Showing posts from October, 2021

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.

We're excited! 360-degree virtual rooms coming to Alpha Tracker, Tracker Mobile & the Client Portal

360-degree cameras are seriously cool.  We're using them to give all of our Alpha Tracker asbestos surveying users access to cost-effective virtual room technology.  

Try it for yourself!  Click to view the interactive 360-degree room view of one of our meeting spaces in our Telford office.  We took this photo, and annotated it, with Tracker Mobile. 

You can see it in action in the video, below.  By the way, when you spin the room in Alpha Tracker it is buttery smooth... the blog makes it look jerky, but that's just an after-effect of the blog video processor.

Asbestos surveyors will be able to capture 360-degree views of rooms while surveying and send the photos in via Tracker Mobile.  Surveyors or back-office staff will be able to "hotspot" the photos so that client portal users will be able to walk through the rooms and see virtual asbestos sample labels before clicking to see more details.  Very cool indeed.

We're keeping costs down by using off-the-shelf cameras such as the Insta360 One X.

One of the excellent Insta360 cameras

Want to know more or would you like to be a beta-tester?  Get in touch with Robin.

Alpha Legal has been updated - it's a big one!

The latest Alpha Legal update is now live and it's a big one!

Alpha Legal meeting planner, Zapier, Intellifo

Look out for:
  1. a new Meeting Planner to help you to find a suitable time to meet your clients - ideal for Trustee meetings, for example, where there are many attendees, all with busy diaries!

  2. Zapier integration so that you can automatically send forms to clients and trigger Zaps when clients return information to you.  Not sure what Zapier is?  Take a look at this blog post or go to

  3. integration with the IFA tool Intelliflo so that you can share and sign documents via Alpha Legal direct from your Intelliflo portal

  4. a new way to send personalised ID requests to clients, to help those for whom the standard set of ID documents just isn't appropriate (for example, non-UK residents).
Each of these new features deserves a blog post in its own right, so watch this space for more information about how you can take advantage to improve your business workflow.

Need date & time stamps on your asbestos survey report photos? Or photos taken during air monitoring work?

The new asbestos air monitoring regulations (HSG248) state that analysts need to "timestamp" any photos they have taken.

In addition, some of our asbestos consultancy clients using Alpha Tracker prefer photos in asbestos reports to be timestamped too.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution whether your staff are using Android or Apple (iOS) devices.

Try "Timestamp Camera Free" - for Android here, or "Timestamp Camera" for Apple (iOS) here.

Both apps review really well and work seamlessly with our Tracker Mobile asbestos data capture software.

It's easy to timestamp your asbestos photos

Need help or not sure how to set this up for you or your asbestos site staff?  Get in touch (UK/Aus or NZ).

Want to know about our partnership with ID verification specialist TrustID?

You can now securely request ID documents from clients and verify them with ID specialist TrustID all within Alpha Legal.

You can now collect ID documents and verify them - all within Alpha Legal

It's such an easy process for you and your clients.  It's secure and really cost-effective, giving you the confidence that your client is who they say they are and that you have onboarded them without fuss and without needing to see them in person. 

Want to know more? Click here!

Start the fans! Start Software celebrates their 15th "crystal" birthday at The Crystal Maze, Manchester

Start Software is 15 years old this month.  Where did that time go!?!

We've grown year-on-year and now employ twenty or so staff and contractors in the UK, Australia, Indonesia & the US and have built hundreds of software systems for clients all around the world.  We're proud of every system we've created but especially, of course, our market-leading asbestos software Alpha Tracker and our secure communication system for the legal industry, Alpha Legal.

As a 15th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with a gift of crystal, we decided to visit the Crystal Maze Experience in Manchester and we had a (crystal) ball.  The Crystal Maze is a cult TV game show with teams competing through a series of challenges to finally reach a wind-filled giant dome to collect gold tokens flying through the air - hence the host's catchphrase of "Start the fans!".

Thank you to all of our clients, partners, staff and contractors who have helped us to be successful and grow every year since 2006.  It's been such a satisfying and challenging journey and we've got a long way to go yet!

Left-to-right: Kim, Catherine, Russ, Robin, Adam & Elaine

Dan, Jack, Jess, Zac, James & Tom

Adam, Russ, Robin, Catherine, Kim & Elaine (in front)

Two more New Zealand asbestos consultancies are switching to Alpha Tracker

We've had notification from two more asbestos consultancies in New Zealand that they would like to switch to asbestos software Alpha Tracker.

