Touchnet Information Systems, Inc.

  www.touchnet.com
  www.touchnet.com

Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. Reviews

Updated October 8, 2014
Updated October 8, 2014
11 Reviews
2.9
11 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dan Toughey
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    The best company I have ever worked for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Security Analyst in Lenexa, KS
    Former Employee - Security Analyst in Lenexa, KS

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are many pros to what TouchNet has to offer. First, the people I worked with are smart, hard working, and easy to get along with. My direct manager is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known who puts himself in front of his staff to take the brunt of any extra work load or early morning/late night hours. Something he could easily delegate. He doesn't micro-manage, supports new projects, and is an invaluable technical resource. The other department managers are equally as hardworking and dedicated to making TouchNet software the quality product it is today. For almost 8 years I have always been impressed by senior managements ability to effectively communicate to the staff. Dan, the president, would always go out of his way at company events to say hi to me and my family. At the office he was very personal and friendly. He has grown the company every year from 80 employees when I first started to 180 when I left and consistently increased profits year after year while responding to market changes accordingly. I have never once felt that he "...leads by fear..." as others have posted. He and the other executive staff are high quality individuals that are equally committed to making TouchNet a great place to work while continuing to grow and be profitable.

    Second, the work/life balance is excellent. I worked 40 hours a week on a regular basis. Working more hours was very rare and usually a decision that I made and not one that was expected by my manager or anyone else at TouchNet. If I had a situation where I needed to keep an eye on a sick kid then I was allowed to work from home.

    Third, the compensation was very fair and increased year after year. There were also yearly bonuses that every employee received. One year there was even a bonus in the summer as well as the end of the year because of some unexpected revenue. The bonus is not something that is guaranteed but we always received at least one because TouchNet is the kind of company that likes to give back to its employees. I am saying this because it is the impression that was made on me throughout the 8 years I was working at TouchNet.

    Fourth, the environment is well maintained and always being improved upon. If I needed software, hardware, or extra training, it was provided. As TouchNet grew so did the facilities for its employees. There were 2 showers for when morning/afternoon exercise required its use and a large fully equipped kitchen with plenty of room to accommodate the fanciest of lunches.

    The people aspect I consider no small thing. My wife, who works for the government, constantly tells me stories how a coworker or manager is treating her or someone else unfairly and without common respect. I would always tell her that behavior like that would never be allowed at TouchNet from an employee or manager. Nobody likes bad apples and they did not last long at TouchNet so perhaps that is where the negative reviews are coming from. I did not experience ANY of the cons that others have listed. I certainly didn't witness any negative interaction with Dan or anyone else on the management team.

    Cons

    The ONLY con was the drive from my home to work. Otherwise, my manager and upper management always supported working from home if the weather were really bad or if I had a sick family member to keep an eye on. It is things like this that made leaving TouchNet a very hard decision. A closer drive to my new job is one of the main reasons I left and not because of any problem I had with anything TouchNet did wrong or could have done better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Formal continuing education reimbursement.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Good work/life balance - some good mid management - unfortunately embarrassing upper management

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

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    What I would describe my experience in TouchNet as would begin as a positive...note the "begin as". When I arrived, it was from a less than exciting experience from another tech company. Starting at TouchNet, there were a number of obvious opportunities and benefits to joining the company.

    * The people at the start were for the most part knowledgeable about their area of operations, and the products they worked with. Technology was obviously a bit behind, but they made the best with what they could. They were inviting, friendly, and treated their peers akin to that of a family. Over the years though, this has sadly become further and further from the truth with their new hiring principles and employee retention rates.
    * Middle management at TouchNet (though they have almost no power to make decisions and enact upon necessary actions) are very receptive to family matters, time constraints, appointments, and employee happiness overall. They are very open to listening to the impediments, personal goals and outlooks of their subordinates, and will be open to admitting there is very little room for change, as upper management (i.e. the VP of IT Dean Vermiere and Pres Dan Toughey) are not readily open to new technology and ideas always - or almost ever.
    * Location - the location of the company is nice in that it is outside the down-town area, and traffic for the most part is negligible to/from work on the average day.
    * Size - When I started, the size of the company was quite small, and maintaining a family style atmosphere was easy. With the addition of Scott Martin as a second VP of IT, a number of the principles brought in by him, and the growing size of the company, the family atmosphere has all but disappeared.
    * Job security - if you want your green card or your H-1B visa, it's virtually impossible to be fired from TouchNet! It doesn't matter if you commit code that takes a client down, know nothing about your area of expertise, or dislike working with others and want to write everything your own way - Scott Martin has a position for you on the TouchNet team!
    * Work Pressure - deadlines are more of a "guideline" rather than an actual set idea with TouchNet. If you're working on something and having trouble, fear not, nobody will much care if it takes twice, thrice, or ... well... ten times longer than expected. If a project goes 2 years late, it's not surprising.

