All it takes to go from an average “Joel” to a professional custom integrator with a nearly six-figure job under your belt is determination, vision and about six months — if, that is, you choose to work with the ELAN® g! Entertainment & Control System. That’s precisely what Joel Berrettini, a former world-traveling musician and 12-year professional IT veteran, learned last May when he decided to change careers and start a new custom installation company, IT and Media Solutions.
From May through August 2011, he learned everything he could about home control systems. He went to trade shows and took classes for every system out there, from Crestron to Control4, and after meeting representatives from each company, comparing the costs and learning to actually use each system, he determined that ELAN g! was the top choice for value, ease of use, ease of installation and dealer support.
“I’ve been working with high tech equipment most of my life, whether on the road as a touring musician, in my recording studio or in my career as an IT professional,” said Berrettini. “So I know that the easier something is to use and the more attractive it looks, the more people will buy it, fall in love with it and make it a part of their everyday lives. That’s what drew me to the ELAN g! system. Not only does it have the simplest user interface in the industry, which is very familiar for anyone who’s ever used an iPhone or iPod, but the entire ELAN management team was so supportive and helpful to get me started as an integrator that other manufacturers just couldn’t even begin to compare.
“The truth is nobody cares about the box! It doesn’t matter to the end user which component is installed, it’s all about the quality of living and the experience of using and interacting with the technology! That’s why before I ever pitched the ELAN system to a client, I personally installed a full-blown system into my own home so I could eat, sleep and breathe ELAN, and then speak truthfully about the ways it makes life easier and can simplify how you control every system in your house, restaurant, bar or office.”
Berrettini has just completed his first installation, a nearly six-figure system for the Boneyard Pub & Grille’s new second location in Sussex, Wisconsin, and it took him just seven weeks from start to finish. Jim Jones, the pub’s owner, recognized Berrettini’s passion for perfection before he even contracted the job when Berrettini came up with a complete redesign of the TV system layout for the whole restaurant. The new layout maximized the viewing areas and ensured that every guest could see the TVs without having to move or turn around, and it helped land him the contract.
According to Jim Jones, “Joel was here everyday for nearly two months and he’s been extremely supportive in helping me and my employees learn the best way to use the system for every situation. The ELAN g! system is an incredible improvement over what we have in the original Boneyard Pub & Grille and it’s making the whole entertainment aspect infinitely easier to manage, and therefore better for me and my guests. All of the TVs come on automatically at 6 a.m. when we open for breakfast, it’s easy to go through the surveillance camera footage if I need to view an event, and I control everything from one device. The other location is more work and has bugs in the system, because it’s very hard to get 16 DirecTV boxes to work and change channels using just the standard-issue remote.
“If it weren’t for Joel, I probably wouldn’t have used such high quality components in the new private party room” Jones continued. “He set up a 106-inch screen with an HD projector and a 3,000 Watt 5.1 surround stereo system, so I can host all kind of events and parties and even movie screenings in the room. I have people fighting over the room for the big game in February! Joel’s knowledge, expertise, dedication, and faith in the ELAN g! system really gave me everything I wanted in an entertainment and security system for the restaurant.”
The restaurant has 32 Samsung LED TVs, ranging from 40 to 55 inches, and the audio system uses two Niles SI-1230 amplifiers and an ELAN D12 amplifier to power 60 speakers, bringing hi-def audio and video to every guest in every seat in the house. Berrettini didn’t stop at an audio/video system, either. The restaurant’s surveillance and security systems are fully integrated, and they plan to incorporate the thermostats soon.
“The truth is there are three types of people in the world,” said Berrettini. “Those that make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those that say ‘umm, what happened?’ I make things happen. I wanted to become a custom integrator because it’s fun! How many other careers let you literally change the way people live, and see it happen right before your eyes? The final reveal was my favorite part, when I walked Jim through the restaurant and showed him how everything worked together, and how the TVs and speakers would automatically turn on and all be set to the right stations.”
Berrettini has gone the extra mile at every turn, even helping program the restaurant’s electronic outdoor sign and spending nights and weekends on site to make sure that any issues could be addressed quickly and the employees could learn to use the system in a real-world environment. It’s amazing what a little motivation can do, and Berrettini is living, breathing proof that anyone who seriously wants to become a custom integrator can do so with the support of the ELAN management and the ELAN g! system.
Available starting at $2,000 for a single-room, four sub-system control solution, the ELAN g! Series Control System can be expanded quickly and cost-effectively to enable whole-home control of every system. ELAN g! provides users with the most uniform and intuitive icon-based control from their favorite devices, including TVs, touch screens, touchpads, PCs, iPhones, and iPads. And the system's IP backbone makes it just as easy to control the system from across the room—or across the globe.
The ELAN g! System has been awarded a 2011 Residential Systems Magazine RESI Award, a 2011 Custom Retailer Magazine EXCITE! Award, a 2011 CE Pro Magazine BEST Award, a Platinum Level 2011 CEA Mark of Excellence Award by the Consumer Electronics Association and a 2011 Gold Level Electronic House Magazine Product of the Year Award.