A couple weeks ago my gmail account stopped working on Outlook, my cellphone’s battery couldn’t keep a charge and my printer died. This all happened at once.

I went to the store where I purchased my phone and after working on my phone for a half hour they told me I needed a new battery. I called Microsoft and they worked remotely on my computer on a Sunday evening 10:30pm – 3:00am. That’s five hours of them working on the problem. After working with five technicians, they still couldn’t figure out the issue.

The next morning I went to use my computer and was shocked that my computer’s settings and programs were changed and I wasn’t able to use the computer properly. Did I mention they even deleted my contacts from Outlook? Even though this was the Monday of a long weekend, I called Tim Tuckey, owner of SENTRY Technology Services for help. I have used Tim’s services many times and knew he could help me. First he had to clean up Microsoft’s mess and then he took care of the problem. It did take some time to fix, but he walked me through the problems. He worked remotely on my computer around my schedule. For someone who has an online business, this was exactly what I needed.

Guess what? The Outlook problem is fixed, my cellphone battery started working again and the printer started to work. Working with SENTRY Technologies was a great experience and certainly not as stressed as when I had to deal with Microsoft till 3:00 in the morning. I should have been sleeping at that time in the morning and not watching them work on my computer.

My situation is no different than what you may have experienced before, or will experience. As business owners we NEED IT services. IT is not for just the “bigger” companies, it’s for all businesses. I had an opportunity to sit with Tim to talk to him about why even small businesses need IT services.

Tim tell us about yourself and what made you decide to start SENTRY Technology Services?

I have always been interested in technology and I have been attached to large organizations running their IT departments as well as a Big Box store running the in-house technical services. It frustrated me that organizations put attachments and sales ahead of service and people so I ventured out on my own, vowing to never lose the human touch.

Why do small businesses need IT services?

Technology can be insulting.  It’s forever evolving and can present a huge investment to the individual consumer and businesses. It’s hard to keep up with the pace technology is changing and small business owners need to have someone they can trust to advise them on trends as well as where to leverage their time and resources. It can be a challenge for a business owner to disengage themselves. They may feel that they need to keep pace with the changing technical landscape when it is not their specialty or something they don’t understand how to do. So having a go-to technical consultant is a necessity.

What kind of services does SENTRY Technology Services provide?

SENTRY focuses on the individual and small business and provides technical guidance, repair services on hardware and software as well as business application integration support like Google Apps, Microsoft 365, disaster recovery planning, cloud implementation, virus removal and date recovery services.  It’s like having the expertise of an IT department for your small business. We also do repairs on smart phones and tablets and because we are mobile, we come to you.

We are on the internet multiple times a day. What do business owners need to know about safe web surfing?

You can never be too careful. EVER! If it seems too good to be true it usually is. It is estimated that 8 out of every 10 systems has a virus. There is an information war going on the internet and the little guys can get caught in the crossfire.

Here are my best tips to give:

  • Make sure you have up to date antivirus.
  • Don’t give out your personal information online.
  • Be careful what links you click on.
  • Be wary of unsecured or unknown websites.
  • Make sure your mobile phone is pin-protected so all your personal information stored on it is safe.
  • When in doubt, ask an IT professional! Better to spend a little on a security check then a lot on a disaster recovery.

We both know there are a lot of IT companies who claim they are an “expert”, but don’t have the skills to do the job. What makes SENTRY Technology Services different?

I have been working in IT and technology for almost 20 years. There is not a facet of the industry I am not familiar with, but even still I am surprised how much there is too learn and know. What makes SENTRY different is our approach to what we call ‘Solution Based Technology Services’. Every problem is different and it is really an opportunity in disguise if we have the right attitude. Some technology professionals can make you feel like you have no business being near a computer whereas SENTRY believes in empowering the user. SENTRY believes in service and nothing is more rewarding than a heartfelt ‘Thank You!’

SENTRY Technology Services is on Facebook. What advice would you give to small businesses who may be uncertain about its value and ROI?

Social Media is an enormous dynamo with no sign of slowing down. Worldwide there are over 20 virtual communities with more than 100 million active users each. By the end of 2013, Facebook boasted 1.23 billion monthly active users. This means that 90% of your customer base is online and you NEED to have an online presence. The greater your presence, the greater your business impact. It’s important to post and be active, but you cannot post just anything. You need to be discrete, yet make a statement that is both informative and current. Social Media is the new marketing and there is a definite science to it. If you are unsure what to post, there are Social Media experts that can advise you or even do the job for you, but you NEED to be where your customers are …. And that’s online!

What is your advice on how to find the correct service provider to handle our small business IT needs?

As I mentioned in the beginning, technology can be insulting, make business and personal alliances with positive and up-building people. A negative person is like a computer virus, it can infect you without you being aware of it and can rob you of joy and energy. Choose healthy business partners and service providers. A way a person speaks and presents themselves will be a good indicator of the type of service they will provide. If someone does not have self-respect then how will they show it to others? Demand service and do not be afraid to disagree or get a second opinion. Choose technology based upon your needs, not just your wants and desires.

About Tim Tuckey

Tim is the owner of SENTRY Technology Services and has over 15 years of IT experience. He has experience working with both simple and complex networks.  He has strong knowledge of databases and has worked with Enterprise and the Small Business environments.

Formerly a Senior Business Analyst with a Fortune 500 company in the US and Manager of the Geek Squads in London, Ontario, Tim’s focus is on service and knowing exactly what the client needs without burdening them with expensive solutions. 

by Jennifer Grigg

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