Juniper Networks and Avaya are to build on their existing partnership. The companies plan to develop some products jointly, as well as reselling and supporting each other's products.

Under their current relationship, the companies have integrated some of their existing products into systems for channel partners to sell, and have worked together on some major deployments, said Tony Scarfo, vice president of business development at Juniper. Under the new relationship, Juniper and Avaya would develop new products that might carry either company's brand, Scarfo said. In addition, each company's sales team would be able to sell and support the other partner's products worldwide, he said.

The details, including what types of products the companies will jointly develop, are still being worked out, Scarfo said. The partnership is subject to the parties signing definitive agreements.

Avaya, which was spun off from Lucent Technologies in 2000, is one of the biggest vendors of enterprise IP telephony gear and has similar partnerships with other network vendors, such as Extreme Networks.

The planned partnership would be the first of its kind for Juniper in the enterprise market. The router compan, has strategic partnerships with Lucent, Siemens and Ericsson for carrier products, said Juniper spokeswoman Susan Ursch. Lucent last week announced it will resell Juniper routers to BT for its so-called 21st Century Network.

Juniper in recent years has expanded its scope to enterprise routing and last year expanded into firewall and virtual private network technology by buying NetScreen . Both partners face Cisco as a competitor in their respective enterprise product categories, extending from routers to IP phones.

The deal will probably be final by the end of the current calendar quarter, Ursch said.