Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Do you survey domestic properties? Fed up with absent tenants? Try our new texts and mobile confirmation screens

We've been talking to our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy clients and working on the biggest problems they face.

Domestic surveying is all about throughput and making sure that aborted visits are kept to an absolute minimum.  So we've been building additional features into Alpha Tracker to help you to keep these wasted slots to an absolute minimum.

First off the block is a new facility to ask tenants to confirm that their appointment is OK and to automatically offer alternative appointments if it isn't.  This feature is in addition to our automatic text reminders which already remind tenants of upcoming visits to their properties. 

Here's an example of the confirmation on the tenant's mobile:


(do ignore the references to Start Software - the text and mobile screen have your client's logo and name, typically that of a housing association or council)

Interested in finding out more?  Contact Robin for a discussion.

More Tracker Dashboard updates on the way

We've got another Tracker Dashboard update in beta test.

This time, we've added the facility to "cc" people who will be interested in receiving the emailed dashboard.  We've also added a new "split" option to allow tables to be broken into sub-tables - useful when grouping dashboards by (eg) staff member, client, or day-of-the-week.

Here's an example of a dashboard split by day:

A dashboard email where the information is split into sub-tables by day





Monday, 27 September 2021

Harratts Legal Services processes the 10,000th client in Alpha Legal

Congratulations to Harratts Legal Services for processing the 10,000th client in Alpha Legal!

We sent director Scott a box of wine to mark the occasion.

Scott Harratt and his gift from Alpha Legal

Harratts Legal Services use Alpha Legal to request and process ID documents from their clients.  Harratts work with CTT Group and CTT's Legacy software to take instructions from their clients and to create legal documents including Wills and Trusts.

The latest version of CTT Legacy also allows the Harratts Legal Services consultants to share documents securely and send documents for e-signature.

If we can help your legal services business to communicate easily, safely and securely with your clients, get in touch or register on the Alpha Legal site - risk free - here

Friday, 24 September 2021

Quick Start tile #3 - "Share Document for Signing". Quickest e-signature platform on the market!

Forget printing.  Forget the envelope & stamp.  Forget postal delays or lost or missing documents.  Alpha Legal's e-signature feature gives you everything you need.

We think this is the quickest (slickest!) e-signature platform around!

Securely send a document for e-signature to your client in about 60 seconds and with just 4 simple steps:

  1. Click "Share Document for Signing"

  2. Enter your client's details

  3. Drag & drop your PDF(s)

  4. Choose how you want the signature(s) to be captured.


Thursday, 23 September 2021

Start Software (Alpha Tracker) at the Contamination Show, NEC

It's always good to meet up with clients, business partners and old friends at the annual Contamination Expo where Alpha Tracker always makes an appearance.

Robin & Kim in the hazardous materials hall

Kim & Robin had a whistle-stop whizz around every stand yesterday (or, so it felt!) sharing information about our asbestos software and our plans.


We met up with Mark from Asbestoprobe to discuss their latest developments.  We are Asbestoprobe's software partners and we plan to link their innovative handheld asbestos detection device with Tracker Mobile, our on-site asbestos data collection platform.

Mark and Kim discussing the Asbestoprobe latest developments


Software panel at our partners CTT Group (Countrywide Tax & Trust) - Alpha Legal was a hot topic!

I really enjoy being involved in the regular software panels that CTT Group (formally Countrywide Tax & Trust) host for their key consultants and business partners.

Alpha Legal was on the agenda - 100s of CTT consultants use Alpha Legal to communicate securely with their clients - and I showed some of the latest changes as well as shared news of what's coming next.

Not a great selfie - I managed to cut off Mickey from the CTT Legacy software team and also CTT director Andrew but at least I captured a flavour of the meeting!

Alpha Legal (Start Software) at the CTT Legacy software panel


Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Patched! Video uploading is working again on iOS 15 (Apple) iPhones & iPads

We've deployed a patch to Alpha Legal so that clients with Apple devices running iOS 15 will be able to upload videos again.  See this blog post https://blog.start-software.com/2021/09/sorry-apple-upgrade-today-ios-15-has.html for details of the problem.

(OK, so it is not that exciting, but at least we've solved the problem!)

The patch we've put in place for uploading videos on Apple devices will give a slightly different experience to clients, but it will be fine until a long-term fix is in place.  We'll update Alpha Legal again shortly with that long-term fix.


Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Sorry! The Apple upgrade today (iOS 15) has broken video uploading in Alpha Legal

Our support desk has received some calls from Apple iPhone users this morning to say that their phones have updated to iOS 15 and they are having problems uploading video within Alpha Legal.

We advise not updating to iOS 15 for a day or two - some problems have been reported

Our developers are working on this as a top priority and we'll blog again as soon as the problem is resolved.  Sorry!

Monday, 20 September 2021

Quick Start tile #2 - "Share Document". It takes seconds to securely share a document with your client

It just takes seconds to share a document with a new client using Alpha Legal.

It just takes seconds to securely share a document

There are just 3 steps to follow:

  1. Click "SHARE DOCUMENT" from the Alpha Legal home page

  2. Enter your client's details

  3. Attach the document(s) and share.  Easy as that!
You can share a number of different ways - including using Alpha Legal's inbuilt client portal. 

Start Software partners CTT Group enjoy their summer festival

Start Software partners CTT Group (formally known as Countrywide Tax & Trust Corporation) have just celebrated another year of success by holding their annual summer festival.

Robin & Catherine from Start attended and enjoyed the legendary CTT hospitality at Gables House - CTT's impressive offices in Leamington Spa.

The sun shone on CTT Group's directors, staff, families & friends!


Congratulations Nick from Broadland Group - 100km charity walk completed in 21 hrs 53 mins

Congratulations to Nick from Broadland Group, one of our Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy clients.  Nick has just walked 100km in the Peak District in 21 hours 53 minutes in memory of his brother Mike who tragically lost his life to Covid.

You can read about their incredible achievement here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/formikew and please donate if you can.  Nick is raising money for the Guide Dogs organisation.

Read about Nick's incredible achievement here


Thursday, 16 September 2021

Check out Quick Start tile #1 - "Send Form". It's so easy to securely ask your client for information

Look how easy it is to send a secure form to a client using Alpha Legal!

Send a form, request ID documents, ask for bank details... so easy and secure

There are just 3 steps:

  1. Click "SEND FORM" from your Alpha Legal home page

  2. Enter your contact's details

  3. Choose the form.  That's it!
Need any help?  Contact our 24x7 support desk and ask anything you like!

Tracker Dashboard is now compatible with SendGrid for better email delivery and tracking

Our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker, sends emails to staff and clients via our Tracker Dashboard module.

Tracker Dashboard previously needed an email server to connect to - otherwise known as an "SMTP" server.

We have updated Tracker Dashboard so that you can now use the SendGrid service as an alternative to using SMTP.

Go to SendGrid.com to find out more

So why might SendGrid be useful?  SendGrid has some important benefits over SMTP:

  • SendGrid is better at delivering emails - fewer will go into Junk

  • SendGrid can track emails delivered (and those which are not!) - in an easy-to-see format

  • SendGrid handles bulk emails better than SMTP - you are less likely to be flagged as a spammer.
Do call our support desk if you want to set SendGrid up as your Alpha Tracker email provider and we'll talk you through the process.



Monday, 13 September 2021

ID theft and impersonation cases more than doubled in the first half of 2021 - and Northern Island is being worst hit

Alpha Legal is your protection against ID theft.  More than 10,000 clients are now protected but - incredibly - there are still thousands of accountants, estate agents and will writers who are putting their clients at risk.

One of the most common ways that criminals steal ID documents is when email servers are compromised.  Emails are not secure!  Alpha Legal protects your clients and your business by securing communications between you and your customers.  

Stop using emails! Use Alpha Legal instead

You can request ID documents in seconds via a completely secure mechanism.  This is easy for your clients and safe & secure for you.  They don't even need to download an app!

Did you know that Northern Island is being the worst hit and Belfast is the UK's most scammed city?  Read more here https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/revealed-impersonation-scams-have-doubled-in-last-six-months-40844133.html

Asbestos and 9/11 - an interesting post by mesotheliomahub.com

As we remember the tragic events of 11 September 2001, the asbestos industry in the US is also considering the long-term consequences of exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens released when buildings collapsed.  It seems especially cruel and tragic that some people will have their lives cut short more than two decades later.

See more images here

We spotted this fascinating summary by mesotheliomahub.com - it's well worth a read.

Click here: https://www.mesotheliomahub.com/blog/asbestos-exposure-and-the-20th-anniversary-of-9-11/

Start Software's asbestos software (including Alpha Tracker) has captured more than 50,000,000 items of asbestos data since 2001 and we continue to innovate and lead the market in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.  Do contact us if we can help you with your asbestos problem.

