03-24-2003, 08:01 AM #1
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- Oct 27, 2002
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All eyes were on Apple's PowerSchool division last week as the company announced a new v3.5 upgrade to its student information system. The update includes enhancements to the Master Schedule Builder, GPA system, navigation, and security.
The very same day, in an unannounced development, the company laid off the support staff at its Layton, Utah office. PowerSchool is scheduled to close the Utah office by the end of this month, sources confirmed to Think Secret. The office primarily served as the home for support and implementation of PowerSchool, including a call center.
At a company meeting where President Bob Longo announced the cuts, he said that the staff would be replaced by new employees at PowerSchool, Folsom, Calif. office. PowerSchool management is telling employees that new support staff can be trained in two weeks.
"Having worked with the product very closely for over six months, it is impossible for someone to be trained in two weeks," one laid-off employee told Think Secret. "I feel sorry for the customers that bought PowerSchool." While the Layton office didn't represent key engineering personnel, most insiders agreed that good support people aren't always easy to find.
Another former employee, who left PowerSchool late last year, believes that this could particularly be an issue for the PowerSchool product. "As of now there has been no full documentation on this very complex product," he said. "Customers depended on these people for normal day-to-day operation of PowerSchool."
This isn't the largest shakeup to hit PowerSchool in the last year. In November, the company discontinued its PowerSchool Enterprise product, abandoning efforts to provide a student information system for large school districts. The following December, PowerSchool was the site of major layoffs, cutting nearly half of the company. These layoffs were reported exclusively by Think Secret and later confirmed by Apple's SEC filings.
For further context, see our special analysis on business "how-not-tos" at PowerSchool.
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