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  • Report: #1069036

Complaint Review: TeamQuest

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  • Submitted: Mon, July 22, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, July 22, 2013

  • Reported By: The Cunning Linguist — Clear Lake Iowa
TeamQuest
TeamQuest Way Clear Lake, Iowa USA

TeamQuest Capacity Management, TeamQuest - Clear Lake, Iowa Capacity Management, Buyer BEWARE. TeamQuest - ITSO, ITSM, Small Company Clear Lake Iowa

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I worked there! It's All True!

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TeamQuest is just a company I think you should avoid altogether.  I worked there for a couple of months and what a colossal waste of my time it was for me.  It was akin to everyday, walking into the bar scene in STAR WARS.   Thankfully, two weeks into my employment, I was offered another position in a different company that I eagerly accepted.  I was basically working for TeamQuest and starting another job, fully knowing TeamQuest would never work out.  The epiphany came at TeamQuest when they asked for my BIO to be included on their website and I simply avoided giving them anything.  I didn’t want to be tied to this train wreck and having the world find out I worked here.  The second epiphany was when Q1 results were 140% to goal, only to be revised to 70% in Q2 because of an error.  It’s always fun to find companies like TeamQuest and to share their practices with my close colleagues. [continued below]....

.....  It grounds us why some companies are superior and others aren’t.  TeamQuest falls into the latter grouping.

Now don’t get me wrong, I found about 7-10 people who “get it”, all of whom worked in large enterprise companies prior to TeamQuest and who see the problems with this small company.  We were able to ferret each other out, and meet behind closed doors.  The company is full is lifers who can’t grow to anywhere else and can’t take this company beyond what it is.  It’s really sad. We would laugh at some of the antics and idiosyncratic tendencies at TeamQuest. It’s really a bizarre culture that is difficult to describe.

There isn’t much positive to say about TeamQuest. Most locals working here are life-long members in the “going nowhere” club.  Finding people there with no depth of experience and talent but having worked in the company for 20+ years, is very common. The congratulatory emails come out all the time.  15 years.  20 years.   They see this as a positive (longevity and loyalty) and some will proudly tell you they after they graduate college, they went to work there and are still there.  The rest of us saw that as lack of experience, with no real world knowledge and myopic thinking.   EX:  the head of  sales, marketing and HR landed at TeamQuest out of college in the early 1990s;  All are still there, and they have limited outside ideas and experiences - and frankly they have nowhere to go.  It’s frustrating sitting in meetings with these people and others and staring at turtle necks all day and hairdos from the 60s and 70s.  The only competence comes from the CFO, but ironically I was ordered to not deal with him or socialize with him in anyway.  Specifically I was told, “Let him make his own friends” so when I was invited over to his home, I had to decline. 

TeamQuest markets themselves as the leader in capacity management. You would be foolish to consider any small company for your ITSO and ITSM needs.  The role is just too important.  Here are some reasons to avoid TeamQuest.

The Location:

The moment you get off the exit in Clear Lake, IA (one, of the only two), after driving for two hours from Minneapolis or Des Moines, you are staring at what looks like a strip mall, which houses TeamQuest and a Gym.  TeamQuest’s HQs are located exactly in the middle of nowhere.  They refer to it as the “Hamptons of Iowa” which is a massive insult to Long Island, NY.  Training and visits to their corporate office will be tremendous and uneventful. Let’s admit it, when you partner with a company, you want someone with some sexy enterprise locations. There is nothing in Clear Lake, Iowa. There is nothing that screams “YES – THIS IS the company I want to do business with!” 

The Company:

It’s a ridiculous culture at TeamQuest.  Everyone knows and hires each other because they are located in a town of only a few 1000 people and they all grew up together.  On some level it might be appealing, but it grows old since there are limited places to work and everyone is just happy they have a job that doesn’t involve wearing a uniform with their name on it.  The other options are cement factories or something they call a mall.   Is this really who you want as your trusted advisor?   It was founded in 1991 as a software company, and sales currently hover just south of $25M.  That equates to about $1M a year in revenue for 23 years!!!   That’s frightening!  They should be well over $100 million, but they can’t get there.  HP, CA, Microsoft and BMC destroy these guys every day but TeamQuest fortuitously find their niche with smaller, mid-market companies or selling to low level managers. TeamQuest simply can’t compete.  Oh sure, they found some large enterprise companies to work with, but it’s just not scalable and the depth of their contacts are weak.  Should one or two contacts leave in their largest customers, TeamQuest will undoubtedly be the first thing cut.  TeamQuest is making a big push to find partners to grow their business, but this will fail too since partners will discover the issues with product and services.

The CEO and cofounder Jerred lacks leadership skills.  He’s a nice guy but just a social misfit.  He won’t look you in the eyes and is your typical engineer, in his office all day staring at a computer monitor.  He can’t speak in public, is not energized enough and isn’t the dynamic leader needed to push this company to the next level.  It’s painful to watch him speak.  He will admit he’s not the right CEO for the company and only has the role by default. He’s like your grandpa – nice guy but do you want him running your business?   TeamQuest also sorely lacks a professional services group that can’t write an SOW and have troubles implementing or deploying anything.  They think training is a professional service and training accounts for a majority of their PS business.  The training leader lives in Europe and is detached from day 2 day activity.   Since the global service group is made of TeamQuest lifers, the CEO Jerred is too afraid to address the problem and do what needs to be done. 

