Showing posts from July, 2017

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 Alpha Tracker order from a Perth-based asbestos consultancy

I'll post more details next week, but I've just heard that another Western Australia-based asbestos consultancy has placed an order for our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

Judy & Leanne are looking forward to helping another consultancy to become more productive and improve the service they deliver to their clients.

Start Software opens Jakarta office

We're really pleased to be expanding our Indonesian Alpha Anywhere software development operation with a new Jakarta-based office.

Start Software's Jakarta office (12th floor)
Our Indonesia-based programming staff will enjoy working from our new office space creating software for our customers in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Meet the team - Judy Key

Judy heads up our Alpha Tracker operation in Adelaide servicing our asbestos consultancy clients throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Judy Key - Alpha Tracker specialist
Originally from South Africa, we first met Judy when she was working for one of our asbestos consultancy Tracker clients based in London.  When she decided to emigrate to Australia we asked her if she wanted to start our operation "down under" and we were delighted that she did.

Judy has a wonderful young family and they are all enjoying their brand new home in the South Australia countryside.  She enjoys good food (thanks to her chef husband Ed!) and the family's collection of exotic pets.

More start-up asbestos consultancies choose Alpha Tracker

Most of our new customers for our Alpha Tracker asbestos system come via recommendation which is a great way to grow a business.  Our customers are often our best sales people (and - quite rightly - our "critical friends" letting us know when things aren't as they should be!).

We've had a couple of orders in this week from start-up consultancies where the asbestos surveyors taking their first steps to build their businesses have come from organisations using Alpha Tracker already.

This is very reassuring for us as a company as many of these asbestos surveyors have experienced the software and support from our competitors and they have chosen us in preference.

Alpha Tracker asbestos software Release 26 is nearly ready

Our late-summer (is that time already?!?) release of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is nearly ready.

Alpha Tracker Release 26
This will be Release 26 of our software system aimed at environmental and asbestos consultancies, property managers and large enterprises with internal asbestos teams. Release 25 was only released in May with lots of positive feedback from customers.

Do get in touch and speak to Kim if you would like to know more about the forthcoming release and please do start thinking of ideas for Release 27!

Meet the team - Kim Evison

Kim has been a key member of the Start team for 10 years+ (it's so long, no-one is quite sure!!).  She is our technical author, lead trainer and also provides consultancy to customers looking to get more from their Alpha Tracker asbestos software.

Start Software's Kim Evison
The amazingly versatile Kim also oversees our Quality Assurance programmes including our much-treasured ISO9001 accreditation.

Outside work, Kim is very proud of her family and enjoys socialising with friends.  She also enjoys being fit and has conquered some huge physical challenges including scaling Kilimanjaro.  This year will be her first Tough Mudder, too!

Alpha DevCon 2017 agenda announced

The agenda for this year's Alpha Anywhere Developer Conference ("DevCon 2017") has been announced.

We'll be there as usual and I'm part of a developer panel session to talk about how to turn Alpha Anywhere skills into a successful Alpha Anywhere-based business.

If you need support, advice, consultancy or training in Alpha Anywhere then do get in touch or come and say hello at the DevCon!

First Access/SQL Server programming visit to Cath Tate Cards' new office

No more Brixton trips for my regular programming visits to the awesome Cath Tate Cards!

Cath, Rosie and their team have moved from their Brixton offices to a fabulously light and airy space in West Dulwich so a bit further out for me and my trusty folding bike but a stunning new location to work from.

I'm proud of the system we built for Cath and her team and it has continued to power their business since they switched from Sage a decade or so ago.  If we can help you to upsize your Access or Sage system into something which can support your business growth then do get in touch.

Cath is also currently sponsoring a fabulous exhibition showcasing women cartoonists at the Cartoon Museum in London and features in today's Guardian.  Exciting times for Cath Tate Cards!

Cath's article in today's Guardian

Get to the Cartoon Museum if you can to see The Inking Woman

Ferry to Indonesia

Our Jakarta-based Alpha Anywhere programmer Ferry has now finished his two-week stint in the UK and is flying back on Saturday.

He's enjoyed meeting the team in person and getting to see some of his code in action at a number of clients.

We've tried to show him a bit of UK life including Jack, Oliver & Tom taking Ferry to London for the day.

Ferry with the London Eye

Oliver, Ferry, Jack & Tom sightseeing in London
We'll miss him and I know that the Oswestry KFC will too!

