Meet Jono Dorset, Senior Custom Sales Consultant, Len Wallis Audio, Sydney, Australia.
How did you get into the industry?
After many years working as a chef, I wanted to regain my weekends, so I started looking for a new career away from hospitality. I had a passion and natural aptitude for electronics and sound systems, which stemmed from my love of car audio and DJ’ing at a young age.
I was introduced to some of New Zealand’s finest integrators, including Soundline Auckland, and spent around six years in this company as a Project Manager. This is where I gained the foundation of my integration knowledge.
What’s your favorite project and why?
I would have to say that our recently completed project — Coastal Cinema. I’ve picked this one as our client was very gracious and allowed me complete creative license with the room design. This really pushed me to learn and grow, since I was designing and implementing advanced acoustic principles in a high-end home. The result was a reference-grade, Dolby Atmos 13.4.6, fully digital, fully active, immersive cinema — a rather unique system.
I got a wonderful sense of satisfaction working with clients who had complete trust in me. I found that motivated me to put thought into the smallest details, thus ensuring we delivered the project to a level far beyond our client’s expectations.
Which home technology do you consider the most important today and why?
I am an automation guy, so I believe that an overarching control system is becoming more and more important in the modern home. When you are building a new home or completing a renovation, the vast majority of electrical systems have their own dedicated apps for control (HVAC, pools, music systems, etc.) This leads to an unmanageable amount of apps controlling the many smart features of the home.
I do not believe this is simple or intuitive for the end-user. Therefore, I think it is very important to create a “single app” home. One app to bring all systems together and allow simple/reliable control of the entire property. After all, we are in the business of making our clients’ lives easier, allowing them to enjoy their downtime. It is a fast-paced life and relaxation at home is more important than ever. Current automation systems minimize involvement and allow our clients to just enjoy their families and homes.
What’s the biggest issue for home technology businesses today and how can they deal with it?
Our industry is growing at a great rate. With that growth, we have many new companies entering the market looking for a slice of the pie. They bring the so-called “latest and greatest” in technology. Often this technology is limited and misrepresented, resulting in lackluster complete solutions. I feel that for the most part, the companies that have been involved in home technology for a long period of time still seem to have the greatest reliability and cohesiveness. I believe it is very important to have a “recipe” of equipment that you are experienced with and can stand behind. Reliability is undoubtedly the most important criteria.
If there was one thing you could change in the industry what would it be?
There is a lot of skill and knowledge that comes with a successful career in our industry. The vast majority of people who enter our industry come from different backgrounds and have to transition into home technology. Whether it be electrical or IT backgrounds, as examples. I would love to see formal tertiary training that attracted young adults out of school to become qualified in our trade. Thus, ensuring a steady flow of skilled applicants with a good grasp on our technology.
How long have you been a CEDIA member?
I have been a CEDIA member for around a decade now.
Why did you become a CEDIA member?
I have only worked for premium integration companies. Naturally, these companies have been CEDIA members. I cannot imagine a quality company operating in our space without benefitting from the advantages CEDIA brings to our industry: education, training, and community knowledge.
Which CEDIA benefits have you/do you plan on taking advantage of, and why?
CEDIA offers many benefits to our industry. I have taken advantage and completed a large number of training seminars through the CEDIA channel. I believe these tailored classes cater best to our industry. The training keeps us ahead of the technology curve and is very specific. This allows us to broaden our skill sets, as we see fit.
I also follow many of the CEDIA white papers and specifications when designing our solutions, adhering to the high standards.
The main benefit, however, would be the annual CEDIA Awards. These awards have always been a career goal for me, they promote creativity in the solutions we provide, only awarding truly exceptional work. I have watched the level of workmanship and creative complexity increase as the years go by and will continue to strive to be part of this growth.
What does the next year hold for your company?
We are experiencing a large uptake in fully automated smart homes. We are also finding that today’s consumer has often had lackluster experiences with DIY smart solutions. They are now ready to invest in an expert to really bring the home together with tailored offerings. Sydney is an amazing market with some very prestigious properties being built, our systems are getting bigger and better every year. It is an exciting time for our company, and we look forward to growing in line with our client’s needs. I am very proud to represent such a renowned integrator, Len Wallis Audio.
What do you consider your biggest achievement as a CEDIA member?
This year was amazing. I represented Len Wallis Audio with three of my projects being Finalists in the Asia/Pacific CEDIA Awards. One of these projects won “Best Integrated Home — Level III.” A proud moment indeed.
Len Wallis Audio
64 Burns Bay Road
Lane Cove, New South Wales 2066