Ellucian Reviews | Glassdoor

Ellucian Reviews

Updated Jan 17, 2020

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3.6
66%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
Ellucian President and CEO Laura Ipsen
Laura Ipsen
98 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Still growing into the cloud space(in 26 reviews)

  • "The volume of work can make keeping a healthy work-life balance in place(in 25 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    Helpful (4)

    "Great culture and enjoyable place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in Reston, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great culture with terrific people who support and seem to genuinely care about each another. I have not worked at a company where people are so willing to help each other. The mission of supporting higher education is personally gratifying and people have conviction in the good of what customers are doing which helps breed this culture. The company does a good job of supporting employees and creating an environment that is welcoming, supportive and collaborative. People work hard, but work-life balance and flexibility is also valued which can be rare in technology companies.

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    Cons

    The industry (higher education) as a whole can tend to be late adopters, so the technology is not always on the cutting edge, although it is impactful. Because the industry is changing, Ellucian is having to adapt too, which sometimes leads to turnover of good people who have been at the company for a while. But it’s the right thing to do and management is doing well in managing through changes.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on the path – new management that has been brought in the past couple of year have been good additions. Now is the time to let consistency take hold so the company can stay focused a clear direction and execute.

    Ellucian2019-01-31
  2. "Amazing Place to Work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Consultant 

    I worked at Ellucian full-time

    Pros

    Awesome colleagues and management truly cares

    Cons

    Salary is not competitive for current market

    Ellucian2019-12-06
  3. "Decent Job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - IT Technician 

    I have been working at Ellucian part-time

    Pros

    they pay money to me

    Cons

    they could pay more money

    Ellucian2020-01-17
  4. "Great purpose and people, concerning leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The employees truly share a passion for serving higher education and students. The pay and benefits are generally competitive. The company does seem to be focused on improving tools, software, etc to help work be a bit less manual and/or siloed. That said, there's still work to be done on effective collaboration.

    Cons

    There seems to be an interest in sharing information although there’s still room to improve on transparency. Stand behind what you believe is best and communicate such. The executive team continues to cycle through changes. The CEO has shifted the org from being one where all employees work together regardless of title to one that feels more top-down, old school mentality - maybe from being comfortable with her old ways of doing things at past companies. There’s lots of saying the right thing, then not modeling it. Empowerment not happening from the very top all the way down.

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    Advice to Management

    Lead by example before telling others how to do things. Trust your teams to do good work then support them.

    Ellucian2020-01-10
  5. Helpful (4)

    "Fake tech company, but could be great with some changes"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Ellucian full-time

    Pros

    - Coworkers: Coworkers are generally smart and collaborative. Company has recently gotten rid of people who were dead weight. - Comp and Benefits: Generally competitive comp, but highly variable on getting in at the right time. Higher than average PTO, and a benefit that allows taxed reimbursement for certain health or financial purchases. - Team Independence: The company strikes a good balance between team independence and a top-down design decisions. Teams feel free to do research, and share their findings with other teams, but siloing is still a concern. Company has restructured product management recently to reduce conflicts of interest and create better alignment, and seems to be working. - Technology stack: Can be good parts outside of the core ERPs. Higher education is largely legacy software but the company is tackling vitally important problems with its newer offerings. - Mid and low management is actually decent: in the past 12 months this has significantly improved. My manager has been supportive in my development and willing to fight for the team. - Customer dedication: Ellucian is very passionate about their customer base. This is seen with the large number of employees who have significant tenure. -Work/Life Balance: Managers are accommodating of PTO requests, sick leave. Company has a decently sized segment of remote workers and has the collaboration tools to enable this to work for everyone. Crunch time is rare; people generally work 40-50 hours. On-call exists for some teams, but a 3AM missed page would not result in yelling, like other SaaS companies. Important note: Ellucian has a large segment of workers who are helpdesk; things are not as great there.