    Cons

    * Upper Management - the "Iron Fist" rule of Dan Toughey - Dan is the ultimate decision point to any and every project, whether he actually knows anything about the product or technology or not. He does always have a descent 10,000 ft view of "what the product is kind of, sort of, maybe supposed to possibly do," but on a great many occasions, he makes uneducated (or at best, poorly educated) decisions toward technologies and options that many other managers and senior/lead engineers knowingly inform him are not good.
    * Lacking power of mid-management - Middle management (i.e. an engineer's direct boss) actually has no power to help their subordinates with any task or impediment. Middle management's position is akin to that of belly button lint. It's interesting for that instant when you find out about it, but serves no actual purpose.
    * Ethics and Morals - I will lead this by giving one bit of invaluable advice - never put your 2 weeks notice in. Just leave. Over the years, I saw person after person inevitably walked out immediately once they placed their two week notice in. I can count on less than 2 hands the number that remained any significant portion of their time with the company after placing it in - and even fewer whom ever were paid for those 2 weeks thereafter.
      ** Compensation and advancement options for senior employees is almost unheard of. They hire new employees at salaries WELL beyond that of employees whom have been faithful, successful, and proven their worth to the company - then openly refuse to market adjust when confronted about it.
    * Technology...or lack thereof - upper management refuses to move on to new technology and realize that the times are changing. Development of applications does not require usage of the same technology in all implementations just because it worked 20 years ago for a single implementation - there are other successful options also.
    * Secondary to technology - if a "new" (i.e. different, not specifically new by age) technology has any sort of failure or speed bump, upper management will never attempt usage of it again or give light to the fact that it may not have been perfectly implemented the very first time it was utilized. Inadequacies do happen, and against all odds CAN be overcome! =)
    * Team Structure - There is no actual team structure, nor any real "Senior" or "Lead" software engineers on a team. There are only programmers and one team. The team portion is awesome, minus the fact that making architecture decisions is all but as difficult as walking through the gates of hades.
    * Not a great place to start as a first job - There is limited to no ability for TouchNet to properly train a "fresh out of college" graduate any substantial measure of the invaluable tools, tips, and experiences necessary for a proficient and successful development of one's career. It's painful to watch new graduates attempt to learn without any aid while at TouchNet - there just is not time for the senior members to maintain code, and also help new graduates. The only benefit is to pad one's resume with work "experience".
    * Retention Rate - When I arrived, the company touted the average age of employment within the company was 8-10+ years. By the time I left, at the last company meeting, one of the senior members had all in the company who had not been present for more than 2 years raise their hand...clearly evident by her gasp, over two-thirds of the company had just raised their hands.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Spread the decision "power" into smaller groupings where specialists of a product suite can have the ability to improve the client experience and deliver the best product possible (and available) to the customer.
    * Lay some trust into your employees that someone 30-40 years younger than you with vetted work experience may actually know something about their area of employment/expertise. You hired them for their abilities and knowledge - let them show not just you, but a panel / group of senior peers of the company, that some of the new technology has the potential to VASTLY improve many facets of not only the applications, but also the whole lifecycle of development.
    * Let your senior employees create the new product suites - stop making every senior employee do *only* maintenance & and clean-up the mess of all the new employees being put on (and in charge of) almost every new project. You've got those roles reversed - not to say senior employees don't need to also do cleanup and maintenance also.
    * If you're going to implement agile, actually DO agile. The TouchNet home brew of agile does not work - not to mention is not "agile". I don't mean to be offensive, but there is a reason companies pay for training.
    * In one short, blunt word - Retire?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Software Operations Tech

    Current Employee - Software Operations Tech in Shawnee, KS
    Current Employee - Software Operations Tech in Shawnee, KS

    I have been working at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work, management is good and they treat everyone very well.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room for advancement, no furthering education

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  5.  

