mind games and being manipulative.

    Stop asking employees to spy on other employees and report back what your co-workers conversations are and if they were "headed in the right direction" or not. Also, when you have to make a point to say that what you are asking is not spying...it is spying.

    Actually be a manager; actually make decisions. Very few managers know what they are doing and just pawn off decision making to low-level employees so managers don't have to take the heat when it goes awry.

    I know that the CEO has zero to little influence on the company as SumTotal is owned by Vista Equity Partners, but it seems that all he cares about is the sales team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Total waste; absolutely the worst company ever. Run away!

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

    Pros

    work remote on occasion; many good employees who leave as soon as there is any option to do so

    Cons

    Terrible management; no vision; everything is a hack; no concern for customers, functionality or product usability. Poor communications; low pay; long hours; no respect. The management is totally lost about how to run a service-based business. Who builds a service business without full or even partial redundancy? SumTotal does! Decisions are made based on cost only. What is the worst is that management has the delusion that they are doing the right thing. Do everything quickly at the lowest cost. Push out products that don't work and fix them later. Wretched, soul-sucking company that pulls everyone down to be an ultimate underachiever with no goals or ambition to do anything correctly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit! Now!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Overworked and underpaid

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Support Engineer  in  Gainesville, FL
    Current Employee - Technical Support Engineer in Gainesville, FL

    Pros

    Much like most employers, the staff is friendly and intelligent. At first, most people are genuinely trying to make the product work and assist customers.

    Cons

    After a short time, most find that management and their superiors do not care about your well-being and career growth. You will receive lip service about the opportunities available. Promotional positions are often filled by new hires with little or no experience.

    The company does not use its own products effectively and succession plans are an after thought. High turnover creates a lack of knowledge about the product and a struggle for true experts. Bureaucracy and process are more important than satisfying a customer.

    Products are sold and implemented without knowing how to do so effectively.

    The pay is low, expectations to work over 40 hours is requested and encouraged.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Value your employees. You need more than warm bodies. You need people who know the product, can develop a quality product, and can successfully debug issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Prepare for burnout

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  West Des Moines, IA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in West Des Moines, IA

    Pros

    Flexible schedules (depending on position), great office and location (in WDM, Iowa), great benefits.

    Cons

    Pay isn't awesome for the stress. Employees are worked to the bone for no reward. The reward for doing good work is getting more work piled on you, until you have no time for your family outside of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more employees - I know it costs more, but I don't know a single non-exec employee that is genuinely happy with their job. Most employees feel used and abused. The company stretches teams WAY too thin.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Account Manager

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

    Pros

    Most of the people who work there are nice, honest people. Other than that, nothing else positive about the company

    Cons

    Let's start at the beginning, shall we:
    1. The offer- STS is owned by Vista Equity partners. Anytime a holding company owns a company their main priority is driving as much profit on their investment. As an account manager my base salary was about $25,000 below a normal base at a similar type company for a similar role. But $2000 of that base salary per month is an "Activity Based Compensation" with metrics that you must hit. The metrics weren't hard to hit, but if a company doesn't trust you enough to pay you your full base salary, they aren't worth working for. The commission structure is very complex. As an account manager, my role was to resign existing customers. In my short time here I heard of a rep who closed a $250,000 renewal and thier commission pay out was .04% in commission, yes 4 tenths of one percent commission.Don't be fooled by the total compensation plan of around $140,000, maybe 1 or 2 AM's will make that. The rest should fall way short of earning anywhere close to that. There is also a region retention bonus that they make it seem like is a guarantee, but I heard some regions got $0 for a quarterly retention bonus. There is a new business portion of your comp plan which means selling new products into your account base, but the Regional Sales Managers try to interfere and steal the business for themselves and there have been changes to that policy because of all the complaining.

    2. New Hire onboarding- When I was hired I was put through a 12 week training program. 9 out of those 12 weeks were spent in their HQ in Gainesville, FL. Their were 4 of us in the training for the 12 weeks all with 10+ years of sales experience. One Am has already left for a better job.There were a lot of things that were elementary and it could have been 3-4 weeks max. The head trainer is actually a great trainer and there were things that helped all of us, mostly around building a good presentation, which at the end of our 12 weeks, in order to graduate we had to do a presentation on a mock account in front of the executives (whoever is around) your boss and peers. On the weeks in Gainesville we had to fly out on Sunday in order to be there bright and early Monday morning. They do not care about your family life and your weekends are not important to them at all. I've heard they have reduced the new hire training to about 2 weeks to fast track account managers to backfill as quickly as possible.

    3. Managing your Accounts- Turn over at Sumtotal is huge, for obvious reasons. On some of my accounts I am the 3rd or 4th AM in a 12 month period. Most weren't happy with the turnover and I don't blame them. It's hard to be taken seriously as a vendor when the revolving door of employees isn't a concern to the company.

    4. Navigating internally at SumTotal- Although most people are nice, it's difficult to find resources to help you. Their professional services team has a lot of turnover as well and is not strong when doing product upgrades in accounts and the accounts a usually unhappy.

    In summary, if you need a job just to get back into the workforce while you find another job, then take it, but once you find a better paying job, you'll quit as so many have. Their product set isn't as good as others in the marketplace and their ElxHR platform is all smoke and mirrors. There is no direction from an executive management standpoint and Vista Equity has way too much say in how things are run.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your account managers what they deserve from a base salary and commission perspective and maybe you'll get happy employees who want to stick around for a few years.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good place for a few months. Depressing otherwise.

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

    Pros

    Market leaders in the HR software business. Smart onsite and offshore teams. A lot of learning opportunities.

    Cons

    The pay is pathetic. The same position in the same location at every other company gets almost double the compensation you get here. The workplace is depressing. Onsite and offshore teams communicate in other languages, which makes the setting look very unprofessional. Flexible hours but you must work 50+ hours to make the deadlines. Ordinary workplace, not very conducive to teamwork.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more people in teams that need them. For a company that specializes in HR and analyzes why people leave client companies, your compensation is poor. Turnover rate is high.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    The Sinking Ship

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

    Pros

    good for entry level or if you cannot find a job anywhere else. decent benefits.

    Cons

    very low pay. seems to be about half of industry average. lazy management browsing the internet all day, while most lower level workers are putting in 60 or more hours a week on salary. under-staffed. if you come to work here expect to be doing at least 2 peoples job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    too many quality american resources have left because of such low pay and being grossly under-staffed / over-worked. is it worth it? will it ever change?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    TotalFailure

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

    Pros

    Good for those with NO experience in the HRMS industry or perhaps those working in Hyderabad.

    Cons

    The company does not know how to leverage talent. For several years now, they've been working hard to attract some of the most motivated and experienced people in the HCM community, and generally can't keep them for more than a year. It's a revolving door. If you're looking for entry level, this is a great place. Otherwise, skip it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    SumTotal is one of those companies partially responsible for the overall dismal employment picture in this country, having shipped hundreds of jobs offshore to save a few bucks. (Customers should think about that the next time their software subscription is up for renewal: isn't it time to put America first?) Bring the jobs back to America!

    The talent drain in your company is a HUGE problem. Take a look at the 80 reviews that preceded this one, and apply data analytics (your favorite topic) to them, and what you'll see is that, almost exclusively, you only get positive reviews from those who have been with SumTotal less than a year, or those in India. Your experienced people in the USA, whether still with you, or like me, former employees, all have a very dim view of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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