Farewell, 2013. It was a notable year at Online Tech for many reasons. While we’re already focused on 2014 and beyond – and certainly want to wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year – allow us a moment to reflect on the year that was:

LEADERSHIP: We started the year by eschewing traditional corporate leadership structure and announcing a new co-CEO arrangement between Online Tech founder Yan Ness and President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Klein. Both are quick to say that co-CEOs wouldn’t work for most companies or with most business leaders, but the arrangement works for them because of their long working relationship and complimentary strengths. “Many companies are built around one leader at the head of the pack. We want to build a stronger, more resilient company — with exceptional people delivering exceptional experiences for our clients,” Ness said. “We believe partnerships that encourage everyone to contribute their very best are far more powerful than packs where everyone is struggling to be on top.”

GROWTH: In November, Online Tech announced the addition of a new, world class data center facility in metro Detroit. The new center, combined with the company’s two facilities in Ann Arbor and one in Flint, brings Online Tech’s total data center footprint to 100,000 square feet. Online Tech is renovating and building out a mission critical network switching facility in Westland, formerly occupied by Sprint-Nextel.

Earlier in the year, Online Tech doubled the size of its headquarters space at Burlington Office Center in Ann Arbor to accommodate the doubling of its employee count over the prior 15 months.

INNOVATION: In September, Online Tech announced new architecture of its encrypted, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure that keeps the compliant data center operator at the forefront of safe and secure data hosting. Nearly six months of labor and $1 million went into the creation of the next-generation cloud. With EMC’s VMAX SAN, VMware’s fault tolerant hosts, and Dell blade server chassis, Online Tech cloud clients don’t have to trade protection for performance or scalability. The encrypted clouds do not burden clients with key management, third party software, or custom programming. The new infrastructure was immediately made available to new clients and existing clients were upgraded at no additional cost.

COMPLIANCE: Expanding its ‘compliance umbrella,’ Online Tech announced in October it had obtained Safe Harbor Certification from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the latest in a long list of achieved national compliance standards. The Midwest data center operator undergoes annual, independent audit reports to offer PCI compliant hosting for e-commerce companies that need to protect customer credit cardholder data, HIPAA compliant hosting for healthcare and software companies that need to protect patient health information, and SOX compliant hosting for publicly traded companies that need to meet the financial regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley. The company is also SOC 2 compliant, which confirms it has the best internal practices in place to verify security, availability and privacy in a data hosting environment.

AWARDS: In November, Online Tech was presented a FastTrack Award by local economic development agency Ann Arbor SPARK for being a Washtenaw County-based company that demonstrated 20-percent or more revenue growth for three successive years. It was the sixth time since 2006 that Online Tech received the honor. In September, Online Tech was named one of the 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies in Michigan. In June, it was awarded a Michigan Economic Bright Spot Award for being a driving force in the Michigan economy and leading innovation. In April, the company picked up its third DiSciTech award in four years for being a leading Michigan company in the digital, scientific and technology fields. Co-CEO Yan Ness was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region in May and a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Automation Alley Awards Gala in September.

EDUCATION: We’re proud of our series of free, educational webinars that are open to the public, and grateful to the many guest content experts who joined us to bring attendees top-notch information in 2013. Recordings and slides for each of the 18 sessions held this year are available by clicking the links below. Watch our ‘upcoming events’ page for 2014 webinar topics.