Showing posts from April, 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.

GDPR and what it means for Alpha Tracker asbestos software users

All UK businesses have been wrestling with GDPR (the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679) and what it means to them.

In particular, Alpha Tracker asbestos software users will be wondering what we have in store so I thought a blog would be useful to summarise the 6 key GDPR principles and where we are making software changes to suit.

Please note - if all your Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy work is "business to business" then GDPR is less relevant to you.  But... if you do any asbestos surveys, re-inspections or removals at domestic premises and store personal information including names & addresses of homeowners or tenants then you need to take careful note of GDPR!

1 Rights of Individuals

There are a number of new rights for individuals enshrined within GDPR.  For example, there is a "Right to Erasure" or "Right to be Forgotten" and a "Right to be Informed" about what an organisation stores about an individual.

In the next Alpha Tracker release, we have new features to help your staff to deliver these rights.

2 Right to be Informed

Businesses need to make sure that people understand what is being stored about them and why.  They will also need privacy policies to meet the GDPR requirements.

In Alpha Tracker, we will enable you to link the software to your policy so your admin and customer-facing staff have easy access to it.

3 Right to Erasure (“Right to be Forgotten”)

This allows individuals to request that their personal data is removed from an organisation's systems.

The next release of Alpha Tracker has a feature designed to make this quick and easy to do.

4 Data Protection Officer (DPO)

Businesses will be required to appoint a DPO to help them comply with all their obligations under GDPR.

Alpha Tracker will enable you to store the details of the DPO in the system so that customers and staff can easily identify the person responsible.

5 Obligations on data processors

There are new obligations on organisations to keep data more secure.

We will be offering our Alpha Tracker customers enhanced security features including, for example, the encryption of all data held within Alpha Tracker and moving server data centres to facilities with the highest possible security standards.

6 Data Protection Impact Assessment and data breach response

If there is a data breach, the GDPR regulations insist that organisations follow a specific, thorough process in response including identifying individuals affected and notifying the appropriate authorities.

In all of the years we have operated Alpha Tracker, we have yet to experience a data breach. We are not complacent, though, and we will continue to focus on server and software security as a priority.  We have also updated our procedures should we become aware of a data breach.  

P2 Environmental Consulting goes live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Welcome asbestos specialists P2 Environmental Consulting to the Alpha Tracker family!

P2 offers the full range of asbestos consultancy services and the directors have decided to switch to Alpha Tracker to improve their efficiency and productivity as well as to improve the service they give to their clients.

The P2 Environmental Consulting website
Our Alpha Tracker trainer Kim enjoyed meeting the P2 staff at their training sessions.  Here are a couple of photos from the training day:

Alpha Tracker customer comment (*blush*)

We like feedback of all types.  Direct, constructive criticism helps us to improve.  Positive feedback send us home with a spring in our steps!

This is what one of our Alpha Tracker asbestos software customers emailed us this week:

As I’m sure you are aware ‘Alpha Tracker’ has been doing what ultimately we require.
Over the period I have added, amended, removed data with success.
I can also categorically say the support from yourselves has been great. 
They always say it’s the resolution time when something doesn’t work that is always a true measure of a good product/good customer service.
Keep up the good work!

March support performance at Start Software

The support desk's performance was slightly up in March compared to the February results with 89.1% of high priority issues being resolved within 2 hours:

Support stats for March 2018
Across all calls, the percentage was 85.4% with 480 calls for assistance being logged altogether.

We're working a new "self help" support website currently which will help Alpha Tracker asbestos software users (in particular) with common queries... I'll post more info on the blog when we're ready to switch it on.

My "Long Mynd Hike" for Mesothelioma UK makes it into print!

My copy of the Mesothelioma UK magazine has just dropped on my desk and it was a surprise to see my Long Mynd Hike story make it into print. 6 months on and my feet are still sore! 

Thanks again to everyone who supported me - it's important to me personally and us as an asbestos software business that we support asbestos cancer charities as much as we can. 

Mesothelioma UK's excellent publication

My story in amongst some really inspiring fundraising initiatives

Highland Asbestos Services goes live with Alpha Tracker

Another Scottish asbestos consultancy - Highland Asbestos Services - has gone live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

Highland Asbestos Services are asbestos specialists and deliver management surveys, refurbishment/demolition surveys, re-inspections and asbestos sampling & analysis services to various industry sectors.

Kim travelled up to Inverness to meet the asbestos professionals and admin staff at Highland to go through the process of producing automated asbestos reports using Tracker Mobile and Alpha Tracker.  Here are some of the photos she took on the training days:

If we can help your asbestos consultancy to "ditch the paper" and start producing asbestos reports with virtually no admin input, do get in touch.

Two more asbestos consultancies go live with Alpha Tracker... 11,145 miles apart!

We trained two more asbestos consultancies yesterday to go live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker - and at opposite sides of the world!

Kim was training a consultancy in Inverness, Scotland and Judy was training another in Gisborne, New Zealand.  According to this "as the crow flies" distance calculator (, these two new asbestos consultancy Alpha Tracker clients are 11,145 miles apart! I think that's a record...

More details to follow.

On the road to meet more Amianto (NGNine) asbestos software users

I'm on the road again today to meet more Amianto asbestos software users. 

We announced the acquisition of NGNine Ltd and their Amianto asbestos software last month (see  I've enjoyed travelling the UK during the last month to meet the Amianto users, to learn about their organisations and to tell them about our plans.  I think today is the last day of these introductory meetings - I need a break!

Widespread Office365 email issue causing problems for some Alpha Tracker users

We've been receiving support calls from Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy customers since the end of last week about emails not being received from the system.  In particular, emails with automatically generated asbestos reports are not being received by users.

We've been investigating and it seems that a Europe-wide issue with the Microsoft Office365 email servers is causing our users some issues.  It is not affecting all Alpha Tracker users, but it is affecting some and we are sorry that Microsoft's issue is having this knock-on effect to our customers.

Office365 reported issues
You can monitor the Microsoft systems here:

For affected customers we are aware of, we have switched email setting to use alternative email servers so if you are continuing to have email problems please do call us on our support line.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week comes to a close

It's the end of Global Asbestos Awareness Week and a number of our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultant clients have been running special events.

The Global Asbestos Awareness Week website
Other clients have been Tweeting and posting on blogs and Facebook to highlight the event - take a look at and you'll see RSK and MCP, for example, with lots of posts references the #GAAW hashtag.

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