Posted by: englishdubai | July 26, 2009

Passing of the Torch

This weekend saw the funeral of a colleague of mine Murtaza Talawala or affectionately known as MT.  I first met MT just before I joined VMware at a virtualization event in September 2007 around the time of GITEX. It was odd for me attending. I knew I had the VMware job at the time but I had to keep confidential until I had tendered my resignation.

I spoke to MT that day about a couple of projects I had been involved from a sales perspective and I was surprised to find out that it was actually MT who had been the engineer implementing the solution. I instantly thought I would get on well with MT as he certainly knew his stuff and gave an entertaining VMware presentation to the audience that day.

About six weeks later, I was on board with VMware and I met MT along with the rest of the team at Magirus for the first time on my third day of the job. His enthusiasm of the opportunity surrounding VMware was infectious and I enjoyed working with him on numerous projects.

I then discovered he had been almost a one man army driving the VMware message out across the Middle East. Not only was he doing the implementations, but he was also doing the pre-sales, the sales, the channel management, the design and even the VMware training. I was in awe. He was truly a flag carrier taking the message out into new territories. We now have six or seven people performing these roles, he really did the work of six strong men.

After about six months MT choose to leave Magirus and joined the local EMC team where he eventually became the “VMware champion” and we continued to work closely together up  until the 16th July 2009 when he suddenly passed away.

The circumstances over his death are unclear and I certainly am not going to speculate over it. Suffice to say my thoughts are with his wife and daughter whose loss and grief I am saddened for.

Murtaza was a dear colleague, gentleman and a friend. Ultra reliable and with a wealth of knowledge his passing away has been a difficult thing to deal with for myself for a very tight knit IT community in the Middle East.

While I may have been the first VMware employee in the Middle East he had been pioneering the way for virtualization years before this. I intend to honor Murtaza’s memory by picking up the torch he bore for this technology and ensuring that the passion he had for it remains burning.

Murtaza may you Rest in Peace.


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