    Great company!

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

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Dynamic environment; great people to work with; smart people with great ideas

    Cons

    None worth mentioning; I loved it there

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    President leads by fear

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc.

    Pros

    High-quality and hard working staff. Most employees stay out of dedication to products, other staff, and clients.

    Cons

    Micro-managing president who makes outrageous demands with no regard to actual software development lifecycle requirements. Software is often released with minimal testing. Promises are made to clients regardless of reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your staff. Create a plan and stick to it - rather than make a demand in the morning only to change your tune in the afternoon, then change again in the evening. Software is not magic and tightening a deadline only results in poor-quality. Clients would rather have stability and well-executed features rather than a long list of items that don't work.

    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Stable tech company. Good work/life balance

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

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    After an unfortunate experience at another tech company left a very bitter taste in my mouth, I was approached by a recruiter to work for a TouchNet. I was hesitant to get involved in another "all flash no cash" situation, but TouchNet turned out to be very different from my prior employer. Firstly, TouchNet is a very stable company. They've been around since before the tech boom of the late 90s and have maintained steady, modest growth ever since. In other words, I don't believe they've used and abused VC money to grow too fast and have not had to do mass layoffs for any reason. For me, that was a very comforting sign.

    TouchNet management also views you as a whole person. They care about what is going on in your life and are considerate of your work/life balance. I did not encounter any mandatory overtime or weekends. You work your regular business hours and go home. I know of several people (myself included) that dealt with personal situations that necessitated frequent absences from the office. As long as the work did not suffer, this was not a big deal to my supervisor. They were more concerned that we were okay than whether we were putting in exactly eight hours a day. I have worked for other tech companies that have amazing quirky perks, but they also demanded 14 hour work days, weekends and mandatory overtime. TouchNet let's you have a life outside of the office and that is refreshing. I didn't see a lot of burnout.

    There are also unexpected financial and other benefits. I consistently received bonuses and raises while at TouchNet. Of course, you need to be your own advocate. You can't just sit around and wait for someone to hand you a reward. Work hard, volunteer for things, be a person that other people want to work with and you will see yourself rewarded appropriately. The president has a sales background. Of course he is doing to respond well to people who know how to negotiate their starting salary and will reward those to know how to promote their skills and achievements. I felt my salary was very competitive. I could have made a smidge more elsewhere, but I would have had to spend a lot more time at the office to do it.

    Also, I felt management wanted to invest in my success. If I needed something like software or a piece of equipment, they would get it for me. After working for companies who scrimped every penny, it was nice to not have to beg for resources. It was actually a bit of a culture shock and took some adjustment. I was so used to having to "make do" and cobble together solutions, I didn't realize I could just do it properly the first time.

    TouchNet used to be a very small company and tries to maintain a family-like atmosphere to mixed results. Some people just aren't very social. Parties, outings, picnics and such just don't appeal to more introverted people. If you are more extroverted, you can take advantage of the company tickets to sporting events or internal social events. TouchNet's culture celebrates "joiners." If you can get behind "Beach Day," you'll probably do well at TouchNet.

    I left TouchNet because my spouse relocated. If I had stayed in the KC area, I would still be working for them today. I have recommended TouchNet for colleagues and hope to return to TouchNet if given the opportunity.

    Cons

    Many people, particularly those in management positions, have been at TouchNet for over a decade. People typically don't job hop at TouchNet. This is great for stability and institutional memory, less great for upward advancement. TouchNet has more of a horizontal hierarchy and that really limits opportunities for advancement. Yes, you can make more money and you can manage projects relatively quickly, but actual supervisory opportunities are less likely. It can be done as evidenced by some members of upper management, but it is the outlier not the norm.

    As I previously said, TouchNet used to be a very small company. Unfortunately, it no longer is a very small company and the culture has not changed as the company grew. Dan Toughey is a very hands-on president and that is good in that he knows pretty much everything that is going on in the office. It can be frustrating to be 80% complete on a project only to have the direction changed by Dan. He also is a very visual person. His work-style often requires almost daily revisions and meetings to discuss the revisions in order to achieve what he envisions. This can be frustrating to some. Once you get used to the process and anticipate the revisions, you understand why he works this way and why he is successful at what he does. Still, it was maddening at times.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Telecommuting?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going out to pasture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lenexa, KS
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lenexa, KS

    I have been working at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc.