Friday, 10 September 2021

Meet GPW Trusts - another Alpha Legal subscriber

We're delighted that GPW Trusts have joined the Alpha Legal family and are now protecting their clients and their own business with our secure communications technology.

Based in Flintshire, GPW Trusts work with clients in Cheshire, North Wales and further afield to provide Wills and Trusts, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax advice and Funeral Plans.

Visit the GPW Trusts website

Gavin, Sandra & Brian welcome contact from new clients.  Find out how to get in touch here.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Another Alpha Legal milestone - 10,000 clients are safe and secure

Our Alpha Legal users protect themselves and their clients from the risks of communicating by email.  As we often say, emails are not secure, with email servers being compromised daily and client data being stolen.

Alpha Legal is easy, safe & secure

Another 10,000 clients are now registered in Alpha Legal.  Wow! All of these clients are now benefitting from

Can we help you to secure your business?  Subscriptions start from only £10/month and are risk-free.  Register here.


IATP launch their new asbestos training system at the Health & Safety Event, NEC. We're proud of what we've built for them!

IATP - the group of Independent Asbestos Training Providers - has just launched their new asbestos training certificate verification system, custom-built for them by Start Software.

Kim visited the Health & Safety Event at the NEC today and saw Paul & Jane from IATP in action on their busy stand.

Kim found herself at the IATP stand - looking good, Jane & Paul!

Paul from IATP talking about the new system with some prospective users

Many of the IATP members are also asbestos consultancies who use Alpha Tracker, our market-leading asbestos software system.

If you are interested in our asbestos software solutions, or want a bespoke system creating for your business, do get in touch

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Zapier integration with Alpha Tracker coming soon

Zapier is awesome!

If you don't know what it is (yet), take a look here https://zapier.com/explore for inspiration.

Zapier connects your apps together and automates repetitive tasks.  It can make something happen in one app (eg, your accounts system) when an action happens in another system (eg, your job processing system).

Zapier connects and automates pretty much anything and everything!

It can even make things happen on a schedule you define, when physical things happen or when something happens on social media.  Zapier basically connects apps together in any way you can imagine.

The wonderful news is that our development team is working on an Alpha Tracker connection with Zapier.  This means that you'll be able to trigger actions in Zapier (eg "Raise an invoice in Xero" or "Add a row to the work-in-progress spreadsheet") when something happens in Alpha Tracker (eg "A new project has been saved").

We'll post on the blog again when the Zapier connection is ready.  If you want to be a beta tester for this new functionality, do get in touch with product lead Jack.

Zapier integration with Alpha Legal coming soon

Zapier is awesome!

If you don't know what it is (yet), take a look here https://zapier.com/explore for inspiration.

Zapier connects your apps together and automates repetitive tasks.  It can make something happen in one app (eg, your accounts system) when an action happens in another system (eg, your job processing system).

Zapier connects and automates pretty much anything and everything!

It can even make things happen on a schedule you define, when physical things happen or when something happens on social media.  Zapier basically connects apps together in any way you can imagine.

The wonderful news is that our development team is working on an Alpha Legal connection with Zapier.  This means that you'll be able to trigger actions in Alpha Legal (eg "Send an ID form") when something happens in another system (eg "A new contact is saved in Salesforce").

We'll post on the blog again when the Zapier connection is ready.  If you want to be a beta tester for this new functionality, do get in touch with product lead Dan.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Important MDS update (for Tracker Mobile) - MDS 10 is now available

The app that powers Tracker Mobile - Alpha Tracker's on-site asbestos data collection solution - has been updated to version 10 and it has a number of benefits over previous versions.

Many updates feature in MDS 10

Contact our Alpha Tracker Support Desk (UK or Aus/NZ) for more information or to arrange your free-of-charge update.

August 2021 Support Desk performance

August was another good month for our Start Software & Alpha Legal Support Desk with 92% of high priority calls being resolved within 2 hours.  

Congratulations to Will, James, Zac & Elaine - good result!

Support Desk stats to August 2021


Start Software at XscapeNow!

We had a fun couple of hours at XscapeNow in Telford, yesterday, to celebrate the end of another busy month for us all at Start Software and Alpha Legal.

Highlights included Elaine, Will, James and Zac escaping from the Sweeny Todd game with 2 seconds to spare and then beating Kim, Dan, Jack & Tom to the loot in the Bank Job.  It all got a bit competitive!!!

Start Software at XscapeNow


Yee-haw!!!



Team Elaine with the Bank Job loot