12-09-14 | Press Release

Online Tech Celebrates 20 Years of Technology Leadership and Growth

Press & News

“I am so proud of the relentless focus on customers’ needs, and the complete evolution of the business model, that have resulted in Online Tech’s tremendous growth,” said Gary Baker, one of Online Tech’s original co-founders. “What started as a small, Michigan-focused ISP (Internet Service Provider) is today the leading data center operator in the state. The company is also positioning itself to be the dominant provider in the Midwest/Great Lakes region. What the team is accomplishing is a testament to the vision and leadership of Yan Ness and Mike Klein. Online Tech is a true Michigan success story, a case study that should be taught in business schools.”

In 1994, Online Tech was founded as Michigan’s first website hosting firm and ISP. This business model proved to be prescient as it preceded by a few months the launch of the Netscape browser that led to explosive growth in the use of the Internet. “But as we all know, the good times didn’t last. Hundreds of ISPs across the country eventually went out of business as they failed to respond to changing technology and an evolving competitive landscape,” said Mike Klein, co-CEO of Online Tech.

The critical moment in the company’s history came in 2003 when Yan Ness, co-CEO of Online Tech, bought the company from Baker and others. Yan made the forward-looking decision to change the business model to a managed data center company. Online Tech then successfully positioned itself to meet emerging demand for data center services and achieved double-digit revenue growth because of the transition.

“In hindsight, brilliant decisions often look easy,” said Klein. “But, it’s important to look at that decision in the context of the post dot-com crash to understand just how brave it was. Yan was able to implement a strategy that led directly to the 30 to 40 percent annual growth that we have experienced ever since.”

“Security and regulatory compliance have become enormous priorities for companies, and Online Tech has expertise in these areas that is unique,” said Ness. “We have methodically and purposely built our services to meet the needs of businesses whose IT operations must be highly secure and compliant with federal regulations.”

These organizations include healthcare companies, financial service firms, Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses and retail companies. They are required to protect confidential patient/customer information while also adhering to regulations such as HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, Safe Harbor and PCI.

“All of our customers benefit from the safeguards we have put into place, regardless of industry,” said Klein. “Online Tech is now the first name in secure, compliant, enterprise cloud, colocation, offsite backup and disaster recovery services for mission critical applications. This focus will drive our continued growth. The work we are doing is changing perceptions of data centers in a fundamental way.”

There will be a Grand Opening event at the new Metro Detroit data center on Tuesday, December 2, from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Individuals from organizations interested in taking a behind-the-scenes tour, networking with hundreds of their IT and business peers, enjoying great food and drink, including a champagne toast, and more, are invited to attend. For additional information about the event, and to register to attend, please visit https://web.otava.com/metro-detroit-data-center-open-house.

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