Key takeaways from Mon’s panel on how to execute a business services plan included creating dedicated teams that are focused solely on selling commercial services and installing them. "Sales cycles can take days not weeks," when you’re dealing with businesses, said Comcast svp/gm, online services Mitch Bowling. Time Warner Business Class RVP, L.A. Dave Montierth warned against pushing sales to make business services deals if a system isn’t ready. "It’s not a sales problem. It’s an operational and infrastructural problem," he said. "You have to remove obstacles for sales." Also keep in mind that pricing is much more complicated compared to residential, with there being no "cookie cutter deals," Bresnan evp, ops Steve Brookstein added. Other issues to consider are the upstream needs of some businesses. "Most companies can deal with small upstreams, but there are a bunch that can’t," said Optimum Lightpath evp, gm Dave Pistacchio, adding it’s an issue that the Cablevision subsidiary is working on. Bowling said DOCSIS 3.0 will alleviate those concerns. — Moving video content to multiple devices is vital, but pesky technical challenges continue to slow its progress, said panelists at Communications Technology’s "Any Stream to Any Screen" technical breakfast on Mon. "We’re seeing service providers adding more content and distributing it to other devices. But it’s getting more complex," said Russell Zack, vp, product management for Anystream. "Cable is positioned well for 3-screens, though not in a strong position in wireless as yet. But over time, we’ll see it addressed. The challenges now are in the back office, security, accounting and workflow," Compton said. The business model for getting video content to multiple devices also remains a work in progress, said Rick Rioboli, vp, video product engineering for Comcast. "We have one system of video streaming to TV and another to deliver video content to PCs," Rioboli said. "But they’re two different worlds, with lots of pitchers and catchers. We’re working on making that a more flexible environment." For content providers, figuring out the workflow has become vital. "Workflow is huge, along with setting up metadata scheming," said Brad Williams, executive dir, media engineering for Disney/ABC. "But in the past two years we’ve learned a lot about getting the content delivered." — NCTA chmn Decker Anstrom told cable has committed to New Orleans for 2010. — Come Jun 1, every Comcast sub who wants to disconnect will be routed through a new retention center with reps whose sole focus "is to win the customer back" and whose salary will be based on their success, Comcast‘s eastern div chief Mike Doyle told an operations panel. Speaking of churn, Cox ops svp Jill Campbell cited research showing subs left her MSO because of price. "We can’t compete on price, we can compete on service," she said. That makes it critical for the MSO to deliver products more efficiently. It also means "automating material and streamlining [material for CSRs] is our biggest investment," she added. Doyle agreed, noting the importance of better tools for supervisors and centralizing the tech dispatch function. "For the first time I feel we are really listening to our customer," he said. Looking ahead, Charter CTO Marwan Fawaz said cable will take the lead in HD by the next Cable Show. Time Warner Cable evp/CMO Sam Howe said "25% of OTAs from our markets will go to cable" before the Feb ’09 digital transition. Campbell said advanced advertising would be big at the next show. — Commerce Secretary Carlos Guttierrez underlined the White House’s policy on network management, noting Washington should avoid "overly prescriptive regulation;" competition not regulation brings the most discipline to providers; and providers should transparently disclose their practices to consumers.

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