KFC Oswestry's most loyal customer!!

Meet the team - Catherine Connery

Catherine is a specialist project manager with decades of experience in customer-facing IT.

Project manager Catherine Connery
When we start work on larger software development projects, Catherine helps us to plan our resources and set achievable goals for the team.  She also enjoys working directly with customers in a business analysis role too.

Outside work, Catherine enjoys being a Mum and an active member of her community.  She has a variety of roles including helping to a run a Guide group and being chair of Governors at the local secondary school.

Update - Tracker Mobile (Mobile Data) on Windows devices

You may have seen my recent blog post announcing the beta availability of Mobile Data for Windows devices - see for more info.

This means that asbestos surveyors will soon have the choice of all standard mobile equipment (Android, Apple and Windows) when using our Tracker Mobile asbestos site data capture software (which is part of Tracker and Alpha Tracker).

Another update of the beta Windows software is now available and it also works on most Windows 7 and Windows 8 laptops too extending the number of devices we can use even further.

Another New Zealand asbestos consultancy switches to asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Judy & Leanne have been busy again in our Adelaide office!

We've just had confirmation of another order for our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker, from a North Island-based asbestos consultancy.  I visited New Zealand's stunning North Island a couple of years back with my family on a working holiday and it will be great to return and meet all of our new clients in that stunning part of the world.

Asbestobel complete their Alpha Tracker training

Asbestos specialist consultancy Asbestobel completed their asbestos software Alpha Tracker training yesterday.

Asbestobel concentrate on providing best value, best advice and delivering best practice when they survey their clients' buildings for asbestos.  The introduction of Alpha Tracker from Start Software will help them to be more efficient and provide a wider range of services including the "client portal" view of all work undertaken.

Kim really enjoyed meeting the admin and surveying staff yesterday and here are some of the photos from the day:

Tracker Mobile can be used on smartphones and tablets

Alpha Tracker improves efficiency for admin and surveyors

Use Android or Apple tablets - or Windows Intel too

Telephone fault update: 11/7/2017

Sorry if you had problems getting through to us by 'phone yesterday, our telecomms provider had a problem at the exchange and it took our lines out for most of the morning.

We had organised a temporary fix but the main telephone lines are now back up and running as normal.

LK Group switch to Alpha Tracker

Kim enjoyed meeting the asbestos professionals at the LK Group yesterday for their Alpha Tracker asbestos software training.

LK Group have been Tracker users for some time now and made the decision to switch to our latest web-based software, Alpha Tracker, to ensure that they had the best facilities available to their staff and clients.

Here are some of the photos Kim took at the training session.

Our on-site asbestos data collection system - Tracker Mobile - is now in beta for Windows laptops and tablets

We're really pleased to announce that our on-site data collection tool, Tracker Mobile, is now in beta test for the full range of Windows Intel smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Software developer Ferry testing Tracker Mobile on a Lenovo Yoga laptop/tablet
We use the market-leading Mobile Data product to build our data collection apps and we have been working with our Australian partners at CreativityCorp over the last few months to create a Windows version of their software.

Tracker Mobile is already available for Android and iOS (Apple) devices and now that the Windows Intel version is working well we will be able to offer our asbestos data collection software on a full range of devices.

Meet the team - Ferry Kurniawan

Ferry is one of our leading Alpha Anywhere software developers and normally works out of Jakarta, Indonesia, but he's currently over with us in the UK to work on a large-scale project for a poultry business.

Ferry outside our Telford software development office
UK food is proving to be a challenge for Ferry (no fried catfish here!) but he's enjoying exploring the differences in cultures and spending time with our UK-based staff.

Another New Zealand environmental consultancy chooses Alpha Tracker

We're really pleased to start the month with another Alpha Tracker order from New Zealand.

Golder Associates are a global, employee-owned organisation providing independent environmental consulting, design & construction services in their speciality areas of earth, environment and energy.

We're looking forward to building a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

Support desk stats for June 2017

The Start Software support team worked hard in June to improve their support stats (see May's disappointing results here) but it was another tough month:

In time (%)
In time (H) (%)
In time (total)
In time (H) (total)
Total solved

The overall % is up 4 points meaning that 84% of all calls logged were resolved within the timeframe set by our customers but the score for high priority calls was actually slightly down (to 89%).  This means that our response to urgent calls has dropped below 90% for the first time in a long time.

More hard-scratching required by the support desk supervisors I think to get a better set of results for July.

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