Symplicity Corporation Reviews in Arlington, VA | Glassdoor

Symplicity Corporation Arlington Reviews

Updated February 18, 2017
22 reviews

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Arlington, VA

3.7
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Matthew Small
2 Ratings

22 Employee Reviews

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  1. "nice company to work in"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    nice people and culture, great overall

    Cons

    hard to become senior employee


  2. Helpful (15)

    "Finally growing up with a first time CEO and experienced management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Passionate, dedicated front line employees from before the acquisition. Many of them are industry experts and are wonderful to work with. They made my time at Symp a real pleasure.

    * The company used to be split 50/50 in-office and remote. It appears most of the new hires are going to be in the DC-area, highlighting CEO's desire to have people close by. This builds more of a community. If you are seeking remote work flexibility and live in the DC area, this is no longer the place for you.

    * New VP's are incredibly experienced and skilled. Most have a background in building BlackBoard from scratch in the 2000's and have other experience to add, as well.

    * Solid financials. Very little/no debt and profitable each year. Funded by a massive private equity investor, who removed the old owner and installed the new leadership team.

    * Some okay benefits, like 2% 401(k) match, along with FSA (medical and child care).

    * Investments being made in internal processes and sales/support systems. Removing the old home-grown CRM and bringing in a real ERP will be tremendous. This was underway when I left.

    * Strategy proposed by the leadership team makes great sense. Consolidate product offerings, increase prices to fall in line with the true value of the solutions, and build a great sales team. The international flavor to increase reach using resellers is also ideal to drive major growth.

    * Solid work/life. Good time off from day 1 and unlimited sick time. There are also some sponsored events like the company 5k, day of service, etc. They used to have a super flexible remote work policy which was pretty widely abused before the CEO changed it. If you are in DC, you are expected in the office, which I think is an okay way to go. The rollout was botched, but the rationale is good. Be together as often as possible. I'm okay with that.

    * New office in Clarendon coming in Spring of 2017.

    Cons

    * Great strategy cannot overcome mediocre tech. The core architecture is 10-15 years old and is held together by virtual duct tape. Things like responsive design, UX updates, data imports, and even calendaring are severely limited by the core platform. The current tech stack is not the most stable and is subject to short crashes that cause users to lose tons of work. The "reporting" solution cannot do multiple if/then functions and looks old. It is barely considered reporting. The best way to go is to update the data model and rewrite the products from the ground up. I doubt this will ever happen because it requires a major investment to time and effort with no 2017 revenues. Prediction: they will keep patching until the system collapses. This is short term thinking that will cost way more long term.

    * Average products. While the recurring revenues are good, the products were state of the art in 2005, which means old. They are also far too flexible and have too many customization options. There is no standard offering or easy way for customers to deploy and be self-sufficient. The result: thousands of non-technical customers getting what they say they want instead of what they need. This creates an overreliance on Support and a lack of trust in the products to solve the problem. This is unsustainable for profitable growth and leads to customer churn and low satisfaction.

    * Staff turnover. Between November 2016 and January 2017, 20 people left the company. Half are layoffs, half are resignations. They also just completed a major layoff of another 25-30 folks. While no one is irreplaceable, the transition and training costs will be high until things stabilize. I think it will smooth out, but things are tumultuous now (February 2017).

    * Leadership interpersonal skills. Certain C-level staff interactions with non-management staff is awkward at best and terrible at worst. I found these folks to be willfully tone deaf and unengaged with anyone who wasn't a VP or investor. A perfect example: Walking by my desk 8-10x a day for 3 months and looking through me like I didn't exist almost every time. There is no cost to making eye contact or saying "hi" once in a while.

    * Fake transparency. This is a top-down organization run by capable, intelligent, driven, successful executives. If you are not an investor or a VP, you do not have a seat at the table anymore. Monthly all hands are sold as a time for staff to ask questions. That is rarely true. These meetings are a time for management to openly communicate to the staff how things are going and what is needed from them. During my time, even moderately difficult staff questions were either ignored or dodged, and the meetings were cut short when leadership got tired of taking questions. I felt like staff inquiries were never a priority or taken seriously.

    * There is currently no General Counsel. The highly experienced GC was laid off (reason unknown) in January 2017, and his duties are being split by other executives who are trained attorneys. A $40mm company with 200-250 people without an independent GC screams unnecessary risk to me. Note: This may have been resolved, but it is true as of February 2017.

    * Ethics part 2. Around Thanksgiving, there was an incident with former HR leadership running meetings to lay off staff, then transitioning themselves from HR into the now-vacant roles. It is inappropriate to allow HR staff to interview for roles they know are coming open and cruel to allow them to run the termination meetings on behalf of the company. This is a potential conflict of interest that reinforces the need for a true General Counsel.

    * Pay/bonuses. Many "old Symp" employees are underpaid for the market. If you are coming aboard, be assertive and make your salary expectations clear with evidence from GlassDoor and similar sites. Do not accept less than you think you are worth. If you are promised something like a raise or bonus, get it in writing with crystal clear dates, criteria for qualification, along with penalties for Symp if they don't follow through. I know of employees who had severely delayed bonus payments or payments not made at all in 2016 because their contracts were vague. Get a lawyer to review your offer letter. Don't trust them to meet any verbal or implied obligations.