    Pros

    The company doesn't expect too much from employees. As long as you don't make your boss/manager look bad, you are on easy street.

    Cons

    Other employees are not motivated to be experts on technology. Look at pros for more information. Priorities of management is no't on the product or customer service.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better compensation. Better review process. Get rid of dead weight. Be more proactive and not so reactive. Be a leader in your industry.

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

    Good Start, Bad Salary

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lenexa, KS
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Lenexa, KS

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc.

    Pros

    Management is supportive of learning new skills and abilities. Almost everyone at the company is competent and friendly, and the company is very stable. No Mass Hires/Fires here. Good benefits, solid products/services.

    Cons

    Employee pay is low, and raises are few and far between despite management talking about how profitable the company is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have many highly paid and skilled workers... pay them like they are important to you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good employer for someone right out of college who needs to build resume

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Current Employee in Lenexa, KS
    Current Employee - Current Employee in Lenexa, KS

    I have been working at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc.

    Pros

    Flexible with time off, understanding of family situations which require time off, great 401K plan. Team work with peer workers is amazing!

    Cons

    The Senior Management has ruined this company in the past two years. This company was fantastic to work for when I started many years ago and now we are told to give 150% when we are all giving that and more. In fact, we are all underpaid in comparison to others in similar titles throughout the Kansas City area and Touchnet is becomming known as the place people go to work when they can't find a job anywhere else. They are also now known as the company that doesn't give raises or compensate for yearly reviews, even though these are promised when individuals are hired. Those of us who work there know they lie to their new hires and their clients, as well.

    The fact is the Senior Management doesn't know that over 80% of its staff is seeking employment elsewhere as a result of being pushed so hard every day with nothing at the end to show but a lower than average salary. They even made significant cutbacks to the yearly parties for employees this year. Why? The company is not struggling due to the economy setbacks, in fact, it is doing rather well. The Senior Management holds meetings about how well profits are and then does not raise pay as a result of yearly reviews which are above average. They have no idea the lack of respect they have created among the workstaff. The only reason we continue to work hard is in support of each other and because we take pride in the products we have created, that they have had nothing to do with other than continually sabatoge us by setting unrealistic goals, making promises to clients which are impossible because they do not know the technical aspect of what the product development phase takes.

    I would NOT advise anyone to work here unless they are a newly graduating student with no experience and they need to pad their resume. This is no longer a place for experienced professionals to work. The good news is everyone at the top seems so scared of Dan Toughey, the company's President, that they don't usually notice what the rest of us are doing. I guess that is the reason they stopped noticing how much we are worth too. The equation for business is as follows, poor management can ruin a company's morale and the company's morale can and will affect the entire company's success. When it all falls apart, this review will be on record as proof that it can all be traced back to Mr. Toughey, he has a terrible habit of not taking responsibility for his own mistakes. In fact, a lot of us know that because we have suffered at the results of his bad decisions as he lets us take the fall time and time again.

    There will be more reports like this one, until Mr. Toughey reads it. Then he will bully some of the Senior Management into writing up some positive reviews. This is a strategy often used on here, but those who come here for a reference to company will know the truth. Don't work here. You would be better off seeking a low paying job at a company that will take the time to say, "Thank you," every once in a while.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why? You wouldn't listen anyway. See above in the "cons" section, I believe it says it all! Or do any of you have the time to read it?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going Nowhere Fast

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

    I worked at Touchnet Information Systems, Inc. full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The non-management employees that you work with day to day, ok health insurance plan

    Cons

    Lack of vision, poor compensation, horrible management and lack of leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to take care of the good workers not just the the "favorites". It is well known that a few select people are favorites and senior management could care less about the rest of the company. It is like they just want bodies to make the company look big while nothing is really going on. There have been a lot of dropped balls in the past for company growth and it has been a sore subject int he past so once something fails it is swept under the rub instead of learning from failures and making a better decision. The employees are not as blind as you think. Most everyone there could see through all the communication given by the "leaders". Working someplace where one persons opinion is the only one that matters does not make for a friendly work environment or a company to take it's employees into the future. It wouldn't hurt to branch out from the core higher ed market. I felt a majority of people felt that well was drying up, but once again that would take senior management out of a comfort zone and they don't like that. Like others have said its a good place to learn some skills, but wouldn't see many people sticking around for more than 2 years these days.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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