What a difference 2 years makes. A business services session at NCTA in ’05 was a tough sell. Tuesday’s panel was packed, evidence that MSOs understand business services is "here and now… the growth engine for cable," moderator and TW Cable svp Ken Fitzpatrick said. Relatively new entrant Comcast is aiming at the small-business market (20 employees or fewer) and will leverage its deep community ties. "Small businesses are local, that’s what we are," Comcast Business Services pres Bill Stemper said. A key reality is that the business customer chooses based on an MSO’s legacy, so every employee influences that choice, Stemper said, adding: "When someone asks me, ‘How many people do you have working in business services? I answer, ‘We’re on our way to 90K.’" Charter vp/gm Steve Trippe echoed that thought, noting the difficulty Charter had selling business services in acquired systems where residential cable service had struggled. Speaking of service, Cox Las Vegas vp/gm Leo Brennan noted business customers are more demanding than residential HHs and shouldn’t be viewed the same way. "Just be there when [the business services customers] need you, and you’ll be fine," Brennan said.