By Sue Botos
Most people associate the word “holistic” with a type of medicine that treats the entire patient, both physically and mentally. It’s usually not connected with technology, which can be thought of as cold and more than a little frustrating when a simple click can mean the difference between unlocking an answer and wanting to literally boot the computer.
Tak and Mely Sato want to take the mystery and misery out of technology, through what they call their “holistic approach” or “digital hand-holding,” through their business, techDEITY.
“People have to use technology. It can’t be avoided. We all use it in our daily lives,” said Mely Sato in an interview.
The couple has called the Cleveland area their home since 1986, first living in Rocky River, now in North Olmsted. A former academic advisor at Cleveland State University, Mely Sato said she became a stay-at-home mom when son Nacki, now 5, was born. She now handles the business end of techDEITY, while her husband uses his more than 20 years of IT experience to assist clients.
“He is so passionate about technology. He’s known what he wanted to do since high school,” said Sato, who is originally from the Philippines. Her husband was born in Japan.
Sato said that work with a client begins with a visit, either to a home or business, where needs are assessed. “We’re not going to tell someone to spend a lot of money (on equipment) if they’re only going to check their e-mail,” she said, adding, “We will listen to a customer first. Technology is only a tool, something to help you. Just because it’s out there does not mean you need it. But people love gadgets,” she said.
Because the business does not sell hardware, Sato said they are able to give objective advice, honestly advising customers on how much of an investment they should make. She said they will help clients do the research to find the best deal for what they are willing to spend.
Sato explained their “holistic approach” as beginning with the setup, and initial coaching when equipment is purchased. Support is then maintained, and a longterm plan is put in place. “We do follow up, but we keep the right distance,” said Sato, adding that virus and disaster recovery are also specialties.
The “hand holding” extends to explaining things in layman’s terms, according to Sato. “We fix things, but we really talk to our customers to make sure they understand, and give them tips,” she stated.
Not a typical IT service, Sato added. “We want to form a relationship with our clients.”
According to Tak Sato, who was reached by phone, privacy has been the biggest concern among clients. “The past few weeks, people have been concerned about their computers running slowly. There has been media frenzy,” he added, referring to the fact that slowness in a computer may mean it has been compromised.
Tak Sato also stressed that the latest gizmo is not always the best choice, and that an older computer can be just as serviceable as a new one. “It’s all related to appropriateness whether you should upgrade. It depends on how fast you type, or the way you use it,” he said.
Seniors are a growing group of technology users, according to Tak Sato. His wife had earlier mentioned that his 81-year-old father keeps in touch from Japan every day through chatting on the computer.
“It’s interesting how IT has become prevalent. It’s in every nook and cranny,” he stated.
Mely Sato said both her parents and her husband’s parents had their own businesses, “so we can appreciate what it takes.” She said that techDEITY compares to her work in education.
“How we’ve made a difference in people’s lives is a higher calling. Like education, it’s fulfilling that way.”