SOTI

SOTI

Mississauga, ON, Canada

www.soti.net

Grade: A

SummaryInnovative culture, focus on growth, innovation and fun, weekly Lunch & Learns, no co-pay, full family coverage, transparent organization, flat organization and room for advancement via hyper growth.
Intro: Candidates choose SOTI for its focus on three pillars – growth, innovation and fun. Candidates looking for growth, both personally and professionally, find a natural fit at SOTI because as the company grows, positions that align to their future goals become available, and SOTI encourages employee growth and development by promoting internal candidates to expand their knowledge and skillset. SOTI offers weekly Lunch & Learns, a variety of dedicated training programs, offers personal training budgets and encourages employees to join teams outside of their existing roles. Innovation is also another key driver because of the fast moving technology industry it operates in, which is a leading innovator in enterprise mobility management. SOTI encourages its employee teams to not think outside the box, rather that there is no box and that there are endless possibilities.

Impact statements: 

  • Candidates choose SOTI for its focus on three pillars – growth, innovation and fun.
  • SOTI offers weekly Lunch & Learns, a variety of dedicated training programs, offers personal training budgets and encourages employees to join teams outside of their existing roles.
  •  The company has a policy to promote from within and the hyper growth that the company is currently experiencing (set to double its headcount within three years) allows a variety of projects to be assigned to team members.
  • Having special tiger or SWAT team not only exposes members to different areas, but it also allows for integration and engagement with people from all over the company, including members from around the globe.
  • SOTI has a no co-pay, full family coverage that employees take full advantage of. The company offers medical and dental benefits, life insurance, dependent life, accidental death and dismemberment and long-term disability.
  • Being a very open and transparent organization, SOTI encourages an ‘open door’ policy is which anyone can swing by a senior member’s office and have a conversation, including freedom to speak with the CEO at any time.
  • A formal program was put into place called SOTI Jolt to encourage team members to come up with ideas and the company will allocate resources to it if there is merit behind it. SOTI encourages employees to speak up and be part of making SOTI even better through programs such as SOTI Unplugged which is actively attended.
  •  Innovation is a way of life, so much so that the status quo is against the rules.

Compensation:

The three main factors determining compensation levels at SOTI are goal achievement, overall contribution and market conditions.

Advancement Opportunities:

Being a fairly flat organization allows for team members to be exposed to a variety of different areas of SOTI’s business. The company has a policy to promote from within and the hyper growth that the company is currently experiencing (set to double its headcount within three years) allows a variety of projects to be assigned to team members. Having special tiger or SWAT team not only exposes members to different areas, but it also allows for integration and engagement with people from all over the company, including members from around the globe. The benefit of being global, is that SOTI does have international opportunities for team members to explore and take advantage of. The company also looks at the talents and skill sets of the individual rather than their position or title when looking to fill roles within the company.

Training opportunities:

Training and development has become a core focus for SOTI. A department has been created and tasked to ensure elements of learning can be incorporated in all areas of team interactions. Unofficial programs in the past have been formalized and delivered in a consistent fashion, which include programs such as Lunch and Learns, mentor and buddy programs and residency programs. It's not uncommon to have global employees stay at headquarters office for a few months at a time to learn best practices and then integrate these programs back at their regional office. This gives the Resident a unique learning experience, of course, but it also increases the level of training in regional offices. SOTI has also created and is leading alternate education programs such as a Quality Assurance school and has training budgets for external training and conferences for team members to take advantage of. This has allowed team members to expand and push themselves into new areas of professional development but also allowed SOTI to make contributions back into the community by giving members of the community, both new and existing, an opportunity to learn new skills and gain new knowledge within the Quality Assurance discipline.

Medical benefits:

SOTI has a no co-pay, full family coverage that employees take full advantage of. The company offers medical and dental benefits, life insurance, dependent life, accidental death and dismemberment and long-term disability.

Special accommodations:

Some examples of special accommodations include a signing bonus, a results reward that escalates based on performance. SOTI offers a unique opportunity for its technical team to work on cross platform teams. An Android Developer today can be an iOS Developer tomorrow. Giving talent the opportunity to broaden their skillset is something SOTI’s top hires value. SOTI has also encouraged global employee relocation as needed and allowed for work from home and part time arrangements.

Community service/charitable causes:

SOTI supports community service/charitable causes:

Cause

Action

Movember

An annual mustache growing campaign in the month of November to draw awareness for testicular cancer

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Supports

CN Tower climb

A historic Toronto tower which contains the tallest metal staircase on Earth

Toronto Hospital “Sick Kids”

Fundraising and holiday food drives

Refugee support

Including organizing volunteer efforts, coordinating drives and employment counseling services

The company also offers alternate education programs such as Quality Assurance school

A way to deposit value into the community

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Measuring satisfaction:

A few of the tools SOTI uses to measure team member satisfaction are surveys, a suggestion box, and open communication sessions. Being a very open and transparent organization, SOTI encourages an ‘open door’ policy is which anyone can swing by a senior member’s office and have a conversation, including freedom to speak with the CEO at any time.

Creative meeting places:

Outside the building on the grounds

Parks

Roof of buildings

Walks

Airplanes

Hotels

Conference Centers

An aquarium

Perks:

Special perks for SOTI employees is an important part of the culture. Some perks related to wellness to note are:

Fitness Room

Onsite Shower Facilities

Gym Discounts

SOTI has an active social committee team that is always creating fun events for employees and families.

Fun:

SOTI has a foosball and ping pong table in the lunch room where it can get very competitive between team members! There is also a fitness room where team members can work out anytime of the day. There is also a very active SOTI sports culture where there’s an organized activity happening daily. Activities range from floor hockey to soccer, to basketball to badminton.

