NEW YORK - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc said on Thursday that it planned to buy privately held Tidal Software Inc for about $105 million in cash and incentives, to bolster its range of products and services for corporate data centers.

Tidal Software offers management software such as job scheduling systems and applications that automate and control business processes, helping companies reduce operational costs.

Cisco has been expanding from its traditional focus on routers and switches to a wider range of network equipment and software. It recently announced a strategy to start selling computer servers and offer a wider set of services and software to help data centers manage online traffic more efficiently.

Cisco said it expected the deal to close in the quarter ending in July.

Tidal Software's intelligent solutions will bolster Cisco's data center strategy by providing timely, accurate and cost-efficient management and automation of application performance across entire business operations, from the server through the network to the desktop, Cisco said in a statement.

In late January, Tidal Software said revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 had risen moderately from a year earlier, and that it was profitable. Customers include Citibank and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

Analysts have said Cisco's expansion into servers and business software is a direct challenge to its traditional vendor partners like IBM (IBM.N) and Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N).

Cisco shares were up 4.6 percent at $17.91 in morning trading. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)