The Download: Kurt Heusner, General Manager And SVP, ShareFile

Kurt Heusner is General Manager and Senior Vice President of ShareFile, where he is responsible for the entirety of the independently operating business unit. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President for the ShareFile Customer Organization and was responsible for driving the worldwide go-to-market strategy including Marketing, Sales, Channel, and Success.

Prior to ShareFile, Kurt held various executive leadership positions during his 11 years at Citrix, from Senior Vice President, Americas Commercial Business; to Vice President, Worldwide Professional Services. He has also led entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial ventures, business transformations, and go-to-market strategy in a variety of executive positions at Dell and Vanstar.

Outside of work, Kurt is involved in entrepreneurism, early-stage venture funding, and giving back through local philanthropy. Kurt did his undergraduate work at Furman University.

1. What is in your pockets?

It depends on where I am. If I’m in transit to the office or someplace else, I may have a wallet or keys or a little bit of money. But as soon as I get to the destination, I empty my pockets. I tend to stick my hands in my pockets as I’m walking around, so I don’t like having things in my pocket.

2. What exciting thing has happened recently for you or your organization?

As HPG is one of our original customers, you’ll know our story better than others. ShareFile was founded by Jesse Lipson here in Raleigh in 2005. The company was started to make secure file transfer between professional services organizations and their clients as simple and secure as possible. Over time, we expanded into legal and healthcare and continued to grow. In 2011, we were acquired by Citrix and integrated into their products.

Last year, they closed the sale and combination of taking Citrix and TIBCO Software (“TIBCO”) private by Vista Equity Partners (“Vista”) and Elliott Investment Management (“Elliot”). And when they did, there was a decision to break ShareFile out into its own independent business unit inside of what is now called Cloud Software Group.

This is exciting because our capabilities are sold to a very different part of the organization. We’re less sold to IT and more to the business unit, so we have a very different go-to-market. We’re mostly concentrating on mid-sized customers to small businesses, and that’s very different than Citrix and TIBCO, which are more in the enterprise business.

We’ve been able to go back to our origins of concentrating on those customers that made us successful and going back and creating more technology to support their businesses versus being more horizontally integrated to Citrix. We recently launched ShareFile for accounting and ShareFile for legal, so we are excited to get back to our core areas and expand the work we are doing for our customers in those areas.

3. What is your favorite coffee spot?

I’ve long-term been a black coffee, Dunkin Donuts guy. More recently in Raleigh, I heavily rely on 321 Coffee. Not only is it great coffee, but the people that work there are excited to greet you every day, and it’s great we’re doing something right for some people that deserve it with disabilities.

4. What keeps you up at night?

I will answer that in two ways. I’m always thinking about what can we do better for our customers in the long term, and are we being thoughtful enough about that. I’m constantly thinking about making sure that we’re testing ourselves and our thought processes well enough.

The second thing is that we are living in a pretty turbulent time. Not only has it been odd since the Covid phase, but with war, all the different economic pressures, and the political matters that affect our employees, customers, and partners every day. So, trying to think in the in the here and now, are there things I can do better to make sure that we’re making their lives easier, because there’s undoubtedly so many different things that you have to be agile about and navigate in today’s world. It’s about how do we make that easier in the near term.

5. What is your favorite restaurant or happy hour?

Close to the office, a place that we will meander to at different times just for extending our day and having more casual conversations is Vita Vite. My wife and I are more of bar dining people, so we love to go to Second Empire and sit in the older bar area and have not just a wonderful meal, but interact with the people around us.

6. What is next for you or your organization?

We want to continue to keep proving ourselves to our leadership and to Vista and Elliott that we can continue this very balanced approach that we have to growing, while doing it profitably.

There are lots of software companies that get on either side of those—they’re not growing and they’re very profitable, and there are some that are growing very fast but not very profitable. Because of our loyal customer base and the value that we provide them, we can be very balanced in that.

About Brooks Malone 106 Articles
Brooks Malone is a NC CPA and Partner with Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP, and leads the Technology practice group. Brooks is also listed contributor to the National Fast Trac Tech Curriculum that was funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Brooks was named one of the 40 Under 40 in May 2005 by the TBJ, received the Outstanding service to Entrepreneurs Award in 2008 by CED, and named to the Leadership Raleigh Hall of Fame in October 2011. Brooks is a graduate of North Carolina State University and is active at American Underground and Raleigh Founded.