Autonomy
2.0 of 5 302 reviews
www.autonomy.com Cambridge, United Kingdom 1000 to 5000 Employees

Autonomy Reviews

Updated Apr 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.0 302 reviews

                             

38% Approve of the CEO

Autonomy SVP & General Manager Robert Youngjohns

Robert Youngjohns

(26 ratings)

17% of employees recommend this company to a friend
302 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Free breakfast Wednesday, free lunch Friday"
    in 33 reviews
  • "Nice office space and free lunch on Fridays but thats about it-"
    in 11 reviews
Cons:
  • "Hiring staff was difficult as senior management would only approve a new hire if they came from a university that was acceptable to them"
    in 18 reviews
  • "upper management but they've all left since HP acquisition"
    in 18 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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  • Approves of CEO

1 person found this helpful  

Amazing culture change since previous management left - bright future ahead!

Senior Software Developer (Current Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

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

Pros- Really smart & friendly co-workers
- Great line managers
- Great potential for growth
- HP Software believe in treating employees like human beings - such a contrast to the old Autonomy way
- Casual dress code
- Exciting products to work on
- Approachable senior management - any bottom-rung developer can go and chat to the CTO
- Free lunch
- Great opportunities to work with new technology

A year ago Autonomy was an awful place to work. It started changing on the day that Mike Lynch was fired. Let me have a little rant about him.... He had no idea how to run a technology company. He was a salesman, through and through - he even used to say "we're not a software company, we're a company that sells software". He had no idea how to manage people, either. He created a culture of fear, where whoever shouted the loudest (always senior management) got their way.

Shortly after he left, HP moved in. Since then they've forced Autonomy to do things properly. Product plans, roadmaps, not selling things that don't exist, only selling things that we can definitely deliver. Treating employees well. No arbitrary firings, shouting or forced overtime/weekend work. Heck, they're even about to introduce pay bands! Under the old regime pay was completely arbitrary and rarely increased. Under HP pay is linked to your job role, level and performance, with a review at the end of every year.

So, if I hated the old Autonomy so much, why did I stay for so long? I can think of three reasons:
1) The forced overtime cost me my social life. My only friends were my co-workers. That made leaving a really scary prospect.
- Forced overtime doesn't happen anymore, horray!
2) My skills hadn't improved. Autonomy never did anything properly, so I felt that I wouldn't be able to get a job elsewhere as I was becoming a cowboy coder.
- Under the new Autonomy, doing things properly has become a priority. My CV is a lot more robust now.
3) It was my first job out of uni. I wasn't alone in that, either - Lynch's hiring policy was "fresh grads only, don't hire anyone with relevant experience". How was I to know that real software companies were better than Autonomy?

Cons- Some managers haven't adjusted to the HP way yet
- Previous management left the company in a horrible state
- We're doing things now that we should have done five years ago... if only Mike Lynch & co had had a vision beyond "sell software make money" :(

Advice to Senior ManagementDon't try to short change us when you adjust salaries to match pay bands. It might cost a lot of money, but you'll buy a lot of loyalty by paying us what we're worth. A company is the sum of it's employees - you can't afford to lose the ones who are holding it all together.

Apart from that, keep driving us hard. We're really loving actually having a vision and strategy for once!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Sales Engineer

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Autonomy full-time for less than a year

ProsCompetitive salary, benefits, high tech.

ConsPoor company culture, poor management, lack opportunities, lack training, high attrition.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Employee unfriendly

Staff Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Mountain View, CA (US)

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

ProsThis company was doing well on the business front

ConsThe culture is screwed up

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your people better

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Fantastic software, dishonest management, lack of training

Business Development Executive (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

I worked at Autonomy full-time for more than a year

ProsYou could promote quickly if you were good at "networking"

ConsPre HP acquisition: Lack of structured training, Dodgy sales commision scheme (paid late and alwayas trying to avoid it). Management of HQ absolutley tyrannical, unable to motivate employees other than with shouting and menacing

Advice to Senior ManagementRetire

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Horrible employer, but with hidden pockets of sanity.

Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I worked at Autonomy full-time for more than a year

ProsJob security. Plenty of lateral job mobility for competent employees. Offices in many parts of the world.

ConsWidespread incompetence. Predatory management. Dysfunctional business processes. Starved for resources, because nobody is willing to spend money to make money.

Advice to Senior ManagementMutual trust and repsect is better than fear and bullying. You will retain more quality employees that way, and gain their loyalty. Loyal, competent employees accomplish great things in less time and fewer resources, and you are judged by higher management by the accomplishments of your underlings.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Very hands off

Software Engineer (Former Employee)
Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

I worked at Autonomy full-time

ProsA lot of freedom with your work. No pressure whatsoever. Nice Christmas party.

ConsMost of the codebase was pure spaghetti code and new grads are just thrown in there without any training or support. Most of the developers seem to be Cambridge geeks with no social skills. I can't think of a single time anyone in my team has greeted me with a 'Hello' in the morning. Very strange...

Advice to Senior ManagementYou need to change the company culture and support your new grads with training!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Pretty from the outside. Nightmare on the inside.

Business Development (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA (US)

I have been working at Autonomy full-time

Prosgood free lunch on Fridays.
The product is well marketed and when it works can be a game changer.
Great people at the worker level.
great location in san francisco.

