Symplicity Corporation Reviews | Glassdoor

Symplicity Corporation Reviews

Updated April 24, 2017
44 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.4
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Matthew Small
7 Ratings

44 Employee Reviews

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  1. "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
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Growing, great/smart people, remote work options

    Cons

    Transitioning leadership so currently lots of change, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing


  2. "Great company to work for"

    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
    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. "Excellent Company"

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

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

    Pros

    It is a great place to start work at. It is now the fastest growing company in its sector. There have been many new changes in the company. Heading towards the right direction under the new CEO.

    New office location coming soon. Fun place to work at.

    Cons

    None.

    Sadly, management needs more experience.


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  5. 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.


  6. 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


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good Startup Company to Work For"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Front End Developer in Rosslyn, VA
    Current Employee - Front End Developer in Rosslyn, VA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Flexible schedule
    - Fun environment
    - Good pay

    Cons

    - The only thing I can think of would be an opportunity to work from home 5 days a week.


  8. "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


  9. "hard to find good things to say"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Remote options, hard to find good things to say

    Cons

    Management not leaders, business over people, inexperienced leadership

    Advice to Management

    communication to employees, improve training


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Software Developer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  11. Helpful (5)

    "Symplicity Review - Sales Associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Former Employee - Sales Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free snacks
    Mediocre restaurants within walking distance
    Proximity to DC
    Close to Metro line

    Cons

    Poor management
    Unmotivated employees
    Poor salary
    Lack of advancement opportunities
    Poor company culture - micromanagement, etc.


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