TeamQuest is not cloud-based and has no on-demand product.  That is a strategy that is sorely missed and they don’t understand why.  Everything is software and a license.  When you talk cloud or SaaS their eyes glaze over.  As a CIO/CTO/CFO going to cloud based solutions and not investing in capital expenses for servers and infrastructure are paramount to your cost savings.  Bottom Line:  This company appears small because it IS small.  The branded name TeamQuest sounds like a TV show and does more harm than good.  They do pride themselves on being an ESOP company (printed on their business cards) and the small town values in Iowa but all it screams is WE ARE TINY!  They openly admit the way they attract “talent” in the middle of nowhere is to attract back, those college students that left the area for the bigger cities (Chicago, NYC, Minneapolis, etc.) and failed – then wanted to return to home in  Iowa. They “pluck” these outcasts all day!  This is who will be working on your project, future releases and bugs.   Every year they have a customer event.  This event called TTS (TeamQuest Technology Summit) and attracts about 10-15 clients or about 30-40 people in total.  Seriously, that’s all they can get to attend and most people there are power users and not the caliber or level they need for deeper account penetration. One of my first recommendations was to cancel it.  It was as if I murdered their best friend.

I could go on and on, but the reality is you should do your homework before you engage with companies like TeamQuest. It’s just a weird culture, a weird vibe and something is off.  The office is dead quiet and doesn’t have the vibe of any software company I have been too.  They are hung up on security, locked doors and have the most absurd training program for new employees where you must follow it to a T – and get it signed off on.  The people are nice enough, but it’s as if you are being scrutinized at a church social event.  You know they are whispering about you and seeing if you will fit well into their Iowa cult.  It was however a treat to toy with it, since I had another job.  Also, perusing everyone’s calendar for meetings and seeing “bible study” and “meeting with reverend Jim” blocked out and on a work calendar was short of hysterical!

There are a lot of players in the ITSO and ITSM world and you will be optimizing your IT infrastructure. The lifetime of a CIO is getting shorter and shorter in the enterprise, with compromising budgets, more scrutiny and board room battles.  Why trust such a critical element of your business and your job to a small company in Iowa, when you can find large enterprise companies like BMC, HP and IBM who will be there in the long run for you?  Currently, TeamQuest is looking to implement SalesForce as their CRM and their reason is they want the biggest and best enterprise cloud based solution (web based) for the company.  Shouldn’t you demand the same – a large enterprise company with a branded name and a leader in Cloud based technology?    Also when it comes to implementation, APIs or integration with your current apps, TeamQuest just won’t have the backboned infrastructure support, giving your headaches and putting your job as an IT leader in jeopardy.  Imagine going to your boss and telling them, “ I hired TeamQuest to fix my problem” or “I hired HP/CA/BMC to fix my problem” – which to you is better and sounds more valid?

Advice for management?  Watch the bridges you burn and how you burn them. When you hire people with great reputations, contacts and experience and expect them to help you grow – when they are displaced, those same attributes can help you shrink too!  I bet you never thought of that…did you?  Kicking off meetings with TeamQuest Values and talking about these Values as if we were in a Pentecostal church is not going to compensate for poor sales performance and poor leadership. Your clients want results, not to hear about your Values.  Management is all lifers, who answer to a BOD of themselves.  It’s a private company that will exist until someone replicates them or the owner dies. Then someone will buy up whatever remaining assets are left if they have any worth and want to own a strip mall in Iowa.  They need to cut the entire top of the company, retain the CFO, rename/rebrand the company, move it to somewhere better, develop a cloud based solution and develop a professional services group.  Since all this will never happen, this company will remain the same.

Feel free to contact me for further information.  I have been in IT selling to major companies around the globe.  I count as my major accounts, companies like Verizon, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Bank of Tokyo, Syniverse, Cigna and many major financial institutions and Insurance companies.  When I am asked about my professional opinion on ITSM and ITSO, I give it and refer them to my colleagues at BMC or HP.    I also call my clients and let them know my professional opinion on the players in this space.   I have also made a personal commitment to forward any good job leads over to the 5-7 folks who simply don’t belong there. 

Right now – there are some buttholes clenching at TeamQuest because of this post and the executive team is meeting to discuss their next steps.  Good luck folks!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/22/2013 09:55 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/TeamQuest/Clear-Lake-Iowa/TeamQuest-Capacity-Management-TeamQuest-Clear-Lake-Iowa-Capacity-Management-Buyer-BE-1069036. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I worked there! It's All True!

AUTHOR: Developer - ()

 

This is actually very funny.  I was a developer with TeamQuest for a little over a year and saw many of the things described by this poster.  It's all very true.  The culture there is sick!  You always feel like an outsider in the Iowa cult.    Our techncial support was pathetic and our backlog even worse.  Just ask any existing client about bugs, fixes and review the backlog report.  The pay was OK, but after a while I moved on to bigger and better companies and projects.

I wouldn’t completely write off a company like TeamQuest as an employer.  If you are new to development and want to cut your teeth in a small company that isn’t a sweat shop, then it might be for you. 

I would recommend not moving to Iowa and trying to work from home if you can swing it.  They have no open positions (which is odd because they were always recruiting when I worked there) so they must not be doing that well.  They're usually desperate for good people, so they may bite.  I can’t wait to share this with my fellow TQ friends.

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