IBM is set to buy network management software vendor Micromuse.

Big Blue claimed the move would allow it to offer customers better technology for dealing with mixed traffic in their networks.

The company said it planned to add Micromuse's technology to its line-up of Tivoli management software to help companies better manage services such as videoconferencing for remote workers or streamed music for cell phone customers.

The rise of VoIP and video-on-demand traffic is making networks more complex and organisations need real-time network and service management capabilities. Micromuse's products can also diagnose and fix network outages and performance problems, it said.

If the deal is approved Micromuse will become a business unit in IBM's Tivoli division. The companies have about 500 joint customers, IBM said.

The companies hope to close the deal, worth US$865 in cash, in the first quarter next year subject to approval from Micromuse shareholders and US regulators.