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Dell has agreed to acquired thin-client maker Wyse Technology in a strategic move beyond the personal computer.

The enterprise-focused move will enable Dell to offer more solutions to customers besides computers. Wyse makes thin clients and the virtualization software that makes them useful. Used in retail settings or call centers, the thin clients are less functional than PCs but cost a lot less as well.

The clients typically have no hard drives and do not store data on the local machine. Instead, upon booting, the machines fetch programs and data over the cloud, pulling down needed information from the data center. A user logs into the client and can then access his or her data.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Dell expects Wyse to add to its fiscal 2013 earnings.

Dell said Wyse will complement its enterprise portfolio and give it a “cloud client.” That will give Dell customers more choice in the enterprise. Dell has been on an acquisition spree, and some of its deals are aimed at spreading beyond the PC to become an enterprise technology company.

Rivals include companies such as Citrix in virtualization software and NComputing in thin clients. Wyse is based in San Jose, Calif., and it has more than 3,000 resellers of its thin clients. It has shipped more than 20 million units since it was founded in 1981.

Wyse has more than 500 employees. Tarkan Maner, chief executive of Wyse, said in a conference call that the Dell deal will help Wyse reach a much larger market and get access to a lot of new resources. Wyse has more than 180 patents, and its portfolio includes advanced management, desktop virtualization, and cloud software.

Dell is focused on its “end-to-end” data center business and Wyse will help it reach that goal, said Jeff Clarke, president of end user computing solutions at Dell, in the conference call.


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