A roundup of field service news and views worth checking out:

The Cloud’s Great — For Almost Everybody

Elizabeth Blackwell from The Street explains cloud computing and its applications to small businesses. Blackwell points out many of the cost-saving advantages of the cloud, while also acknowledging that cloud-based applications don’t make sense for every company.

Mobile: A Low-Risk Option

In her article about mobile capabilities in field service, Patti Bunker describes how iPads, smart phones and other devices can help pad the bottom line for many small businesses. While mobile isn’t a panacea, the devices offer both immediate benefits and low-risk entry to explore cloud-based technologies. From the article:

The answer may not be everything but it may be enough to shorten your sales call-to-cash cycle, increase the number of calls an employee can make in a day or reduce the number of times he has to go out to handle a given service call.  Any or all of these can  have a positive effect on the bottom line.

Roof With A Hole

Lastly, a recently released book, “101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Technician,” details humorous first-hand HVAC mishaps, culled from one technician’s 20-year career in the industry.

[R.J.] Schuster’s tales from 20 years in the HVAC field range from dangerous to silly. Stories cover techs’ unusual uses for duct tape, such as on a broken tree branch to hide a truck collision from a homeowner, a tech cutting a hole in a roof while trying to cut a hole in the ceiling for a duct, and the mistranslation between a tech and a parts department manager, who discovered later that the number in question for a furnace replacement part was actually a zip code. “We all make mistakes, so let’s laugh and learn,” says Schuster.

The book is available on Amazon.com