NEC and EMC will work together to jointly develop storage products and enterprise content management systems, they announced Wednesday.The companies plan to develop storage gear based on the recently announced Storage Bridge Bay technology, of which EMC is a primary backer. Storage Bridge Bay aims to drive standardization in external disk subsystems, to bring equipment traditionally aimed at enterprise customers to smaller businesses.The first hardware products to come out of the alliance should appear next year, said Toshio Kawamura, senior executive vice president of NEC. Those products will be manufactured by NEC and sold by both companies through existing sales channels, including EMC\u2019s link with Dell."The future low-end of our product line will be based on this codevelopment," said Howard Elias, executive vice president of EMC, at a Tokyo news conference. "All of our entry-level customers over time will benefit from this collaboration."EMC, along with Dell, Intel, LSI Logic and other companies, recently launched a working group to develop the Storage Bridge Bay technology, and NEC has been invited to become the first Japanese member of the group, Elias said.In IT management, the companies will work on interoperability between EMC\u2019s Smarts products and NEC\u2019s WebSAM products, involving the possible cross-licensing of technologies, Elias said. In content management, the work will focus on updating EMC\u2019s Documentum platform with templates for specific industries developed by NEC.Much of that software work will be focused on Japanese industries, and the biggest benefits of Wednesday\u2019s agreements for customers outside of Japan will likely be on the hardware side. The companies have worked together in Japan on sales and support of storage products since 1997. The alliance announced Wednesday grew out of talks that began between the companies about two years ago."For any company to be truly great in this global world, with the pace of technological change, it\u2019s impossible to go it alone," Joe Tucci, EMC\u2019s president and chief executive officer, said at the news conference.-Martyn Williams, IDG News ServiceFor related news coverage, read EMC Extends Archiving Software.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.