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    Cons

    - Hiring Process: Teams must deal with ‘use it or lose it budgeting’ which results in a mentality of hire-and-fire to gamify budgets, rather than trimming out candidates early in the hiring process to get the right skillset fit. No standardization across teams for types of questions, levels of questions. Company has a difficult time understanding that “you get what you pay for” when hiring and recruiters tend to indiscriminately filter out candidates that would be good for other roles but at a higher rate. Company in the past had hired on people in sprees, then had to manage out low performers picked up in the spree, but has kept some low performers on board to preserve budget. Careers site has been broken, and managers wonder why they don’t get resumes. Company has dropped the ball on referrals, and recruiters don’t promote transparency to candidates on what’s holding up the hiring decision. - Budgeting process and hiring fallout: Unnecessarily dragged out and complex. The lapse in budget approval results in being unable to hire people, thus leaving them able to be scooped up by competitors. There is a lack of incentive for responsible staff planning; in response to this uncertainty, managers tend to spend budget zealously once it is ‘released’, and tend to over-allocate requisitions, then remove or transform requisitions after the opening, which to outsiders gives the impression of phantom roles. Hiring freezes occur later in the year to conserve budget, and requisitions are left open for new applicants. Both of these processes can result in a negative candidate experience as people apply, interview, and are “ghosted” due roles being frozen or reallocated. - Budgeting for cloud infrastructure: Teams need to make estimates for cloud infrastructure budgets for up to 15 months ahead of time, without knowledge of product requirements, estimated customer adoption rates, or necessary architecture changes that would affect infrastructure considerations. Estimates are treated as a promise instead of estimates, leading to unnecessary drama when budgets are exceeded due to unforeseen requirements. This leads to a race-to-the-bottom model where teams iterate on architecture with internal cost in mind rather than customer experience or market suitability. Management tends to ask questions around product cost for individual products while not thinking about the opportunities to reduce overall cost across a set of products. - Training: Budgeting for training or conferences is an arcane process, requiring travel and training estimates to be given up to 15 months ahead of an event. Training budget is also “use it or lose it” so there is a preference to training at the beginning of the year rather than a priority preference, which leads to gamification and unnecessary politics. Industry is moving towards shorter tenures and more junior team members sometimes leave before having the opportunity to do any sort of certification or training. Company would be better off assigning some prepaid funds per-person for training rather than the multi-year binary strategy it currently uses. - Private Equity: Owned by PE means frequent cost cutting. Company seems to want to go to the model of hiring a few key people for architecture that guide a large team of low-cost team members with an assumption that these people can act as an autonomous “software factory”. In the past 6 months, there has been enormous pressure to reduce cost through hiring in India, and management seems to be on a death march to implement this, even though they may not personally agree with that directive. It seems like an eventuality that the only persons in US engineering will be management/figureheads. Already, the company has made the decision to shy away from hiring engineers in the coastal tech hubs; markedly admitting it will not compete with tech companies, while externally marketing itself as on the same caliber. There is a “ramp up and maintenance mentality” where the company tends to hire on new people to build greenfield products, then lay them off when the product is destined for maintenance, which leads to bad feelings if these expectations aren’t stated at the beginning. Company’s project-based mentality is more suited for contracting in some cases, except the company’s budget practices don’t align to hire such personnel. This is heavily seen in stagnation of the company’s ERP products. - Bonus structure: Company relies heavily on base salary for individual contributors, which leads to candidates requesting an overall higher total compensation than for competitors to make up the difference. As a result, there is little incentive for high performance or innovation. Sign-on bonuses are not given due to a budgeting constraint. This can severely impact the marketability of the position for candidates that need that flexibility to make up for lost stock compensation. Company values certainty in cost over anything, which in its extreme form can actually cost the company money. - Leveling: On the junior end, company is not competing with competitors’ offers, which is leading to lopsided attrition in the area which needs growth the most. Almost the entire cohort of new grad hires has left, and the company knows it cannot compete. This has resulted in sporadic intake of R&D interns and no consistent associate pipeline in the US. In some cases, more junior members expressed an interest in staying with the company due to the culture, but felt they had to leave to get a more competitive offer, and matching offers can’t be extended due to budget restrictions. Even more senior people are starting to experience the same issue; new guidelines for levels have effectively prolonged tenure within pay bands. People do want to come back, but administrative burdens only make it a reality after the next budgeting cycle. Company’s job postings that list years of experience do not match with internal guidelines and should be effectively ignored. - Highly territorial: Company tends to reflect its customers in higher education in terms of internal processes: they are a professional services company masquerading as a tech company, and it shows. Some internal processes serve to exert control or create the illusion of control rather than streamline delivery. Company as a whole will go to the cloud kicking and screaming. - Consultant mentality: Being in an IC role is more equivalent to being a consultant than a normal technology role. Being able to come up with an answer quickly along with an exact time estimate is valued more highly than being able to automate a process, use a new tool, or remove a bottleneck that will provide real customer value. Lots of time is spent getting small things in writing solely to cover oneself in case of failure of another party, which can lead to an individualist and tense environment more commonly seen in consulting. - “Quality Readouts” - There are efforts to create a global dashboard of software product quality, and the desire for metrics has caused a lot of stress to people implementing products, who are now more concerned with “looking good” to the metrics which require no defects but changing many things. The same quality metrics are used on legacy products as greenfield products. This has led to negative morale and a reduction in innovation as people want to take the safe route. - Operations model: Company needs to look into equipping operations teams with the tools and skills to be a cloud-first organization. Team complexion and skillsets are aligned into a lift-and-shift model, and this won’t be sustainable. Cloud operations team in its current form adds little value due to skill misalignment, and could be heavily automated.

