Showing posts from April, 2020

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.

Alpha Tracker used in New Zealand to collect and process coronavirus samples

We've just received an interesting and important update from an Alpha Tracker software user in New Zealand.

Forensic Building Specialists have been taking coronavirus samples from an Auckland school, Marist College, one of New Zealand's few Covid-19 hotspots.

The flexibility within Alpha Tracker has enabled them to schedule projects, take samples within Tracker Mobile, and then report results back to their clients.

UKAS Remote Assessment webinar recording now available

Did you miss the UKAS webinar for laboratories about ISO17025 remote assessments?

They have made the webinar available as a recording with more details here:

Our Alpha Tracker asbestos software laboratories all hold this UKAS accreditation and so the webinar will be of interest to those businesses and many more.

Alpha Tracker Release 32 - the "calendar release" - is now available

Release 32 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now publicly available and ready to download.

It's the update to Release 31 and contains more than 500(!) improvements.  In particular, we have improved and extended the calendar features within the system incorporating as many suggestions as possible from clients.

Here is a quick video to introduce Release 32 to you:

The release notes are ready and available here for you to read, download, print and keep with your Quality Manual.

Release 32.5 is just around the corner too with significant changes and improvements to the asbestos fibre analysis functions, of particular interest to asbestos labs.

Finally, in these weird and worrying times of Coronavirus "lockdown" and the pressures this is putting on the economies around the world, please know that we are thinking of all of our clients facing tough times and that Start Software and Alpha Tracker will be here to support you now and when we come through the other side.

UK Asbestos Training Association members helping the NHS

It's great to see some of our asbestos software Alpha Tracker users helping the NHS in the fight against COVID-19 and Coronavirus.

Some asbestos surveyors unable to work are donating their PPE to local hospitals and other health and care workers.  Others are working on construction projects helping the development of new healthcare or COVID-19 testing facilities.

Here is a blog post from UKATA with the details:  If you know of any more asbestos surveying consultancies generously giving their time or resources to the NHS, do let us know.

Alpha Tracker Release 32 - the "scheduling release" - is now publicly available

We're really pleased to announce that Release 32 of asbestos software Alpha Tracker is now available.

This release focuses on the calendar and scheduling functions within the system and you can see some of the new features in this post from last week:

Watch out for the summary video and release notes which will be published at the end of this week.

Working from home gives wildlife a chance to explore! Amazing footage near our Adelaide office

Judy & Leanne are currently working from home under South Australia's Coronavirus lockdown measures, supporting their asbestos surveyor customers using Alpha Tracker.  

While workers are staying out of central Adelaide, the wildlife is moving in.  How about this action captured by the SA Police CCTV only a couple of streets away from our Alpha Tracker office!

"Alpha Tracker is awesome" - what a lovely way to end the week

In all of the gloom and doom we are all currently suffering, it is was good to end the week on a high with this lovely email from one of our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy software users:

"...Alpha Tracker is awesome!"

New Alpha Tracker installation in New Zealand

Despite the Coronavirus lockdown in New Zealand, we've just received another order for our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

Here is the Facebook post from Judy & Leanne in our Adelaide office:

New UKAS Draft Publication available for consultation: "UKAS Policy on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment During the Coronavirus Outbreak"

Asbestos consultancy clients using asbestos software Alpha Tracker will be interested to learn that UKAS has just issued a new document for a 7-day consultation to help during the "Coronavirus lockdown" period.

The document, called "Technical Policy Statement (TPS) 73: UKAS Policy on Accreditation and Conformity Assessment During the Coronavirus Outbreak" is a must-read for any UKAS-accredited asbestos consultancies during this difficult period.

UKAS goes on to say "This TPS has been produced to combine the guidance that we have published over the last month, including UKAS Technical Bulletins and News Articles, as well as clarifying our position on certain policies that have been modified due to the expected extent of the current Coronavirus pandemic. It also incorporates guidance provided by the EA, ILAC and IAF."

Download the document here:

Asbestos surveyors reporting that work is increasing again

We are having reports from asbestos surveyors across the UK that the Coronavirus crisis is starting to have less impact on the industry.

After a difficult three weeks when many buildings were closed down to visitors, asbestos surveyors using asbestos software Alpha Tracker are reporting that contracts are slowly being restarted as companies try to get essential maintenance work completed while buildings are largely empty of workers.

With the first UK 3-week Coronavirus lockdown cycle coming to an end this week, let's hope for the sake of the UK economy that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Coronavirus grants coming through quickly to help smaller asbestos consultancies

We qualified for one of the government's Coronavirus grants - the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) - because of our Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR).

The application process via Telford & Wrekin Council was easy enough and two days later we have received the £10K grant into our bank account.

If you are an asbestos consultancy client using Alpha Tracker, working out of premises which attract SBRR, I would urge you also to apply for the grant as the admin is minimal and it will help through these difficult times.

See for more info.

Alpha Tracker Release 32 in final testing

It's the calendar release! We're excited with the number of calendar improvements we've been able to squeeze into the latest release of asbestos software Alpha Tracker, Release 32.

Some of the new calendar features in Alpha Tracker Release 32
We're in the final phase of testing so watch this space!

Alpha Software's Coronavirus app makes the Irish Times

Remember Alpha Software's Coronovirus risk app I blogged about last week?

The app has hit the headlines in the USA and now in Ireland too.  See this article, for example, in the Irish Times:

We use the Alpha Anywhere software development platform from Alpha Software to develop apps for our customers.  These apps perform well, are quick to develop, and are easy to deploy and use.  if we can help you, get in touch.

Support desk performance in March 2020

March 2020 was another good month for our support desk helping asbestos surveyors and other software users across the UK and beyond.

Start Software Support Desk performance - March 2020
Nearly 95% of high priority issues were resolved within 2 hours and approaching 90% of all other queries were sorted within 4 working hours.  That's pretty good going especially as the support staff are now working from home under the Coronavirus working guidance.

Start Software retains Cyber Essentials certification

We've just had notification that we have retained our Cyber Essentials certification for another year.

Start Software continues to hold the Cyber Essentials award
The award says:

"The Certificate certifies that your organisation was assessed as meeting the Cyber Essentials implementation profile [BIS/14/696/1.5] and thus that, at the time of testing, the organisation’s ICT defences were assessed as satisfactory against commodity based cyber-attack"

We also help our clients with their own cyber security needs - can we help you?

Alpha Software launch free Coronavirus/COVID-19 risk analysis app

Our Boston-based US software partners, Alpha Software, have launched a free Coronavirus/COVID-19 app running on their AlphaCloud infrastructure.

mycovid19risk from Alpha Software is designed to assess:
  1. your risk of getting the virus
  2. your likelihood of having the virus based on your symptoms
  3. whether what you have is a mild or severe case of COVID-19, and next step recommendations based on all of the above findings.
The app was built in just a few days showing the power and productivity of the Alpha Anywhere software platform and the scaleability and robustness of the AlphaCloud platform.

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