Profile: Alan Hawkes, Ernst & Young
Paul Milligan, October 1, 2012
Hawkes began his working career as a sound engineer in the live events market in Scotland, before moving to London in 2005 to work for Eclipse Presentations. During this period Hawkes worked onsite at Wembley Stadium during its opening, before moving on to work at HSBC in Canary Wharf and for AVM. Hawkes then moved to Ernst & Young in 2011, taking up the position of AV services manager.
What are your main responsibilities?
To manage the service delivery and all technical aspects of AV and VC across all Ernst & Young buildings in the UK and Ireland. This involves defining our AV strategy, project managing new installations, co-ordinating training requirements and managing support across the estate. I am responsible for looking at new technologies that could enhance our business.
How has your role changed over the last few years?
The support of AV within organisations has changed drastically over recent years – the need to have technical support on each site to provide a white glove service to meeting room users is in decline. Remote management systems allow all offices to be supported remotely. Faults can be picked up before they impact end users.
What’s the most important thing in your in-tray?
We are constantly looking at ways of using AV technology to enhance the way our people work. Collaborative working in the modern office can be greatly enhanced by the use of AV technology which no longer needs to be sat within the four walls of a meeting room.
What are the key challenges for AV at Ernst & Young?
Encouraging the use of alternative travel options to minimise our environmental impact is a key part of Ernst & Young’s environmental policy. AV can play a big part in this. Video conferencing is the obvious one that can have an impact but we are also looking at other AV technologies that will offer our people an alternative to travel.
What’s the most impressive technology you’ve used?
Eleven years ago whilst working for Disney I was lucky enough to have one of the very first Yamaha PM1Ds ever made. It was fascinating to learn and also to transition from using an analogue to a digital console. I’m very impressed with some new digital integrated AV systems, such as the Crestron DigitalMedia and Extron HDXP systems. We also use a Hippotizer V3 to drive our media wall – an extremely impressive piece of kit.
What makes you tick outside the office?
I used to have hobbies, now I have kids. When I get the chance I enjoy a round of golf, watching F1 and playing the guitar.