Showing posts from September, 2013

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.168 SVN39 released

A new version of Tracker Dashboard (v1.0.168 SVN39) is available with improved charting logic & other cosmetic improvements.

Tracker Dashboard sends regular automated emails to Tracker and Alpha Tracker users containing key stats, charts and action lists delivered straight into the user's Inbox.

Please contact the office if you would like this update.

7 days of support calls - why do our customers phone?

7 days of support calls at Start Software - 13/9/2013 to 20/9/2013
Why do our customers phone us for help?

Every call to our support line - 0845 612 2402 - is logged and analysed as part of our ISO9001 Quality System and our commitment to customer satisfaction.  Here's the breakdown from last week:

  • a quarter of the calls into the office were requests for modifications to our asbestos software systems, Tracker and Alpha Tracker.  Our customers ask for extra features, new data exports or modified asbestos survey reports - no problem at all
  • one in ten calls were requests for help with general IT problems - not our software at all! We always do our best to help but we do have to prioritise calls which relate to our software systems, naturally
  • five calls last week were reporting software problems but when we tried to to reproduce the problem ourselves, we couldn't.  It really helps us to fix problems if you can show us exactly how to make the problem happen.
In total last week, only 13 calls were actually reports of software "bugs" - errors or unexpected behaviour in our software systems.  That's 13 too many of course and we strive to keep on top of software errors to help you get on with your business as smoothly as possible.

We're recruiting again

We're increasing the size of our support and development teams - do you know someone who might be interested?

Job: Customer Support

Our support desk deals with 100 calls for assistance from our customers each week and each call is logged, investigated and responded to with care.  In order to respond in the time-scales set by our customers, we need support staff to be quick-witted, pro-active and able to handle busy times with calm professionalism.  It goes without saying that our support desk staff also need to be good with technology!

The successful applicant will be working with software such as Alpha Anywhere, Mobile Data Studio, Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Server as well as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets.  They will also learn a great deal about the markets we work in including asbestos surveying (for our Alpha Tracker product).

Job: Apprentice Software Developer

We produce market-leading and award-winning software for a number of industries.  We need more Alpha Anywhere developers urgently to increase the size of our development team.  If are you looking to start a career in software development using tools that can build powerful database-based systems for web and mobile then get do in touch.

For more information, contact Elaine on 0845 612 2402 or via our web site.

Midland Industrial Contractors go live with Alpha Tracker

Midland Industrial Contractors ( are a respected insulation service business with a new focus on asbestos surveying and other asbestos services.

Having worked with Tracker before at previous companies, the MIC directors choose the latest version of Start Software's asbestos software Alpha Tracker to help them to reduce administration and increase efficiency in their business.

Click the image above to find out more about Midland Industrial Contractors and their asbestos services.

Access User Group workshop at Coventry Airport

Never has there been such a collection of Microsoft Access nerds around one table at one time!!

Today's meeting at Coventry Airport focussed on productisation - turning a piece of software into something which can be sold repeatedly into a specific vertical market.  In our case, we've sold asbestos software to asbestos consultants, asbestos surveyors and asbestos consultancies (Tracker and Alpha Tracker) and Toy Libraries (Toy Tracker).  The group shared best practice and our collective experience of pricing, support, version control and bug tracking.

Start Software at the Access User Group
We also talked about the future - are we at the end of the era of desktop software delivery?  Is the future all about delivery of browser-based applications in tools such as Alpha Anywhere? A really good day spent in the company of our fellow Microsoft Access software developers.

Alpha Tracker update SVN167/30 released

Alpha Tracker - our cloud-based asbestos software for asbestos surveyors, asbestos consultants and asbestos consultancies - has been updated fortnightly since its launch and the latest release is SVN167/30.

Some of the areas improved are:

  • on-screen presentation of asbestos survey data 
  • processing of new building data captured on site
  • timesheets (new!)
  • invoice production (cosmetic and functional enhancements)
  • on-site (pre-survey) risk assessments (new!)
All Alpha Tracker customers will receive the update automatically over the coming weeks.

Start Software's new offices

Remember Del Boy Trotter's van with "New York, Paris, Peckham" on the side?

I feel like we're heading the same way now that we can boast "London, Adelaide, Telford and Bridgnorth"!

Bridgnorth was first and is now our support & accounts office.

Telford was next and is our space for our software design and programming team.
We've now added Adelaide with a sales office supporting our Australian Alpha Tracker customers.

And finally our space above the IoD in Pall Mall gives us a perfect facility for working and meeting clients when in London.

SLR Environmental go live with Alpha Tracker and Tracker Mobile

Specialist asbestos surveying consultancy SLR Environmental is Start Software's latest Alpha Tracker customer making full use of the asbestos software's on-site data capture and automated asbestos report production.

Directors Sam Lee and Steven Ives attended their Alpha Tracker and Tracker Mobile training course today at Start Software's e-Innovation Centre training facility.

SLR's Steven Ives working with Tracker Mobile

Sam Lee from SLR Environmental practising with Alpha Tracker
SLR decided to use Samsung smartphones for their on-site data capture (a mixture of Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 units) but in the future they will be feel to switch to iPhones, iPads or Android tablets as Start Software's Tracker Mobile handheld asbestos surveying software enables surveyors to choose the device they feel most comfortable with.

Support call stats for August 2013

We had another record month for support calls in August with 324 calls logged for support.

With staff being on holiday from the support desk we had a tough time trying to hit our service levels but despite that more than 90% of calls were resolved within the deadline set us by the caller.

Start Software - Support Call Stats - August 2013
We know how important it is to our asbestos software users (Tracker and Alpha Tracker asbestos surveyors, asbestos consultants and asbestos consultancies) that we consistently resolve your queries on time so we are currently recruiting an additional 1st level support technician.  In the autumn I expect these stats to be back up to 95%+ so please do watch this space.

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