Building for 2030 with Mark Arteaga

September 1, 2020

Soumya Gupta

This month we have been featured in the Microsoft Tech for Social Impact (TSI) Campaign #Buildfor2030 and we could not be feeling more at home with this topic.  

The #Buildfor2030 campaign celebrates partners such as RedBit who are driving societal impact. The campaign aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting technology that enables an inclusive economy, creating opportunities and positive business outcomes.

For RedBit, this campaign is about bringing awareness to the potential technology approach nonprofits can take to improve efficiencies and collaborations that will allow nonprofits all over the world to confidently extend the reach of their impact. Whether it is getting nonprofits to file share through the cloud or building custom software solutions, #Buildingfor2030 is here as a stepping stone to the empowerment of your nonprofits cause. 

To understand RedBit’s story as to why we do what we do and how we align ourselves against the bigger picture of #Buildingfor2030, I interviewed Mark Arteaga, our President and Founder of the company. Our interview begins with understanding RedBit as a whole.

Mark how would you describe RedBit in 3 words?

Impact with Technology.  

Helping companies leverage technology to increase impact whether that be to help a nonprofit organization grow their social mission, unions to increase member benefits or finding opportunities to help for-profits companies grow their revenue opportunities.  

Which values do you think RedBit embodies that make the company an active contributor to society?

Without a doubt being authentic, just being honest, and being transparent in what we do. There are times when we have to deliver bad news to our customers around existing legacy technology that they use or the technical infrastructure they have in place but we feel at RedBit that in order to be really use technology to create an impact you need to know what your are faced with, have all the information at hand to make the right decisions going forward.

The team works hard every day to ensure that we meet our own standards when it comes to our key values, those being that we are authentic, creative, pursue excellence, transparent, and believe in growth. In terms of helping society, we have a great team that values helping with technology and want to use technology for good. It is just who we are as a collective group of people. It is easy to do good when you have a team that is passionate about it.

We can help companies make money and reduce operation cost, infrastructure cost which is valuable and ever organization should do this, BUT why can’t we do the same for nonprofits, which directly effects the part of society that they work with.

Would you say that RedBit sees all organizations – whether nonprofit or for profit – the same?

Yes! I think nonprofits must be treated as the businesses that they are. Some of the issues we come across in the nonprofits we have worked with are because projects have cut corners to keep it "cheap" for nonprofits. The result being you either end up with substandard technology solution that is not going to last long, it never really gets done the way they need it done or it takes years to complete because it is done part time by someone.

Nonprofits have missions and goals like any organization but are usually operating with way fewer resources. Bottom line is they nonprofits need to make money through donors so that they can help those in need socially, environmentally or economically. 

In that sense what are you the proudest about RedBit?

I would say the team. They want to deliver a great solution! They have always wanted to deliver a good solution, but I see more passion in the team knowing that they are contributing to a grander picture, for the betterment of society. Sure we are not a non-profit, RedBit is for profit, but we are doing our best with our capabilities to support and help those that are directly related to creating a positive impact.

Sometimes we take for granted the simple things like having constant internet. We forget that there are places and there are people who do not have that access and need it urgently. Take for example War Child Canada, with whom we work, they have branches all over the globe with contributors who rely on remote access, helping them adopt the cloud allowed them to have real time sharing and offline capabilities. This is a simple implementation that immensely improves the non-profits productivity and capability to focus on their cause without worrying about the next 30 min layover in a 16 hour journey for internet.

With a strong moral compass in tow, RedBit has always strived to continuously improve upon how any organization be it nonprofit or for profit, leverage technology to increasing efficiencies and productivity. Partnering with Microsoft is a great way for RedBit to do so.  

Before we begin with how RedBit is a part of the #Buildingfor2030 Microsoft Campaign, could you share a brief description of the journey to how RedBit became a Microsoft Partner?

We have been a partner for quite a long time now, I think over 8 years actually.  