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    Advice to Management

    Recommendations to the company: Company should ultimately adopt the practices of a tech company instead of those of a professional services company. Streamline the budgeting process to avoid games, bad candidate experience, and inflexibility to meet market demands. Make total compensation less dependent on base to encourage innovation and process improvement. Hire in tech hubs - don’t complain about the lack of talent and refuse to spend the money to get the desired level of talent, or at least be more transparent in geographic hiring preferences for engineering. Allow flexibility with sign-on bonuses to bring in the right candidates. Standardize the interview content and process for individual contributors. Provide incentives for innovation over certainty in time and scope. Refine quality metrics to be more aligned with roadmaps, and fit to the product portfolio matrix. Eliminate wasteful internal processes which exist solely to provide an illusion of control. Look into hiring on contract for projects which have a definitive scope, to have more clear expectations for people that would otherwise be hired into a full-time role. Focus IC roles more on the technology and allow specialization, to get away from the consulting mentality of requiring a wide breadth of on-demand skills. Hire operations team members with correct skillset for a Cloud-First SaaS company. Company needs to review the textbook golden triangle of Good-Cheap-Fast. Company says they want Good-Cheap with internal metrics, but actually wants Cheap-Fast on external product roadmaps, which causes undue conflict. Recommendations to candidates: It’s a good company if you can work in areas with new technology, and avoid the politics where possible. Due to current hiring model and pay structure, only principal+ roles would be good to seek out in the R&D division, with the understanding that this is not a principal level role as would exist in similarly sized companies. People who have worked within consulting, or have that mentality will do well here. Take the time during the hiring process to screen your team and your manager to understand the nature of the project and team dynamics. Get vital agreements in writing, both electronic and paper copies. Plan wisely for when to interview, to take advantage of budget games. Keep external offers in your back pocket as insurance, especially around budgeting time.

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    Ellucian2019-12-22
  6. "Ellucian is a Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Human Resources Coordinator in Malvern, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Forward thinking, progressive company that offers a lot of benefits for their employees

    Cons

    Slow advancement of career but worth the expereince

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing

    Ellucian2019-11-18
  7. "Great Place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Other 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time

    Pros

    Great place to work

    Cons

    Still growing into the cloud space

    Ellucian2019-11-18
  8. "Supports Employees like Grandparents"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Inside Sales Representative in Reston, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I have been here for almost a year and I really love this company. I wasn't sure if I should accept the position, but it all started with the interview - which warm and comfortable. Ellucian has a very strong company culture and communicates their culture and values to all employees. The "ecosystem" is strong and supportive. I came from an environment where fellow co-workers were not supportive and I was skeptical at first. But, each and every person really wants to see you succeed and helps in any way possible. Higher education is very important to Ellucian and one of the many ways they show it is providing a variety of scholarships to students across the country.

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    Cons

    As in any software industry - trends and needs are always changing and evolving. Ensuring we are ahead of the rest is always challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Keep supporting employees with the recognition programs, social events, and other activities. Maybe have a bi-monthly target / focus team to talk one on one with executives regarding employee(s) concerns.

    Ellucian2019-11-14
  9. Helpful (1)

    "I'm excited about the direction we're heading"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Grant Specialist in Portland, ME
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The people I get to work with each day The company is growing to recruit higher education experts from a vast field of subject areas - not just IT. Ellucian is no longer just a software installation company, we improve students lives through tools that empower them to achieve their goals Company wants you to maintain a healthy work/life balance and has supports built in to help you achieve that. Compensation and benefits package is above the median for my geographic area Opportunities for personal growth and development are supported (and funded) by Ellucian: tuition reimbursement, licensure/certification, LinkedIn Learning, conferences, etc.

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    Cons

    Some personalities may feel disconnected working in such a large company

    Ellucian2019-10-31
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Poor leadership, good people"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Ellucian full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Most people below the director tier care about their work and are great colleagues.

    Cons

    Little to no leadership at the executive level. Company is constantly setting unrealistic benchmarks for development to deliver half-baked products that roughly 50% of the customers end up returning within a year.

    Advice to Management

    Read a book on true SaaS. Be great at a few things rather than below average at many.

    Ellucian2019-11-11
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