We periodically interview members of the SendThisFile file transfer website team to discuss their role in providing great managed file transfer service for its customers.
Today, we sat down with the CFO and Co-Founder of SendThisFile, Mike Freeman, to learn more about how SendThisFile came to be, what we’re up to, and where we are headed.
Q: Mike, thank you for your time. What’s your position and professional background at SendThisFile?
Mike: As CFO at SendThisFile, I spend my time overseeing the financial aspects of the business: Billing, pricing, financing, investing, etc. I try to interact with our customers on a daily basis, an aspect I really enjoy.
My educational and professional experiences are in finance and small business. I have an MBA from Friends University with an emphasis on small business, and I’ve taken additional courses at the Doctorate level in Finance at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Prior to SendThisFile, I was the Vice President of Operations and a Board member at a regional airline, and a certified business appraiser (CBA), for many years.
Q: How did SendThisFile start?
Mike: Aaron, and his partner, John Stephens, had a business called Adroit Corporation. They (amicably) decided to shut down the business because they each wanted to do other things. Aaron wanted to work on his PhD in electrical engineering at WSU, work on some inventions he had in mind, and do independent programming. I told him I would take care of his billing and recordkeeping so he could concentrate on what he wanted to do. I spent a lot of time working with him on his various projects. When he fired up SendThisFile, I got so intrigued with the business I gave up my business valuation certificate, and went to work with SendThisFile full time.
The SendThisFile.com website was first available to the public in October 2003. It was 100% free from then until February 2004, we were profitable a month later.
Q: What were the biggest challenges when SendThisFile first started?
Mike: In the beginning, we gave the service away for free so we could test the website for robustness. We knew we couldn’t give it away forever. We were simply blown away by the huge response. Our servers were inundated with requests. This gave us great data and an awareness of the challenges in managing file transfers. It was also testimony as to the viability of the business. Aaron quickly nailed down the early technical issues and we established a high quality of service. We began charging for managed file transfers in February of 2004.
Fortunately, one of the first companies to contact us about an account was The Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s premier, enterprise-level consulting firms. Because of their consulting expertise, they very clearly guided us as to how to structure our service to meet their global file transfer needs, so we did everything we could to comply with their recommendations.
As result, SendThisFile started out with a robust, scalable, global service upon which we’ve been building for the last six years.
Q: How do customers get account service help at SendThisFile?
Mike: Our goal is to provide our users with all the tools they need to efficiently manage their accounts. These tools can be accessed any time they are logged in. The Info tab covers broad information (including the initial subscription agreement); the Help tab covers more specific how-to-do-it information.
If our customers don’t find what they need under these two tabs, they can contact us through our 24-hour contact page.
We like getting criticism, praise and suggestions from our customers. Customer feedback helps us make SendThisFile a leader in the managed file transfer market.