Cons*High attrition. The ones who saw the disaster coming left and the others who chose to stay are struggling to transition with little to no support through internal channels.
*Low morale due to management ruling through fear and intimidation. HP executives unresponsive while all the talented Autonomy senior management is gone. One can only dread who is left to run the ship.
*Resources and tools are either scattered and/or broken. Company does not eat it's own dog food. There is no loss of ironic laughter when hearing your co-workers complain about the need for "a better search solution".
*CRM system is broken and it will make your work a nightmare if you're on the sales side of the company.
*No structured training offered. Meetings that were labeled as training turned out to be just marketing updates with little to no practical use for those in attendance.
*no standardized organizational charting. You'll either have to keep asking everyone you see or roll the dice with the employee address book which provides no insight towards roles and responsibilities.
*The company will seek every possible reason to either delay or deny paying commissions to it's sales people no matter how much they meet or exceed beyond their quotas. I have personally seen and experienced the agonizing frustration of dealing with management when the subject of overdue commissions are brought up.
*work is not merit based. The amount of political savvy you will need to be successful here would qualify you for a seat in congress.
The list goes on........

Advice to Senior ManagementPerform a role/performance audit on the legacy Autonomy executives which have seen their departmental staff leave in droves. The ship is being abandoned and it's not because of HP.
Pay your sales people when they bring in business.
Engage the message boards and address employee issues positively or see more people leave. How can having such a high turnover of staff be good for any business?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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2 people found this helpful  

Started out ok but no upward movement

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Autonomy

Prosgreat people. good environment. decent management

ConsIf you work hard you'd expect at least a raise at a normal company. not here

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great Technology, terrible corporate culture

Sales Manager (Former Employee)

I worked at Autonomy full-time

ProsAutonomy's IDOL technology and the products they built around it are really competitive, specifically around the E-Discovery and Information Managment Solutions. Their marketing had always been very good, fantastic material, good demos, etc. Also the support from the Pre-Sales department has been exceptionally strong.

ConsThe corporate culture had been the worst I every experienced. People were purely looked at from a numbers perspective, senior management would never listen to anything they were told from somebody who was not part of their "club" (i.e. at least Cambridge based). Senior managers would regularly shout at employess, call them names, etc. - absolute nightmare

Advice to Senior Managementthankfully the senior management has completely left since the acquisition by HP. The new management should clearly pay more respect to their employees. Also the "international" approach has been purely around the UK and the USA. Any other part of the business (regionally) was overlooked. Management should pay a lot more attention to other regions, since there is untapped potential.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

HORRIFIC

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Autonomy full-time for more than a year

ProsFantastic potential for technology, providing it really works
Many very good people at the worker level
Much of the technology is very cool, demos well, can solve real world issues, and gets very good reports from analysts

ConsCorporate culture is 100 times worse than the worst company you have ever worked for - a former employee called it "Toxic"
Management doesn't care about employees or customers. Only cares about making sales this quarter.
Sales can't be made as either pricing is crazy high or sales cyle takes too long and management forces AE to focus only on more immediate prospects
No concept of creating partnership with customers
Customer support is a total joke. Took 20 calls from me to other AU folks to get one customer's basic support questions answered - no one wanted to own the problem
No idea who does what - org chart can't be found, so only way to get things done is to use your relationships, make tons of calls and hope someone calls back. Don't waste time on email, no one responds - total waste of time and resources
Management lies and instills fear as way of motivating. Most employees simply wait for the day they are fired or laid off. No concept of doing a good job and getting rewarded.
No performance review in over year and a half - spoke to manager once in last three months of employment - no direction given, just criticism - all problems were the employee's to fix and own.
Training was a joke - total drinking from fire hose only about how to do demos and some info about product. Absolutely no information about effective sales tactics to sell specific products
Product line is way too massive - company sells everything from scanning to speech to text to business process management to call center apps to ediscovery to archiving to records management to search. I mean, how does that assortment of technology make sense?

Advice to Senior Management1) Most of the senior management that was there before acquisiiton need to leave. Kudos to Meg for getting rid of Lynch and some of his cronies but his style had been accepted by most every other manager, so to change the culture, needs to start from the top.
2) Focus on what technology really works and pare down the breadth of the technology offerings.
3) Incent people to change the culture to one that values employees and customers. Meg has said the right things at HP meetings but nothing ever changed at Autonomy.
4) Create a more transparent management structure and tell people who does what, so problems and questions can get resolved quickly
5) Create a training program that highlights how to effectively sell this technology. While the stuff is cool, it is very difficult to sell for most people but some are successful - share the wealth and don't force everybody to figure it on their own
6) Use the HP concept of AGM so there aren't 50 sales people all calling on the same customer competing with each other and incentive everyone to help the rest of the team on an account rather than back stabbing and lying.
7) Get managers than truly care about people and want to help grow them and train them. Good guys finished last at Autonomy - some of the best people I worked with got fired as they tried to do the right thing - this is critical to fix
8) Autonomy is way too sales focused and way to focused on current quarter - find a way to support the sales guy that sees the value in deals that take more than a quarter or two to close. If the deal is real, these can be quite lucrative and can be very strategic for the future of the company.
9) Encourage employees to speak out and challenge the status quo. Employees have been treated like mushrooms in the past - this is one of the biggest reasons that Autonomy has the highest turnover rate of any company I have ever seen.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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