Artisoft gains on distribution pact

Shares of Artisoft Inc. (Nasdaq: ASFT) moved up 2 1/8, or 14 percent, to a 52-week high of 17 1/2 Monday after inking a strategic distribution pact with The Independent Computer Owners Network Plc to sell its software-based phone system.

Company officials said the deal will help Artisoft sell its TeleVantage systems within the international market, including small- to medium-sized business in the United Kingdom.

"With the exploding growth of the CT market, we were looking for a partner to deliver a proven solution to meet the increasing needs of our SMB and branch office customers," said Nigel Coster, managing director of ICON. "TeleVantage was the logical choice for us. As a software-PBX, TeleVantage will provide our customers with a scalable and open system that will grow as their businesses grow."

TeleVantage provides call management, ACD functionality, IP Telephony, web browser capability, and messaging features for up to 96 trunk lines and 264 extensions.

Last quarter, Artisoft posted a loss of $482,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $6.4 million.

Its shares were trading at a 52-week low of 2 1/4 last November. >