Showing posts from 2018

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 asbestos consultancy chooses Alpha Tracker - welcome LAANZ!

It's lovely to end the year with another Alpha Tracker asbestos software order.

This time it is Auckland (New Zealand) based asbestos consultancy LAANZ who has researched the market and has chosen to have Alpha Tracker as their asbestos management software.

LAANZ are WorkSafe New Zealand licensed asbestos assessors having proven their abilities with industry qualifications and many years of experience in the industry.  Specifically, LAANZ work in these areas of asbestos management:

  • Issuing clearance certificates
  • Management surveys
  • Refurbishment surveys
  • Demolition surveys
  • Air monitoring
  • Management plans
  • Asbestos awareness courses
  • Asbestos Removal Guidance
Improving the efficiency of surveying for asbestos is at the heart of Alpha Tracker:
  1. Before the survey, you can log calls and other contacts, generate quotes and plan work
  2. When the asbestos surveyor is on site, they will have access to the Tracker Mobile data collection app enabling data, plans and photos to be captured on smartphone and tablet
  3. Back in the asbestos lab, the results are recorded and auto-entered into the survey report
  4. The asbestos report is generated with one-click!  It is produced in your format, too, not ours
  5. The report is then viewable and shareable via the built-in Alpha Tracker Client Portal
  6. To wrap up the job, you can generate an invoice automatically and post to Sage, Xero or other accounts packages.

Welcome LAANZ to the Alpha Tracker asbestos software family!

Christmas & New Year arrangements at Start Software

Where did 2018 go?!?  It has flown by for us and I'm sure it's the same for you. Hope you've had a good year and have an even better 2019.

Anyway... our support desk is open 24x7 to support you and your business throughout the festive period although our Telford and Adelaide offices will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day as usual.

Our chosen asbestos charity for 2018 - Mesothelioma UK
We'll be sending a donation to Mesothelioma UK instead of buying Christmas cards.  Given our connection with the asbestos industry (via Tracker and Alpha Tracker) we hope you agree with our decision to help charities supporting individuals and families affected by this devastating asbestos-related illness.

November's support performance at Start Software

Looking back at October's results, we're quite pleased with the stats for November.

Start Software - Support Performance - November 2018

We received 600 calls and emails for assistance in November, and 85% were solved within 4 hours.  For the urgent problems, nearly 19 in every 20 calls were resolved by the help desk within 2 hours.

That's a busy month but hopefully lots of satisfied customers!

Latest Alpha Tracker beta release is available

Beta testers for asbestos software Alpha Tracker will be available to download and install Release 30 beta 1 from today.

the Alpha Tracker website
If you would like your asbestos consultancy to be a beta tester for Alpha Tracker, do get in touch.

Welcome Asbestos Analytical Services - the latest asbestos consultancy to switch to Alpha Tracker

Welcome Asbestos Analytical Services of Prestwick to the Alpha Tracker family!

AAS offers asbestos air testing, asbestos identification, asbestos sampling and asbestos surveying services to their clients in Scotland and beyond.  They have chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker to improve their efficiency and productivity.

Here are some of the photos that our Alpha Tracker trainer Kim took during the training session.  Did you know we offer free on-site training to all new Alpha Tracker clients?

One of the AAS asbestos specialists working with Tracker Mobile

Use the GPS geocoding option in Tracker Mobile to tag samples to maps

Alpha Tracker training is actually fun!

Anglian Asbestos are the latest asbestos consultancy to switch to Alpha Tracker

Norfolk-based Anglian Demolition & Asbestos are the latest asbestos consultancy to turn to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

Anglian offer the full range of asbestos services to their clients, from demolition projects right through to asbestos surveying with everything in between! Asbestos software Alpha Tracker will enable Anglian to improve the efficiency of their asbestos surveying department in particular with site data collection on smartphones and tablets, and automated asbestos report production back in the office.

Thanks to all the Anglian staff who made our trainer Kim most welcome.  Here are some of the photos she took during the training day.

Tracker Mobile in use on smartphones

Nice mug!

Anglian are demolition specialists

Anglian hold the full range of accreditations

Tracker Mobile allows data & photo capture and transmission from site

Hazmat Testing and Remediation receive their Alpha Tracker training - by Skype!

We posted a little while ago to say that Hazmat Testing and Remediation had chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker for their business.

