Citrix has rejected granting Dell a reseller license for its server centric Metaframe software.
Citrix told PC Week that it had discussed a reseller license with Dell but decided that it did not want to compromise its reseller channel by working with the direct vendor.
Siemens ITS, the PC manufacturer's services wing, has Citrix reseller status, but the German company has its own consulting and implementation capability, while Dell does not, said James McNab, business alliance manager for Citrix in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Talks with Citrix were "not easy", admitted Gary Owen, manager of server product marketing at Dell Europe, because Citrix feared upsetting its reseller channel.
Owen added: "It has been a big disappointment to us, because we think that [Microsoft] Terminal Server is a much richer product with Citrix attached to it."
If Dell customers want Metaframe, then Dell must work with Citrix resellers. In the UK, Dell has appointed the Citrix reseller Esteem as its "preferred solution provider".
The direct vendor sells hardware to the customer, then Esteem provides the software and support.
"Dell hardware is very affordable, which means that customers have more money to spend on software and services they need," said Alastair Kitching, director of the Windows NT division at Esteem.
Dell headquarters conducted internal product assessments last month for both Citrix Metaframe and the competitive product NCD Thinpath.
NCD president and chief executive, Bob Gilbertson, said NCD hoped to capitalise on the Citrix refusal to cooperate directly with Dell. In the US, NCD was a preferred supplier to Dell, which it allowed to resell its product.
Gilbertson said he hoped to expand cooperative sales with Dell into Europe.
For more stories see this week's issue of PC Week UK
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