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Travel Tech Q&A: SugarCRM's Clint Oram

As chief technology officer and co-founder of SugarCRM, Clint Oram gets around — in three years, he's done 32 trips to 57 cities in 17 countries. He provides the tech tips of the travel trade.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

As chief technology officer and co-founder of SugarCRM, Clint Oram gets around — in three years, he's done 32 trips to 57 cities in 17 countries. He provides the tech tips of the travel trade.


Clint Oram
(Credit: SugarCRM)

SugarCRM provides customer relationship-management software to businesses. It recently landed $33 million of venture capital funding, which it hopes to use to push out into the enterprise market.

What tech do you travel with and why?

A MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone and, of course, a travel charger. The simplicity of the Apple products is unparalleled in personal tech. It just works, everywhere. I still remember giving directions to the taxi driver in Mumbai from Google Maps on my iPhone. I had never been to India before in my life and I was helping a local find my hotel. That's what tech is all about these days. Making life easier.

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

Sugar Mobile is key for me. I'm typically travelling to visit clients, so having ready access to all of my customer's information wherever I am is critical. A close second is TripIt. TripIt is how I track my travel itinerary, from flights to hotels to rental cars. It's very helpful having your full itinerary at your fingertips.

Personal travel advice/tip?

Take a travel power strip with you. Choose one that has a built-in USB power port. I travel with a lot of devices, so power is very important. I can't tell you the number of hotel rooms I've been in where there was only one poorly placed power point in the room. Having a small power strip is very helpful. I also travel with a 3G USB broadband modem for all the major countries I visit. Buying a few SIM cards with a data plan in different countries is much cheaper than paying all of the hotel and conference wireless charges.

How do you deal with jet lag?

Keep your caffeine intake to a minimum and travel with melatonin. I tried the different sleep aids (Ambien and such), but they can wipe out your system after a while.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

Luckily, I've never had a real travel disaster. I've missed a few planes, which is very annoying. The worst was when I moved my whole family to Dublin, Ireland, from California in 2007 for two years. On the day we were to catch the plane to Dublin with two kids under five in tow, we missed the plane. That trip turned very long unexpectedly. Flying with an 18-month-old for over 24 hours straight with 16 items of luggage is not fun at all.

Is there one thing you must do before you leave home?

Watch, wallet, phone, passport. Check, check, check, check. That's the checklist as I walk out the door for every trip.

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

Power and internet. We're finally starting to get there on some airlines, but it drives me crazy when my laptop runs out of power or I can't get access to Google on the plane. I also really appreciate it when hotels have a USB power point in the room.

Favourite destination city to work/visit and why?

Sydney, hands down. In the past three years, I've done 32 trips to 57 cities in 17 countries, and flown 230,000 miles around the world (TripIt tracks all this for me). The city I love the most to visit is Sydney. It's absolutely unparalleled in its combination of scenery, weather, architecture and people. Not only do I really enjoy the people I work with here, but we also have some family friends. It's absolutely my favourite city to visit.

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

The new terminal at Dulles International in Washington, DC, has an excellent new wine bar. It's like flying first class without the big price tag. I also find the Dubai airport to be very traveller friendly. The spa in the terminal is a great place to grab a massage and a shower during your layover. If I had to be stranded for too long in the airport, Dubai airport is the best I've seen so far.

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