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Collaboration tools:

SOTI tries to limit the amount of systems it deploys as there is a focus on quality rather than quantity. It uses the latest and greatest when it comes to collaboration and the communication channels that are provided. The collaborative features throughout the whole suite of Office 365 has been a huge boost. They provide a great presence while in the office and integrate well with calendar availability with team member status automatically updated but with their mobile presence on the go on multiple platforms gives that choice and flexibility to the team member. SOTI also utilizes collaboration within leading solutions for front end and back office support that is Salesforce.com, Workday and JIRA. Having these tools that puts collaboration at the forefront baked into the company’s communications help team members get their work done faster and more efficiently.

How corporate vision is communicated:

The corporate vision is communicated in a variety of ways. The primary way it is communicated, as the vision is evolving all the time as the industry SOTI is in is constantly changing, is through global town hall meetings that occur quarterly. This is an opportunity for all team members around the world to get informed as well as ask questions via open dialogue sessions that occur. SOTI Unplugged sessions take place every Friday, as part of the company’s open communication plan. This allows employees to interact directly with all levels of executives and truly understand the corporate vision and how it applies to them.

Empowering employees:

A formal program was put into place called SOTI Jolt to encourage team members to come up with ideas and the company will allocate resources to it if there is merit behind it. SOTI encourages employees to speak up and be part of making SOTI even better through programs such as SOTI Unplugged which is actively attended.

SOTI empowers their team members to make their own schedules in collaboration with their manager to support both their needs as well as the needs of the business. SOTI provides 5 personal business days per year, regardless of an employee’s official start date in the year, which employees can use for personal needs, medical appointments, and errand running that does not tap into their vacation time.

Team member recognition is communicated at company and department meetings as well as at events such as team building. SOTI has a variety of different recognition levels from peer-to-peer, department and organization level, regionally as well as across the company in SOTI’s elite MVP club. SOTI’s peer-to-peer recognition program, You Rock, allows for employees to publicly recognize for the categories of Spirit, Overachievement, Teamwork and Innovation. Recipients have their pictures posted in the main kitchen area on the You Rock board, display the You Rock post cards on their desk and get SOTI branded prizes. SOTI’s annual MVP program is the most coveted award at SOTI whereby a nomination process from peers and voting system recognizes the top 2% of the company.

Ensuring well-being:

SOTI values the well-being of the team as it knows without them, it wouldn’t be able to put forward the quality product and solutions that it does. SOTI has a slew of organized sport activities that run almost every day of the week – they include floor hockey, basketball, soccer and badminton. On top of that, gym memberships allow its team members to continue their physical fitness at a time and place convenient for them.

SOTI does publish a standard set of 40 work hours per week. However, to aide team members and support them in a work/life balance, SOTI offers flex hours where employees are asked to be available for meetings and conversations between 10:00am and 4:00pm but can flex their schedule accordingly based on their personal commitments. Managers are empowered to work with their team members to work out mutually beneficial scheduling arrangements.

Work/Life balance is an important component in the team members of SOTI’s lives. SOTI has a variety of organized and ad hoc activities that try to cover the wide base within the global work force. Some of these activities include SOTI Sports, lieu time, flex hours, and social events with family. SOTI also looks at special accommodations as required.

With SOTI being in a hyper growth state, measures are being taken to help both in the short term and for the long term success of the company. Plans are actively underway to start a campus like workspace with buildings and green space to allow the scalability needed to grow SOTI. As SOTI works towards that, it has become creative in current work spaces by bringing together team members in friendly workspaces that help foster collaboration. SOTI encourages team members to show off their personality and even have department themed sections as being a young technology company, there’s a lot of cool gadgets and toys that the team gets to interact with.

Teamwork:

The feeling most team members use when describing SOTI is that it is very much a family. When one area of the company or a team member is needing help, team members from across different functions band together to help review, solve and execute the issue. There have been multiple times when team members have gone above and beyond and they are recognized by those other team members in the company’s internal recognition program.

Team members, from across the company, all rallied towards the common goal of executing SOTI’s first ever Global User conference. People stayed late to ensure product demos and showcases were ready, team members from around the world were getting the message out to their local customers and partners to encourage them to attend and event teams were working around the clock to ensure successful execution. The entire company focused and working together to pull off an event where attendees were saying comments such as “this does not look like this is your first conference as everything was so well planned out and attention to detail was remarkable!”.

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Diversity:

SOTI is an equal opportunity employer and look for the best and brightest talent out in the marketplace. SOTI believes that there are unique qualities in each individual that are evaluated against SOTI Strong criteria. SOTI Strong focuses hiring on SOTI specific competencies. This increased focus on competencies has resulted in an increase in the employee base in regards to gender, race, and ethnicity.

Diversity within SOTI’s contractor pool is handled in the same manner as the overall hiring strategy to hire the best based on talent.

Longevity:

As a result of SOTI’s rapid growth in the last few years, 40% headcount increase in the last year, the overall employee tenure is quite low, but SOTI has managed to strike the delicate balance of maintaining tenure of early employees while on-boarding many new team members.

Closing company statements: SOTI’s vision is all about endless possibilities and that doesn’t come with routine days. SOTI’s employees have the opportunity to learn everyday in their role because of the company's extreme growth. Innovation is a way of life, so much so that the status quo is against the rules. SOTI likes to have a lot of fun along the way and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It's not strange for the executive team to make silly videos to send to the global teams or create a play at the holiday party.

Back to the entire list of TMCnet 2016 Tech Culture Award winners.

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