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Guest blogger Stuart Gale returns to The View to share his insights on remaining reliably connected in places where connections are anything but reliable. Stuart is Head of Infrastructure at Intelligent Energy, which develops efficient and clean energy technology for the global consumer electronics, automotive, and distributed power and generation markets. Intelligent Energy uses Polycom RealPresence solutionsto bring its global workforce together to design and manufacture renewable energy sources like the amazing Upp portable fuel cell.


As the Beatles discovered, a trip to India can change your life. The people, the food, the sights, and the sounds make it a wonderful place. I know this because I travel frequently to our offices in Bangalore and beyond.


A visit to India, though, does come with its own challenges when it comes to dependable power, as seen when the country’s less-than-reliable power infrastructure simply shuts down. Two years ago, some 600 million Indians – 10% of the world’s population – were left without power for two days.


India isn’t alone in this respect. Developing nations around the world struggle with the same problem of access to reliable power.  Even in wealthy countries, population growth stresses power grids; just ask Californians about rolling blackouts.   


Unreliable power supplies make it difficult to work and live the way we’ve grown accustomed to. This is especially true for people like me who rely on our smartphones and tablets to communicate and collaborate. Though these devices are mobile by nature, they still need to draw power to recharge, and this usually happens by plugging into a wall outlet. So with traditional power solutions, mobility remains a kind of illusion: like it or not, we’re still tethered to the stationary grid.


This is why we at Intelligent Energy developed Upp, a revolutionary personal energy device that allows you to power your USB devices on the go.  Upp uses efficient next generation fuel cell technology to keep all your devices running, even if the infrastructure around you fails. Upp removes the need for the wall outlet and can be used anywhere, allowing you to “Live Life Unplugged.”


In many ways, Intelligent Energy and Polycom are trying to do the same thing.  We’re working to remove obstacles that prevent us from living and working efficiently in today’s society. For us, it’s access to power.  For Polycom, it’s access to people.


My company uses Polycom environments to collaborate on new products and technologies (like Upp!). Our collaboration infrastructure is integrated with Microsoft Lync via our desktop systems, laptops, and Lync apps on our smart phones.  Whether I’m comfortably at home in England or travelling in India, I can engage face-to-face with colleagues. Collaborating using video, voice, and content offers a huge advantage anytime you need to work through problems or communicate sensitive or detailed information, but it’s never more crucial than when you’re working across borders and cultures.  This profile powerfully illustrates just what I mean.


If my experience with Intelligent Energy and Polycom has taught me anything, it’s this: When you have access to power and people, nothing stands in your way.


Watch how Polycom helps Intelligent Energy bring their products to market faster here.

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