Showing posts from October, 2015

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.

Another new Alpha Tracker feature for October 2015!

Early today I blogged about the October 2015 release of our asbestos software Alpha Tracker (see and I mentioned that we might be able to squeeze in another feature or two before the month-end.

We've managed to fit one more in and it is quite an interesting one.  We had a request from a favourite customer a fortnight ago along these lines: "Might it be possible to flag a project to appear on more than one client's portal?".

So in SVN1712 we have a new setting which enables this feature and allows individual projects to be tagged for display on the client portal to any number of client IDs in addition to the "owning" client's ID:

a project can now be shown on any number of client portals
These "linked projects" appear on the client portal in their own section - to make it clear that they are special projects made available to the client logging in:

these extra projects appear in their own section on the portal

October 2015 update to Alpha Tracker is now live

Our asbestos software system Alpha Tracker has been updated again with the October 2015 release (pre-announced here

This version (known as SVN1707) has 100+ or so new features, performance improvements and bug fixes since the September update.

Lab managers will especially pleased with this update as we've introduced fully-blind re-checks and a new Lab Check Dashboard:

Alpha Tracker's new Lab Check Dashboard
Kim has updated the release notes (you can view them here - scroll down to the bottom of the page) and I've recorded a short video to run through the highlights for you (click to play):

We've started planning the November update for Alpha Tracker - keep in touch with ideas!

October 2015's Alpha Tracker update is just days away

We've incorporated another 100 new features and performance improvements into October's update to our asbestos software and surveying system, Alpha Tracker.

The update will be available next week (queue the Countdown music!!).

Kim is busy updating the user guide and release notes and I'll be blogging the key features next week in the usual way (by YouTube video).  See for last month's update.

Mobile Data Studio 8.0

A major update to Mobile Data Studio has been released.  The new version is v8.0 and full details are available here.

details of the Mobile Data v8.0 upgrade

Mobile Data Studio is a key component of our Tracker & Alpha Tracker asbestos software systems for asbestos consultancies and it powers our handheld surveying solution, Tracker Mobile.

asbestos surveyor using Tracker Mobile from Start Software
The latest version has some great new features for system administrators, including:

  • better search and sort options in the Data Window
  • automatic deployment of Tracker Mobile to new handsets
  • mapping options direct from MDS.
You are welcome to upgrade your own system and handsets or contact our Support Desk if you would like us to do it for you.  Before upgrading please make sure you have a backup of all Tracker Mobile files - just in case!  There is no charge for this update.

How do we deliver 24x7 support?

It was a proud day when we started to offer 24x7 personal support to our customers.  A question we're often asked is How do we do it?

The answer is simple - we have staff working around the world together with a call handling service we've used since we started in business more than 15 years ago - and one which has grown with us over the years and which is now a huge and thriving business serving customers globally.

When you phone our UK number during office hours, UK-based staff will take your call.  Phone us out-of-hours, and the call will be silently (and at no charge to you!) transferred to our call handlers in Australia or New Zealand.

Our Quality Manager Kim is currently enjoying the benefits of our Australian connections.  She is working out of our Adelaide office for a few weeks to support some new asbestos consultancy customers working with our Alpha Tracker system.  She Skyped these photos over showing the office and the view she's enjoying out to the ocean:

Start Software's Adelaide base

Not a bad view!
The Adelaide weather is perfect at this time of year - lucky Kim!

ISO9001:2008 inspection visit at Start Software - perfect result

We've had a tough, intensive day here in Bridgnorth with our Lloyds' ISO9001 inspector and without our Quality Manager Kim who is working (hard) in our Australian office.

After reviewing our processes, "paperwork" and systems the assessor has signed us off with no non-conformances at all.  This is a fantastic result and a real credit to Kim, Elaine and the team.

extracted from today's ISO9001 report


(see for details of our other certifications)

Alpha Tracker - more asbestos consultancies are switching to our "cloud" solution

We've had a bumper week for orders for our asbestos software system Alpha Tracker.

Asbestos consultancies are switching to Alpha Tracker for lots of reasons - but one of the key factors is that Alpha Tracker runs "in the cloud".  This means that customers don't need a server in-house but instead can rent servers from specialist providers (such as FastHosts, Amazon or Google) and deploy Alpha Tracker remotely instead.

Google's cloud infrastructure

Will the "cloud" be a fad or is it here to last?  Nobody has a crystal ball but my bet is that it is here to stay.  Two of the world's biggest companies (Amazon and Google) have made it their core business and so that's a pretty sizeable endorsement.

If you're interested in switching your asbestos consultancy from a traditional desktop software environment to the speed and flexibility of the cloud, get in touch.

Euro Environmental switch to Alpha Tracker

Kim & I really enjoyed today's training sessions with our old friends at Euro Environmental helping their staff to switch from asbestos software Tracker to our latest cloud system Alpha Tracker.

The Euro directors are particularly looking forward to the easy "web based" access to the system and the new compliance management features in Alpha Tracker's client portal which are sure to be popular with Euro Environmental's clients.

Latest Alpha Tracker Document Maker available (v1.4.610 SVN114)

The latest version of asbestos software system Alpha Tracker's document production module is now available for download from

This release - v1.4.610 SVN114 - has improved signature and PDF processing.

If you need help to install the update, please do contact our support desk.

Best support performance in months (September 2015)

We've just analysed our most recent support desk results and they are the best we've had for months.

Start Software Support Desk - September 2015
You can see that in almost 500 calls taken this month, we resolved the customer's query within the time-scales they requested in more than 9 calls out of 10.  Of the high priority issues, 93% were resolved in time.  This is a 15% improvement since last month.

The month-by-month chart shows how we're now back to the top of our game:

Excellent news - congratulations to Elaine and the Support Desk staff.

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