Alpha Tracker support for New Zealand customers is provided by our Adelaide (SA) office

We'll be posting more updates as we prepare the asbestos report templates and train their professional asbestos field staff & administrators.  Watch this space!

More Alpha Legal records broken - it's been a record week

We've just had the busiest week ever at Alpha Legal:

  • another 1,000 clients have been ID-checked using our ID verification process

  • another 1,000 secure forms (including requests for bank details) have been processed

  • a record number of will writers, estate planners, solicitors, accountants and estate agents are now using Alpha Legal as part of their day-to-day processes.
It's been a record-breaking week at Alpha Legal

Can we help you to secure your client communications?  Are you struggling to work in the new normal where clients don't expect to come into the office and, instead, expect to communicate with you from home?

Register with Alpha Legal with no risk and no commitment - give us a try!

What a night! Alpha Legal on the "top table" at the British Wills & Probate Awards 2021

The British Wills & Probate Awards 2021 were held last Thursday at the incredible Grand Hotel, Birmingham.

Alpha Legal director Elaine and product manager Dan were both seated at the "top table" with colleagues from our partners CTT Group and event host Jenny Bond.

It was our pleasure to be involved this year and we're already looking forward to the 2022 awards!

Alpha Legal at the British Wills & Probate Awards 2021

Birmingham City Labs extend their use of Alpha Tracker

Kim & Zac enjoyed meeting the asbestos professionals at Birmingham City Labs (BCL) to help them to extend their Alpha Tracker knowledge.

BCL use Alpha Tracker for all of their asbestos consultancy services, including asbestos surveys, re-inspections and laboratory testing.

In their training session, staff were made aware of a variety of techniques they can use for asbestos re-inspections - a key part of the work that BCL performs for Birmingham City Council and others.

Some of the asbestos professionals at Birmingham City Labs

CTT Law uses Alpha Legal as an easy, safe & secure way to on-board clients, capture ID and electronically sign documents

Innovative legal practice CTT Law uses Alpha Legal as their preferred ID capture and e-signature platform.

Based in their impressive Leamington Spa offices, CTT Law solicitors and staff use Alpha Legal daily as part of their client workflow.  

Practice Manager Helen leads the way with Alpha Legal

CTT Law works with a range of clients and focuses on customer service, with staff priding themselves on providing an efficient and professional service in all matters.  Innovation is also really important to Managing Director Anthony Mbanefo-Harris.  

Anthony explained that Alpha Legal enables his staff to request and process ID documents from clients in minutes.  Clients use Alpha Legal's easy & safe mobile forms to complete the ID process without fuss and without needing to download an app onto their phones.

Documents needing e-signature can be uploaded and securely sent to clients without the worry of emails being intercepted.  "Clients really appreciate the speed and simplicity of signing a document electronically, "explained Anthony.  "We take security very seriously at CTT Law and we trust Alpha Legal to safeguard any information sent to our clients."

CTT Law's impressive Leamington offices

If Alpha Legal can help your legal business to communicate efficiently and securely with your clients, do get in touch.  We'd love to hear from you.

It's our Living Wage birthday! We're proud to be a Living Wage employer

We're proud to be a Living Wage employer and it's the anniversary of our accreditation.  Happy birthday to us!!

The real Living Wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by over 7,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage that meets everyday needs.  You can find out more about the Living Wage here.

Find out more about our employer accreditations

"Tracker Air" air monitoring module has been chosen by another Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy

We're pleased to announce that asbestos consultancy ABP has chosen to use Alpha Tracker's asbestos air monitoring module, Tracker Air.

We've had a busy few months with new Tracker Air installations as news has spread around the UK asbestos industry about how our air monitoring module works within Alpha Tracker.

Asbestos specialists ABP have chosen Alpha Tracker for their air monitoring solution

It's great to have ABP on board and we look forward to switching them over shortly.

Alpha Legal integration with TrustID for ID document verification - now live!

Further to our recent blog (read here), we're delighted to announce that our integration with ID document verification specialist TrustID is now live.

This means that you can now securely request ID documents from your client and verify them via TrustID (or not!) all within Alpha Legal.

Alpha Legal makes it easy to verify your client's ID

The process is really easy:
  1. Send an ID document request form to your client

  2. They use their phone and our simple form to send the documents back to you

  3. You export to TrustID and wait for notification that the TrustID report is ready:

    Export the ID form to TrustID - they will send their report as soon as it is ready

The cost of the ID verification check is currently just 25 credits (as little as £1/check).  This introductory pricing may increase so it's a good time to try out the feature.