Judy has just completed their training via Skype so they are now fully live.  Here is a photo of Chris and Jonny from their training session.

Chris Saunders and Jonny Drumm from Hazmat
If we can help your asbestos consultancy to implement the market leading asbestos software, Alpha Tracker, do get in touch (Aus/NZ or UK).

Northern Asbestos Services choose asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Our Alpha Tracker trainer Kim has just returned from a trip to the Elgin to train the asbestos surveyors and admin staff at asbestos consultancy Northern Asbestos Services Ltd.

Northern Asbestos provide the full range of asbestos services including asbestos surveys and asbestos removal.  They are fully qualified and accredited to all of the necessary standards for their clients' peace of mind.

Here are some of the photos that Kim took during the Alpha Tracker and Tracker Mobile asbestos software training sessions.  Welcome on board Northern Asbestos!

Envirocare choose asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Long-established and respected asbestos consultants Envirocare have chosen asbestos software Alpha Tracker to improve their efficiency and the service they offer to their clients.

See the Envirocare website at
Envirocare was established in 1979 and they are based just outside Birmingham.  They provide the full range of asbestos advice, analysis and monitoring services. Their work covers the whole of the UK and their consultants offer clients confidential professional guidance and assistance to ensure they comply with current health and safety and environmental legislation with special reference to the “Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012” (CAR 2012).

Welcome to the Alpha Tracker asbestos software family!

An Envirocare asbestos surveyor on a trial survey

Envirocare has chosen to use tablets for their Tracker Mobile software

What does Chrome mean by "Not secure" on an Alpha Tracker site, and what can I do to fix it?

Google Chrome has started reporting websites as "Not secure" and even some Alpha Tracker asbestos software users have seen the message.  What does it mean and what can be done about it?

The Chrome "Not secure" warning (highlighted)

What the warning means

When a web browser makes a connection across the Internet to a web server it has to make a connection to send and receive data.  This connection has traditionally been made such that the data has been in "plain text" (unless a site specifically required data to be encrypted, for example on bank sites or when sending credit card numbers).

Sending and receiving data in plain text gives a theoretical risk that a hacker could intercept information in transit.  The analogy is a telephone call made between two phones where someone with enough knowledge could (in theory) "tap" the wire and listen in to the call.

The alternative to a plain text connection is an encrypted one, where data is sent and received in encrypted form and a hacker would be unable to intercept information in transit even if they made a determined effort.  

Google has decided that it is wise for all Internet web browsing to be encrypted and so has started to show the warning for sites not using a secure connection.

How can I remove the warning from our Alpha Tracker?

It is really simple to remove the warning.  Your company needs to buy an "SSL Certificate" which will enable us to encrypt data sent and received by your Alpha Tracker web server.  

There is a small set-up charge for us to add the certificate to your system and we can also give you advice about the purchase of the certificate, too.  Contact our Support Desk for more info.

Mixed performance on our Support Desk in October

Our Alpha Tracker Support Desk has returned a mixed set of results for October 2018.

On the positive side, we solved 95% of high priority customer issues within 2 hours.  That's pretty amazing.

On the negative side, our performance for resolving lower priority problems within the timescales set by our customers dropped to 81%, the lowest it has been for a year.  I suppose that's still pretty good... but not as good as we aspire to!

Our Support Desk stats over the last 12 months or so

New software consultancy project for Treasury Wine Estates

We're delighted to be working with the world-famous Treasury Wine Estates on a software project to boost their ability to collect data from vineyards during the grape growing season.

Some of the Treasury Wine Estates global brands
For nearly 20 years now we have specialised in site data capture applications - can we help your business too?

Asbestos surveyors with new iPhones watch out! A new photo file format (HEIC) might cause you a problem

The newest iPhones have the capability to take photos into a new file format called "HEIC".

For years, the standard photo file format has been "JPG" (pronounced jaypeg) but newer phones are using HEIC by default.

Newer iPhones are starting to save photos in HEIC format
Asbestos surveyors using Tracker Mobile (part of the Alpha Tracker asbestos software system) are finding that photos taken on their iPhones will not appear automatically within a complete asbestos report.

There is an easy and quick solution - on the iPhone choose the option Settings|Camera|Formats and select "Most compatible".  This changes the default format back to JPG.

For more info about the problem, click this link or contact our support desk.

