Brampton, Ont.--Business services were the watchword Monday, as Nortel Networks, Brampton, Ont.; e-assist.net, San Diego; and Cisco Systems, San Jose, Calif. forged new ground in the area. Nortel said it will work with Hewlett-Packard Co. and other software vendors to provide reliable and secure connections to corporate software applications. The move is significant because Nortel has the network infrastructure to help jump-start the business services market, expected to reach $23 billion by 2003, according to the research firm Dataquest. e-assist said it will deliver customer relationship management applications via AboveNet Communications' network. And Cisco signed a pact with APAC Customer Services to provide its Collaboration Server, Media Blender and eMail Manager to APAC call center clients.