We started as registered partners, which is an entry level partnership but over the years we have met the competencies and gained Silver status in 2018 and Gold later in 2019.  

In your words, what makes Microsoft a great partner?

I can honestly say, that Microsoft invests in their partners. They give immense support with everything from the marketing content, software and technology that they build, to groups such as TSI that go out of their way to make sure that their partners are taking advantage of the resources that Microsoft has to offer.  

The key to the success of a great partnership with them is that they provide you with early access to see the road map and planning of where the technology is heading. That allows us to make better decisions for when we meet customers. 

Especially when we meet with nonprofit customers. To give them a digital & cloud strategy it’s good to have some foresight on what Microsoft is thinking. Understandably many times nonprofits have budgetary constraints where they don’t have as much flexibility as for profits to make immediate budget changes. RedBit recognizes that and so does Microsoft. Having some details on where the tech is heading, helps us help nonprofits to position themselves correctly.  

And how do you think RedBit fits well with Microsoft?

It is very simple, because their mission aligns with our values. Microsoft wants to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, and that is something RedBit lives by in our own values.  

I think we also fit well because we have the cloud mentality. In our heads, we are cloud first here at RedBit. Passing on the mentality to customers is required, and it fits with Microsoft strategy to help them adopt to cloud and digitally transform as an organization.

Fast forward to present day where RedBit was the winner of the 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year award Community Response and the winner of the Canadian Social Impact award, and now  as a featured partner in the #Buildingfor2030 campaign. In continuation of RedBits involvement and excitement, I asked Mark what this all means to him and RedBit.

What does Building For 2030 mean to you?

If we are talking about the campaign that we are being featured in then for me it is about bringing awareness to nonprofits, and what they can do with technology. Not everything needs a technology solution, but I believe technology can help reduce the amount of effort they need to do tasks allowing nonprofits to focus on making a larger impact.  

For example reporting is something we see time and time again as a burdensome task for so many nonprofits. They need to report back to donors, government agencies, grant giving organizations you name it. There is a lot of effort put into reporting, and a lot of it can be automated. If you reduce the amount of time that they must do for this, they could spend time on other things on whatever they need to do on whatever impact they are trying to make.

It’s about brining awareness on what is available to them and helping them take advantage of it. We take pride in providing nonprofits like War Child and Second Harvest with honest and authentic support that they need to carry out their missions from a technology standpoint.  

What we do for every single customer whether they be nonprofit or for profit, it’s what every technology company out there needs to be doing. By that I mean that every time we build a solution for an organization we build with the future in mind. You might not know exactly what the future will bring, but building software and leveraging Microsoft's cloud platform from Azure to Microsoft 365 to Power Platform that is built to scale and thrive with future needs is something that is possible.

How do you think RedBit contribute to the building for 2030 goals i.e. the UN goals?

RedBit embodies inclusivity and promotion of peace, with everything that we do. Especially from an inclusion standpoint, I would like to say we are not the norm, I think we have a good mix of all kinds of backgrounds, cultures, passions and interests which helps us succeed.

We like to hire people who help us move forward. We don’t even care about your university education or years of experience etc. More importantly if you have the will and the power to learn and to help us move forward then you are for us.

What do you think differentiates RedBit from other tech companies that are helping nonprofits?

Honesty and our expertise. The various unique individuals working together for a common cause to provide the best technology the best solution and the best service to our customers.  

What type of leadership style do you think is needed to make Build for 2030 a reality?

Leaders need to be open to change. Being open to change is key to create a movement in the right direction. Solutions such as adopting cloud still seems scary and uncomfortable to some management, it is the future and RedBit is here to support you, you don’t have to do it alone.  Knowing that technology is an investment that can help them meet their business needs and not a burden. They need to be open to the possibility that it can bring them.

Learn more here about the #buildingfor2030 campaign and RedBit’s Microsoft Partner of the Year award win.

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