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VocalTec restructures, eyes voice over Net

VocalTec Communications, Ltd. (Nasdaq: VOCL), said Tuesday it will restructure its operations and management to focus on the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry.

Shares in the Internet telephony company closed at 23 13/16. The stock has been essentially flat, but rose slightly in September on a deal with Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) to deliver Internet protocol (IP) telephony software to Internet service providers (ISPs) and carriers.

The company's refocused initiatives including improving its execution capabilities and taking advantage of additional opportunities in the VoIP industry. Organization into three divisions, two of which are new, are also aimed at improving shareholder value, VocalTec said.

The IPTelephony Products Group, based in Israel, will continue to supply products for Internet telephony service providers (ITSPs) and competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). The group will also continue working with major telecom carriers worldwide. IT will be led by Ira Palti, president, formerly vice president of Research & Development. Palti is credited with assembling and guiding VocalTec's R&D team.

VocalTec will also launch a U.S.-based e-commerce Application Service Provider (ASP) group later this year to target various vertical markets.

A second new group based in the U.S. is creating a consumer communications portal for new web based communications services. The official announcement of this business will be made soon, and the first phase of service will begin during the second quarter, the company said.

VocalTec, one of the early Internet telephony players, is racing to catch up to the market buzz created by Net2Phone (Nasdaq: NTOP), which is seen as the Internet telephony leader.