Eurofins chooses Alpha Tracker to manage their lab

We're really pleased to announce that Eurofins has chosen Alpha Tracker to run their lab.

We'll post more info when Eurofins goes live, so watch this space!

Asbestos specialist Ayerst Environmental chooses Alpha Tracker

South London based asbestos specialist Ayerst Environmental is the latest asbestos consultancy to choose asbestos software Alpha Tracker to help them to improve efficiency and the service they provide to their clients.

Ayerst's excellent website, available here
Unusually, in addition to a comprehensive range of asbestos services, Ayerst also have the capability to use a scanning electron microscope to perform topographical, morphological and compositional examinations of materials.  Ayerst Environmental is a very well equipped and professional consultancy and we are very pleased to be working with them as their software provider.

Here are some of the picture that our trainer Kim took on the first of two Alpha Tracker training days:

Tracker Mobile can be used on smartphones...

...and smaller tablets...

...and larger tablets too!

Sending data from the field is easy - just one click

Replace paper plans with a range of drawing tools

Another Australian asbestos consultancy is switching to Alpha Tracker

Another Alpha Tracker order has arrived from an Australian asbestos consultancy.

I'll post more info next week but the good news is that it is from another personal recommendation so we must be doing something right!!

Elaine has completed our ISO9001:2008 to ISO9001:2015 transition

Well done Elaine!  Elaine has just completed our transition from the ISO9001:2008 quality standard to the latest ISO9001:2015 one and we passed the external audit this morning!

Director Elaine with our Quality Management System Manual
Here is Elaine with a copy of our updated quality and system/process manual looking appropriately proud!

More RSK asbestos specialists switch to Alpha Tracker air monitoring

Kim has just got back from training another room full of asbestos specialists from RSK (see, showing them how air monitoring works in Alpha Tracker.

What a good looking bunch!
If we can help you to improve the efficiency of your asbestos services, do get in touch.

Hazmat: the latest New Zealand Asbestos consultancy switching to Alpha Tracker

Hazmat are the latest professional asbestos consultancy to switch to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

HazMat offer surveying, testing, remediation and removal services in Greater Wellington & Canterbury.

With over 20 years’ Asbestos experience, Hazmat prides itself on providing an unbiased and professional full service consultancy.

Hazmat aligns itself with governing bodies, associations and companies which share their vision for the safety of life and protection of investment assets.

Hazmat surveyors are BOHS P402 qualified, are Worksafe approved licensed removalists and are members of Sitesafe NZ and the NZDAA. 

Contact them via their website or by telephone on 04 5660797 (Wellington) or 03 3662262 (Christchurch).

Welcome on board, Hazmat!

Robin presents AllTold at DevCon 2018

Remember AllTold, our web app to help senior citizens to document their life story?  Robin has just been presenting AllTold at the Alpha DevCon 2018 and it generated a lot of interested from the delegates.

Robin introducing the AllTold concept

Robin showing how AllTold stories are structured in chapters

Adding an event to an AllTold timeline
AllTold is a JavaScript app written using the Alpha Anywhere framework - we love working with Alpha so get in touch if you have an Alpha app we can help with.

Scopus Asbestos go live with Alpha Tracker

The asbestos professionals at Scopus Asbestos in Bradford have just gone live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker.
The Scopus team are keen to start using Alpha Tracker to improve their asbestos surveying and asbestos lab operations.

Welcome on board Sai and Varsha!

Start Software at Alpha DevCon 2018

Five Start Software development staff members have made it to Florida for this year's Alpha developer conference (

We're enjoying hearing about the latest developments in the Alpha Anywhere and Alpha TransForm world and meeting fellow developers from every continent.

Ferry, Tom, Jack, Dan & Robin at Alpha DevCon 2018

The team listening intently to legendary programmer Dan Bricklin

Developers from around the World are at DevCon 2018

Royal Borough of Greenwich go live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Our next Alpha Tracker installation is complete with the asbestos professionals at the Royal Borough of Greenwich receiving their training.

Royal Greenwich website
We have a full range of asbestos software in our portfolio to help councils and housing associations, including Alpha Tracker and Amianto.  Do get in touch if we can help your organisation to become more efficient in the management of asbestos.

Chocolates & flowers from a grateful client!

Tom had a nice surprise today when some flowers and chocolates arrived from a grateful software development client.  It took us all by surprise!

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