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Posted on Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Data center Online Tech continues expansion, doubling Ann Arbor office space

By Ben Freed

Online Tech has been around for nearly two decades, but the past year and a quarter have been unlike any other period in the company’s history.

In the span of 15 months, the company has attracted a $20 million investment, doubled in size to 50 employees and consolidated into a 10,000-square-foot headquarters in the Burlington Office Center on Eisenhower Parkway.


Co-CEOs Mike Klein and Yan Ness have worked together at Online Tech for nearly six years. The pair became co-CEOs in January.

Courtesy Online Tech

According to a release, the growth is expected to continue with 10 more hires over the next three months.

The data-center operator has two facilities in Avis Park in Pittsfield Township just south of Ann Arbor and one Flint. The company’s high-tech buildings house servers for businesses and act as a home for private “cloud” Internet storage.

Co-CEO Mike Klein previously told that the data storage business comes down to reliability and security. Every function at the company’s facilities is “backed up,” often multiple times.

Online Tech has also placed a premium on being certified as secure for HIPAA, which regulates medical patient confidentiality.

“A lot of our growth is nationally in the health care space and retail and financial segments, driven by the compliance that we’re focused on,” Klein said in a statement.

“Our theme of compliance and mission critical applications has taken a toehold not only in Michigan, where we currently have a physical presence, but across the country.”

The plan is for the company’s physical presence to follow its theme in establishing toeholds across the country, starting with the Midwest. The $20 million investment from the St. Louis-based News-Press & Gazette Company is expected to result in the opening of four new data centers in Midwestern markets over the next two years.

As the company plans to expand its footprint, the broader business world is taking notice. In May, Klein’s co-CEO Yan Ness was one of three Ann Arbor-area CEOs to be named as a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Michigan and Northwest Ohio region.


An employee monitors servers and security at Online Tech's data center in Pittsfield Township.

Ben Freed |

In Ann Arbor, Online Tech is expanding its less technical space, doubling the size of its corporate offices from approximately 5,000 to 10,000 square feet. Oxford Property Management Company expanded and renovated the office space at 305 East Eisenhower Parkway to include more open work areas and collaborative workspace.

The walls of the new offices are covered in IdeaPaint, which makes every surface a dry-erase ‘board’ that can be used for brainstorming.

“We really have a facility that supports our culture and business mission,” human resources director Deb Webster said in a statement. “We really incorporated our culture of collaboration in the renovation.”

The new offices will bring the company’s product development, sales, administrative and corporate teams together under one roof while allowing for continued expansion. As part of the deal with Oxford, Online Tech will grow the office to approximately 13,000 square feet in coming years, likely meaning further new hires.

Webster said that the positions the company is currently looking to hire include a senior infrastructure engineer, network and software engineers and administrators for Linux and Windows. All of the positions require at least three years of professional experience.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

Great to have such a innovative company in Ann Arbor - employing innovative people.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Aug 24, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

If they grow anymore they're gonna need a third CEO!