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Travel tech Q&A: Polycom's Gary Denman

The communications vendor's Australia and New Zealand managing director talks about the technology he uses on his travels.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Gary Denman, Polycom's managing director for Australia and New Zealand, has journeyed far and wide, and knows exactly what tech he needs to bring with him on his travels.

Polycom ANZ Managing Director Gary Denman. (Credit: Polycom)

In this week's Travel Tech Q&A, Denman talks about why he loves Spotify, his favourite airport, and why being stranded in Kuala Lumpur isn't really that bad.

What tech do you miss from home?

It would have to be my Sonos music system. I love being able to connect to Spotify and choose whatever music I like, and have it playing in any room I choose. It is a great example of a simple-to-use system that links to an infinite music library.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

In Singapore, the most amazing phone app is the taxi booking app, as it gives me the ability to book and track the progress of a taxi, which is very reassuring.

What travel websites do you use?

TripAdvisor and SeatGuru. I like to see how others perceive a travel location and venue, and I find that TripAdvisor lets you have a rounded view, which means that at least you are better prepared.

SeatGuru ensures that I get the best placed economy seat that I can mdash; not flying up front means that planning is needed!

What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling? What you never leave home without?

My Kindle.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

When I was travelling to Seattle from Kuala Lumpur via London. I had just moved to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, and rather than leaving the family in a new city by themselves, I took them to London and planned to go on to Seattle alone. One day, before leaving Kuala Lumpur, my daughter had lost her passport and we needed an emergency replacement.

On landing in London, I got an email cancelling the US visit, and after a week in the UK, we returned to Kuala Lumpur and found the lost passport. Interesting time.

What is the best airport you've visited and why?

The new Singapore Airlines Terminal in Singapore Airport. It is so modern, efficient, and you don't even notice all the other travellers. Getting through Customs is also really simple — as long as you follow the process. In addition, accessibility to the city is predictable with a beautiful drive down the East Coast Parkway.

What is your dream travel tech to have on planes/in airports/at hotels?

Firstly, decent sized tables in economy. Once the seat in front is in recline, the limbo position you need to do to see your screen is a problem. Just having a better experience there would mean work onboard is more convenient.

Secondly, access to cloud storage. There is always a file you need when on a flight, and getting access would be an amazing enabler.

Name one thing you wish your iPod/phone/laptop could do that it doesn't do now?

Hold my passport and visa details.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

Kuala Lumpur. Having been based in Kuala Lumpur for three years, I love the Malaysian food, and getting a great laksa or roti while waiting would make any delay a little more bearable.

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