4 min read

How ShareFile is transforming its business

April 12, 2024

By David Le Strat, Chief Product Officer



Recently, I had the opportunity to present the ShareFile story at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s annual Venture Connect conference in our hometown of Raleigh, N.C. The event is the premier connector for tech companies in the Southeast to seek funding and other resources to help accelerate growth. It’s a great event that showcases incredible tech businesses and helps promote, expand, and support the local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Entrepreneurship is an important part of our story. In fact, our founder, Jesse Lipson, gave the Day 1 keynote. But ShareFile was founded in 2005. We’ve been through acquisitions. We have hundreds of employees working around the world. 


Why were we there, on stage?


The ShareFile story is also one of transformation. We are well-established in the file sharing, eSignature, and client-facing workflow space, but in the last few years, we’ve seen new opportunities and started to reorient and reestablish our business. And that work, in many ways, parallels the entrepreneur’s path with early stage companies.



What is key to a successful transformation?


The key ingredients to a successful transformation might seem obvious, but they require thoughtful planning, organizational alignment, and commitment to execution. Some essential components to consider in transforming a business, whether you’re just starting out or are making a shift in a more mature company include:


  • Deep understanding of customers: What problems are you trying to solve for your ideal customer? To answer that question, you must understand your customer – their challenges and opportunities – and how you can help them.



  • Clear vision and strategy: What is your North Star? A deep understanding of your customer will help you build a vision and strategy that can serve as a focal point for your organization. At ShareFile, our focus is squarely on document and client-centric workflows.


  • Aligned product and go-to-market (GTM) strategies: Make sure your product strategy and GTM strategy are fully aligned. The effort (and focus) you bring to your vision and strategy and the buy-in you get in your organization will help ensure alignment.


  • Strong rhythm of business to sense and respond to changes: Commit to a strong rhythm of business for your organization. That will help you maintain alignment over time and make it easier to adjust as needed to changes in the market.


  • Just enough processes and systems to support growth: You can’t ignore your processes and systems. Aim for “just enough” to support your growth and be thoughtful about what you implement so you don’t have to pivot and adopt new processes and systems. After all, change management is hard to get right.



Why did we think differently about strategy?


To reorient our business, we had to think differently about our strategy. In the typical SaaS business, leaders pursue a vertical or horizontal strategy. A vertical strategy enables you to develop deep industry expertise, with a focus on narrower opportunities. A horizontal strategy delivers more generic capabilities with a greater potential to scale but with exceedingly strong competition.


We chose a diagonal approach.


Our focus shifted to identifying where we could configure horizontal capabilities so they could meet specific industry workflow needs. For example, we could create workflow solutions that address challenges in professions like accounting and legal while still delivering an innovative product that provides value to businesses outside those industries.



What does this mean for customers?


We’re building ShareFile on three pillars that help us stay focused and aligned to ensure we’re providing solutions that deliver value to our customers. It’s a reorientation of the business, putting our customers first and helping them solve their biggest challenges so they can devote more resources to the experience their clients receive. 





  • We’ve designed our technology for efficiency so our customers can spend more time delivering value to their clients. We’re developing capabilities that improve effectiveness every step of the way. 




What’s next at ShareFile?


There’s a renewed excitement at ShareFile, and it often feels like we’re back in a start-up environment as we chart a new course for our business, get to know and serve customers in new ways, and look for new ways to innovate. Transformation can happen at any stage of a business, but it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate in your approach and keep in mind the fundamentals I’ve outlined above as you move forward.


At ShareFile, we’ll be expanding with solutions targeted at more industries. We’ll continue to work closely with our customers to understand their needs and how we can configure our technology to best serve them. We’ll make investments in our technology platform to enable those innovative configurations. And we’ll do this all with the client experience front of mind.


Watch the video below for more from me and Kelly Rowell, CEO of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.