Hitachi Ltd. and Avaya Inc. are going to work together to develop customer relationship management (CRM) systems, they announced Thursday.

The two companies will focus on the development of CRM systems for call centres, unified messaging for e-mail, fax and voice, and voice and data network integration as part of the deal, they said. Additionally, Hitachi signed a reseller agreement with Avaya Japan Ltd., the local subsidiary of New Jersey-based Avaya, according to a joint statement.

At first the joint project will just involve Hitachi offering Avaya’s CRM systems to its customers, but the two companies plan to follow that with the joint development of new products, said Miki Segawa, a spokeswoman for Avaya Japan Ltd. The company claims to have the largest market share in the Japanese market and names the local unit of Zurich Financial Services Group and Internet service providers Nifty Ltd. and DoCoMo AOL Inc. as clients.

The deal with Hitachi is the second such announced by Avaya in a week. On Tuesday the company said it had formed an alliance with IBM Corp. under which IBM will integrate Avaya’s CRM system with its e-server middleware. The Avaya Interaction Centre application suite for call centres will be ported to J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) to optimize it for use with IBM’s eServer, WebSphere Application Server and DB2 database software.

Avaya, located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, can be contacted at +1-908-953-6000 or Hitachi, in Tokyo, can be contacted at +81-3-3258-1111 or