    * Sub-par benefits. Benefits don't kick in until the 1st of the month after you start. They don't tell you this up front, so it can be a jarring way to begin work. The healthcare options are expensive and terrible quality. Paychex, the HR provider, has great customer service after they mess something up (and they will). The 401(k) mutual funds are average offerings and come with high fees. Finally, there are almost no supplemental life ($10,000 cap) and no disability benefits. If you have a spouse or partner to provide better and cheaper options, this will probably be your best bet.

    Advice to Management

    I left because new top leadership created an environment where I felt my time and work was neither important nor valued. This uncertainty led me to look for and find what has become a wonderful next opportunity. So, thank you for pushing me to find this next step at the right time.

    Other comments:

    * If you expect people to be in the office every day, you should supplement or cover their parking or offer a flat $2,500 raise to in-office staff, especially folks who were promised flexible work-from-home options when they were hired. Change in policy should not come at such a heavy cost to the employee alone.

    * It is okay for top leaders to say "thank you", "I'm sorry", and "I was wrong... and I'm going to fix it." Those are phrases I did not hear after the executive transition. As employees, we don't want parties or ping pong tables as much as we want appreciation when we do a good job. That costs you nothing.

    * Build a true V2 of your products and prepare to transition away from the SympleObjects/Manager core as soon as possible. Your current strategy is akin to building a sky scraper atop a nuclear waste site. Build a new foundation.

    * Invest in all Symp employees with a robust training budget. This was a limitation under old ownership, and it should not be under new leadership. You have a profitable company. Invest some of the profits in getting better as a community.

    * Pay your stars. Now that you have laid off folks who don't fit your vision, invest in your real rock stars at Symp. Pay them at 75-99th percentile for their title. You will get a return on your investment.

    * Upgrade staff CPU's. There are people getting by with 5-7 year old laptops that weigh 10 lbs. Get a new contract or provider and give your people the tools they need to kick butt.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Good for beginner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - free snack
    - good location
    - option for working remotely

    Cons

    - pay is below market
    - not clear for career path


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  5. Helpful (8)

    "Company changed for the worse"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Tech Staff in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Tech Staff in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    A few long-term employees who still care
    Casual work environment

    Cons

    New management has implemented policies that have been very detrimental to employee morale and that actively prevent optimum productivity.

    Advice to Management

    Stop making unilateral decisions in a vacuum.


  6. "UX Designer/Developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Front End Developer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Front End Developer in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Multiple projects
    Different new technologies
    helpful coworkers and relaxing atmosphere

    Cons

    Low efficiency of project process

    Advice to Management

    Let employees focus on one project instead of multi-task
    improve the efficiency of management


  7. "Sales Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Somewhat flexible hours
    - Awesome management who genuinely wants you to be successful
    - Actually felt like a part of the company and not just another cog in the machine
    - Able to work from home
    - Able to work remotely after a year or two of employment
    - Great location, just a 5 minute walk to get to DC, metro accessible
    - They are trying really hard to make it a great fun place to work
    - Literally no one on the sales team is your typical "salesy scumbag", everyone is super wonderful
    - Free snacks in the kitchen

    Cons

    I only left the company because I was moving, and I personally don't have a deep passion for software sales, but Symplicity makes working so enjoyable that I didn't mind that I wasn't exactly working in my dream career field.

    Advice to Management

    Just got a new CEO in May, but haven't had any negative interactions with him. In fact, received a raise after the new CEO started, so he gets two thumbs up from me. Sales Manager is also super knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. My only advice would be to have more company events, but I think they're working on that, so truly no complaints!


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great Job for the Short Term"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    *Laid-back environment
    *Get to play with a variety of technology
    *Young employee culture (generally)
    *Traditional benefits

    Cons

    *Subpar pay
    *CEO micromanages and makes knee-jerk decisions/reactions
    *Mid-level management (what exists of it) sucks at managing
    *Dead-end job. Don't expect promotions; expect the same job title/pay for years to come
    *HR is a joke; they can't even crank out the monthly newsletter

    Advice to Management

    *Listen to your employees; they have their ear to the ground and their suggestions can benefit all
    *Improve the structure/competency of mid-level management
    *Reduce the turnover rate - it's embarrassing and a burden on the company (time/energy/money)


  9. "Mobile Developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mobile Software Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Mobile Software Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    1. Flexible environment
    2. Awesome Product manager, u ll feel like working in the mobile team is always so inspiring.
    3. A lot exciting project to be done, you will never get boring
    4. Team are so friendly, always willing to help and learn from each other
    5. Young and energetic company.
    6. Remote work
    7. Manager like to encourage to express your own idea

    Cons

    1. Vacation days is less than the other company
    2. Work time to 6 p.m. which means it will be late for any after time activity.
    3. Health insurance is not cheap.
    4. You need pay parking for yourself.


  10. "Simply a great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    flexible work schedule, work from home option, opportunity to learn new stuff.

    Cons

    Dull office environment, could me made better though


  11. "Good Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Training is good.
    - Few projects keeps you engrossed in work
    - Can work from home

    Cons

    - Low salary
    - Less number of holidays



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