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Working on making business 'more human'

Working on making business 'more human'

Polycom's managing director shares his excitement about the video revolution

Polycom's managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Gary Denman, says this is the time for resellers to invest in video and unified communications solutions. Denman took up the leadership role at Polycom ANZ back in May, following a career with Microsoft that saw him in roles in the UK and, more recently, in Malaysia, where he was enterprise group sales director. The move to Polycom seemed fitting as Denman says many of his conversations with Microsoft customers were about unified communications and the vendor has a tight relationship with Polycom.

Denman describes himself as a "failed accountant" who took on technology support and training roles after "understanding what made [him] tick".

"I love communication and with the pace of change in our industry I have never got bored," he adds. "I appreciate how businesses and lives can be changed, I enjoy telling stories and exploring how that can become a reality."

Denman says he truly believes "video is the new communication platform".

"The opportunity for change through video is incredible, challenging, scary and wanted," he says. Customer adoption of video and unified communications will keep Denman busy for the next few months, as he works with channel partners and customers across both sides of the Tasman to demonstrate "how [video] can change business and the way people interact on a daily basis, giving more and making business more human through face to face".

Denman says the UFB rollout is a big opportunity for resellers in the video and UC space in New Zealand. He says Polycom partners in the country need to think about how they are going to leverage the opportunities that video presents to them. "New Zealand has an image of 100 percent pure. This is an incredible opportunity for a country that provides food and quality products and services," says Denman. "I believe the world is challenging but aligning to Asia will give New Zealand an incredible opportunity to grow and balance," he adds. Video, he says, is the great connector that can strengthen the ties between businesses in New Zealand with Asia and the rest of the world.

Managing a growing business in different timezones means Denman's schedule is far from typical. He usually leaves home at 6:15 am for a 7 o'clock start at the office, fuelled by coffee. He then spends the day "managing interruptions" and leaves at about 6:30 pm to return home where, from 8 pm, he continues with "the backlog of work". Being an older parent, he says, means he has to try to stay fit to enjoy and keep up with the youth of his children. "I cycle and am setting another ride from Perth to Sydney for next November - any riders?"

Q+A

Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?

I live in the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Grew up in London, moved to Sydney for nine years and most recently lived for three years in Kuala Lumpur

Are you married? Do you have kids?

I'm married and with two kids, a girl aged 7 and a boy aged 5. As they say in Asia “100 percent complete”: Girl and boy in the right order!

What are you currently reading?

HBR every month, Imperium by Robert Harris.

Who is your mentor? Or someone you admire professionally?

Steve Bezos at Amazon – I love the way he encourages the company to disrupt and change business models

What would be the best advice you could give to someone in the same business as you?

Be passionate about what we are doing, the moment for video is here.

When you were little, what did you think you would be when you grew up?

A wine maker.

Do you have any favourite sports?

Rugby Union and cycling.

What's your favourite gadget?

The Kindle for my books (no longer carrying the library with the family), and the Rice Cooker – essential in Asia.

And your favourite website?

Engadget – I can explore the world of new innovations and technology.

What's your drink of choice?

A fresh pint of Guinness in Dublin.

What do you think has been the single most important advance in technology?

Television – opened up minds, closed the distance across the globe.

If you weren't in technology, what would you be doing?

Working in a charity

What do you like about the IT industry?

The constant change and opportunity to engage in the change.


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