Want to know more?  Go to and ask our Support Bot any question you like!

Another 1,000 ID checks have flown through Alpha Legal

Another 1,000 ID checks have been processed by Alpha Legal.  Each week we hit another milestone!

Another 1,000 ID checks have been processed by Alpha Legal

If you are looking for a secure, straightforward and cost-effective way to ask your clients for ID documents - give Alpha Legal a try.  It's quick and easy to register, completely risk-free!

Welcome Tailored Wills & Estate Planning - our latest Alpha Legal subscriber

Welcome Susan Hawley and colleagues from Tailored Wills & Estate Planning who are now using Alpha Legal to keep their clients safe.  Business director and senior advisor Susan has chosen Alpha Legal to be their secure client communications platform.

Visit the website at

Their busy wills & estate planning business (which is a sister company to chartered accountants Murray & Lamb), specialises in a full range of services:
Tailored Wills & Estate Planning are based in County Durham and welcome contact from new clients.

Windows 11 is available - and our software works perfectly!

Windows 11 was launched by Microsoft yesterday and 100,000s of computers around the world have already updated.

We've been testing Alpha Tracker, Alpha Legal and our other software on Windows 11 for months now (see  

Windows 11 works a little differently from Windows 10 - but don't worry!

The result of all of our testing is that we're confident that everything from Start Software is working as normal, so do go ahead and update your computers with confidence!

For more information, please do contact our support desk for advice.

ISO9001 and ISO27001 accreditation visit in progress

We've always been proud to run our small (now medium!) sized business like a big business.  We aim to have processes and procedures to help us to deal with our customers in a well organised, consistent way.

Start Software is aiming for ISO9001:2015 and ISO27001 accreditation

ISO9001 is the "Quality" accreditation and we've held it for years now - we were one of the first software companies of our size to obtain the accreditation.  This has always held us in good stead when bidding for business with our asbestos software, Alpha Tracker.

This week we're being assessed for ISO9001:2015 and also for the Security standard, ISO27001.  Our director Elaine is working with ISO specialist Functio ( to help us to achieve our ambition and become accredited in both standards.  ISO27001 will reinforce our cyber-security credentials and give confidence to our Alpha Legal users who rely on our software to communicate securely with their clients.

Find out more about Start Software's awards, certifications and accreditations here.

Another Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy starts with our "Tracker Air" asbestos air monitoring module

Kim really enjoyed meeting the asbestos professionals at EMS Asbestos in Cardiff yesterday.  She was training them to use Tracker Air, our asbestos air monitoring module that forms part of Alpha Tracker.

Tracker Air is now deployed at EMS Asbestos

Can we help you to automate your asbestos air monitoring operations?  Do get in touch.

Alpha Legal speed record! Document shared, e-signed and returned in just 39 seconds

We've just had a call on the Alpha Legal support desk:

"How will I know if my client has electronically signed the document that I just shared with them?"

They were asking because the system was showing a notification which was confusing them - it seemed to be saying that the client had already signed the document but surely that could not be the case?

Wow! 39 seconds to share, send and e-sign a document

Well, in short, it was - the document had been shared, opened, read and electronically signed within Alpha Legal in exactly 39 seconds!!! We've checked our records and that's officially a record.  Wow!!!

Another new Alpha Tracker consultancy is coming on board. Welcome Acorn Safety Services

Welcome Acorn Safety Services to the Alpha Tracker family!

Acorn Safety Services is a growing health & safety consultancy focusing on four main areas of business:

Visit Acorn Safety Services website here:

We're really pleased that Acorn Safety Services has chosen Alpha Tracker to manage their business.  We will be configuring our mobile data apps and automated report services within Alpha Tracker to streamline their operation.  Welcome on board!

Start Software - Fasthosts Gold Partner

Fasthosts provide many of the servers that power our successful software products, including the market-leading Alpha Tracker asbestos software system.

We have now been accredited Gold Partner status confirming the quality of our software and the strength of the relationship between us.

Start Software and Fasthosts working together

We are always looking for new software development opportunities, so do get in touch if you'd like to discuss your software idea with us.

Have you see our new ChatBot? Ask anything you want!

Have you seen our new ChatBot?  You can ask anything you want.  It's available on our Alpha Legal website and also once you've signed into Alpha Legal itself.

Here's the ChatBot doing his thing!

Do you want a ChatBot for your own legal services business website?  Ask us how we built it and we'll tell you!

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