Symplicity Corporation Reviews | Glassdoor

Symplicity Corporation Reviews

Updated May 18, 2017
12 reviews

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3.0
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Matthew Small
4 Ratings

12 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    "Might or might not be the business for you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time

    Pros

    -Remote work, however it appears, this may be phased out
    -Opportunity to grow with the company as it becomes a larger corporation
    -Great teammates

    Cons

    -Management working at cross purposes
    -High turnover to support a new layer of high level management
    -Shipping support overseas


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great teamwork environment, flexible work environment

    Cons

    New direction without input and buy-in from staff.

    Advice to Management

    Solicit feedback from current employees to receive greater buy-in.

  3. Helpful (21)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good for beginner"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Software Developer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    - Flexible work hours
    - 2 days work from home opportunites / Remote
    - Office location

    Cons

    - Management lacks experience
    - Pay is below market
    -

    Advice to Management

    - Learn from mistake. Don't be afraid to do right thing.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Thanks for a great start"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Administrator
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Symplicity Corporation full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to get your start. Great place to figure out if you like working remote. Great place to do great things and learn a lot. Great flexibility of work hours and outside work commitments.

    Cons

    non-competitive pay, no fringe benefits like professional development unless local to dc and go to local events on your own. Lack of planning and design planning when it comes to applications and infrastructure. Management tools are in 1995 and not modern. Expected to work 55 to 60 hours a week but its really more like 90 to 100 hours a week.

    Advice to Management

    focus on your management skills, learn to delegate tasks. Learn to change with the times and be willing to out old tools to pasture. Be willing to accept morden tools and ways of doing things.


  7. "Its a good place to work at"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Washington, DC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    you can learn a lot here when you dont have a lot of experience

    Cons

    youre on your own a lot of times and hours are long

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work as an entry level job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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
    Doesn't Recommend

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

    Pros

    Work from home.
    Flexible hours.
    Lots of time is given for developers to do their work.

    Cons

    Low Pay.
    No free or subsidized parking.
    Little growth, work and technology can become very stagnant.


  9. "Great Entry-Level, Immediate Responsibility & Experience, Micromanagement a Big Theme"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Sales Associate in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    Symplicity will immediately put you in a position to really learn and grow. You are thrown into situations that require strong work ethic and self-responsibility. At some organizations it takes years to direct sell, so the quick movement is great. It is also a very dynamic company with excellent products. There is also quite a bit of room to make your opinions known, which is amazing to have at such a young age.

    Cons

    Management is a nightmare to navigate. There is absolutely a culture of micromanagement, which is a four-letter word in this office. Furthermore, there are zero programming and training opportunities. Oftentimes you are not given the tools you need to succeed. Ultimately this is a bunch of 20 year olds training and managing other 20 year olds, which is a huge 'con.'

    Advice to Management

    Please hire a Sales Director. It is unheard of to have a sales organization without a leader. It is not conducive to a healthy, supportive, growth-oriented sales team.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Could be better, could be worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Symplicity Corporation full-time

    Pros

    Friendly co-workers, good working environment, exciting atmosphere and culture. Have a number of events for employees such as softball team, symp snacks, happy hours etc...With the exception of compensation Symplicity does treat their employees well and you will definitely meet some friends for life!

    Cons

    Way underpaid for the amount of work you do especially for being headquartered in a city with one of the highest cost of livings in the US. Also constantly micromanaged. There is little room for growth in terms of upward movement in your career. Also the company has recently expanded more rapidly than it should have causing resources to be stretched thin and therefore causing some products to suffer from lack up development time and market research.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees. Also do not expand so rapidly. There should not be a release of a product when you are not in a position to dedicate enough development time to back it up and make updates when necessary. This is just setting products up to fail in the long run.


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