Showing posts from September, 2016

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.

Asbestoprobe and Alpha Tracker project moving forwards at pace

We've had meetings this week with Asbestoprobe's hardware partners to discuss how the handheld asbestos probe could integrate with our asbestos software Alpha Tracker and handheld site data capture app Tracker Mobile.

There is still a long way to go in the project and many technical hurdles to overcome, but with Alpha Tracker labs now getting involved with product testing there is real momentum behind the development.

Robin presents the Cotswold Archaeology tablet app at Alpha Software DevCon 2016

We're working with the UK's leading archaeological consultancy, Cotswold Archaeology, to change the way that field data is collected and to introduce genuine innovation into the industry.

Head of fieldwork at Cotswold Archaeology, Simon Cox, gave us this challenge:
“to build an innovative paperless recording, analysis and archiving system that sets the standard for British archaeological contractors”
We're using our skills with the amazing Alpha Anywhere development platform to create a mobile, offline-capable field app to capture rich data - photos, sketches, text data and more.

All week some of the Alpha developers at Start Software have been at the Alpha DevCon in Boston, USA, and Start Software director Robin Bennett presented to discuss some of the design & build challenges that have been faced during the development.

Robin presenting at Alpha DevCon 2016
Can we help you to build an innovative mobile smartphone or tablet app for your organisation?  Get in touch.

Alpha Tracker Release 22 announced in Boston - it's truly "Bostin"!

This blog title has to be the worst pun ever - and may not make sense unless you're familiar with a bit of UK slang!  "Bostin" means great see (see and we've announced the summer/autumn 2016 release whilst being at the Alpha DevCon in Boston, USA.

This update is Release 22 (SVN2136) of asbestos software Alpha Tracker and has been made public following the beta testing from our valued beta tester asbestos consultancy customers.

Here's the introductory video for Release 22:

I've picked up on 5 of the main changes in this video but there are plenty more updates, bug fixes and performance improvements throughout the build.

Kim has produced the detailed release notes as usual - ready for you to use to update your Quality Manuals - and these are available here:

Release notes are available online for Alpha Tracker Release 22
We've started the design and build process for Release 23 which will be available later this year.

Start Software and Asbestoprobe announce partnership

We're really pleased to announce that Asbestoprobe have chosen Start Software to be their strategic asbestos software partners.

Asbestoprobe is a new device for the detection and identification of asbestos and is the result of years of intensive research & development effort.  This development process is nearing completion and we're working with the team at Asbestoprobe to ensure that the process of transferring results from the probe to asbestos software Alpha Tracker or Tracker Mobile is easy, seamless and secure.

The team at Asbestoprobe are looking for an asbestos lab to assist with their final product testing.  If you would like to know more about this, do get in touch.

We'll be posting more information about our partnership over the next few months.

Start Software at Alpha Software's DevCon2016

We're in Boston (USA) this week for Alpha Software's annual developer conference - DevCon2016.

Tom, Jack & Dan at Alpha's DevCon2016 (Robin was taking the photo!)

We've brought four of our Alpha Anywhere development team over to learn about the new features and facilities Alpha are introducing to the product over the next 12 months; features which will help us to build great software products for our customers.

Tom deep in concentration working with the improved mobile form controls

Dion McCormick from GiantKillerTraining is leading today's training

Goody bags!

Final test version of Alpha Tracker Release 22 is now available

The beta released on 2 September has received good feedback from our valued beta testers and so we've published the "release candidate" version RC1.  This should be the final Release 22 code - as long as it passes our final checks we'll make this available this as the Summer/Autumn 2016 version of asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

What can you expect from this release?  It is our fastest, most stable version of Alpha Tracker ever with improvements across the board - calendar, risk assessments, reporting, security and usability.

International Asbestos Awareness & Management Conference (13-15 November 2016, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia)

We'll be exhibiting our asbestos software Alpha Tracker and the new Alpha Tracker app at the International Asbestos Awareness & Management Conference.

This year, the conference is being held at the Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia, which is conveniently very close to our office!  The conference dates are 13-15 November 2016... see you there.

Patrick Parsons go live with Alpha Tracker

Consulting engineers Patrick Parsons have switched their specialist asbestos team to Alpha Tracker from Start Software.

 Patrick Parsons

As firm believers that diversity of expertise is a key ingredient to enhanced client satisfaction, Patrick Parsons has spent years building a team of multi-disciplinary experts and Associates that provide a wealth of expertise giving them the capability to address the most environmentally sensitive sites. These experts and Associates including specialist asbestos staff able to provide the full range of asbestos surveying services.

The Patrick Parsons asbestos surveyors visited our Telford office to receive their training.

RSK switch to Alpha Tracker

Asbestos and Legionella specialists RSK have launched Alpha Tracker into their business with intensive training sessions at their UK sites this week.

RSK will be using the latest Alpha Tracker software and apps to enhance their service delivery and customer experience.

Trainer Kim was made very welcome by the asbestos professionals trained this week and here are some of the photos she took whilst on site:

Tracker Mobile can be used on tablets or smartphones

RSK have a reputation for quality and service

Use the tablet's built-in camera to take sample photos

Tracker Mobile can be used by teams of surveyors

Use any sketch apps from the app store for floor plans

You can also use paper plans - simple scan them into Tracker Mobile

Our 10-year anniversary celebration lunch was pure magic

Our celebration lunch was quite an event today.  And so it should be - it isn't every week that you have chance to gather your work family around you and celebrate a decade of being in business.

It was a lunch of 10s... 10 staff, 10 years of trading as Start Software and a perfect "10" for the food and service at Purnell's in Birmingham.

The icing on the cake (actually, we forgot to have a cake!) was a magical, touching and inspirational performance by master magician Michael Vincent who blew our minds completely.  What a performer and what a warm, passionate and very funny human being.

Robin & Michael outside Purnells

Adam enjoying some chicken!

Kim with her mouth full (please do make up your own joke)

Nice haircut Tom.  Ugandan?

Jack keeping the wine waiter busy

Catherine & Robin enjoying the show

Michael about to make the Purnell's bill disappear (if only!)

Catherine as Mike's glamorous assistant

Dan and Adam - puzzled faces all around

Oliver trying to stop Michael reading his mind

This is Russ's poker face - didn't work though!

Yes, Michael does know what's in your hand Russ

Michael in full flow

What a finale to a brilliant show

August's support stats at Start Software - 1% off being perfect!

During August, nearly 99% of high priority calls were resolved on time by our hard-working support staff.  What a fantastic achievement considering that we were in the holiday season.

nearly 99% of urgent calls were resolved in time in August 2016

Looking at all calls (including medium and low priority), more than 9 out of every 10 calls were sorted on time which meets our published targets.

Congratulations Jack and Oliver especially for having such a good month.

Latest beta release of asbestos software Alpha Tracker now available - with video feature!

Beta 2 of Alpha Tracker Release 22 is now ready for our beta testers to download and install.

This release enables our new video feature built in to the Alpha Tracker app so that asbestos surveyors can record video clips to bring particular issues to the attention of your customers.  Nice!

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