IBM Wednesday shared its plans to put down $865 million for network management software maker Micromuse, which industry watchers say is nothing but good news for Big Blue as the network becomes a more critical focus for the big management software vendors.

The deal, expected to close early next year, will equip IBM with the technology to manage converged voice, video and data networks, Al Zollar, general manager of Tivoli, said during an IBM press conference.

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