|Some of us found (or borrowed) a Christmas jumper!|
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Friday, 23 December 2022
Thursday, 15 December 2022
Have we caused some confusion in your lab? Sorry if we have!
|Alpha Tracker specialist Kim - doing her best "confused" face!|
Following UKAS feedback via clients, we changed the maths behind the calculations in the last release to always “round up” and not “round down”. However, the way we made the change had the effect of altering the counts on dates in the past, as well as going forwards. This has caused some confusion for a couple of clients and we’re sorry if it has confused you too!
Some clients have also told us that they disagree with the “round up” interpretation and that their UKAS assessors have been happy that they check fewer samples and round down.
So, to give you ultimate flexibility to operate your lab in the way that works for you (and your UKAS assessor), we have added two new settings to Alpha Tracker which enable you to control if and when the “round up” change happens.
Please call Kim, whenever it is convenient on 0333 301 1010, or drop her a note, and she can talk you through your options and how we can apply the new settings to give you greater control over the calculations.
Tuesday, 13 December 2022
It's been a busy week in the Alpha Tracker asbestos software order inbox!
|Two more asbestos consultancies have chosen Alpha Tracker to replace their old systems|
We've received firm orders from two UK asbestos consultancies who are asking us to switch them from their current systems to Alpha Tracker.
We'll post more information once we have agreement from our new clients. Watch this space!
"Sea" what we did there! Robin & Ferry visit the National Sea Life Centre & the Bear Grylls Experience to meet the OERCA software users
|Photos from Ferry's and Robin's Birmingham visits|
Thursday, 8 December 2022
Two of our wonderful Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancy clients have found bugs in Alpha Tracker recently. What happens next when bugs are reported? The answer might surprise you!
First, we say thank you. We spend more than £250,000 each year supporting and developing Alpha Tracker and we test, check and test again each time we produce a new release. Despite all this effort, some bugs slip through the net and we are so grateful when a client finds and reports the bug to us.
Next, we check the impact of the bug at the reporting client and then at all Alpha Tracker users. If the bug has affected data, we discuss with clients and fix whatever needs fixing.
Find and fix
We then find the root cause of the bug, fix the code, test it carefully, and incorporate it into the next Alpha Tracker release. We update our Release Notes so that the bug (and the fix) are documented. If needed, we also make a patch available so that we can update systems even before the next release is made available.
Report and review
We are certified to Quality standards ISO9001 and ISO27001. This means that our processes are documented and we are regularly assessed to ensure that we are meeting the stringent requirements of these standards. If a bug is serious and has affected the operation of our clients, we will raise an ISO "non-conformance" report and discuss at our next accreditation visit.
Send a reward!
Finally, and for a bit of fun, we send the person who reported the issue a "bug hunter" t-shirt. Bug reports are incredibly helpful for us and we want to recognise the contribution of every person and company that takes the time to tell us of a problem.
Tuesday, 6 December 2022
The photos have just been published - here are Elaine, Jack, Tom & Alex in their finery!
|Alpha Legal at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards|
See you next year perhaps?!
Thursday, 1 December 2022
Milestones, milestones, milestones! We've started our 9,000th job and raised our 70,000th support ticket
In the course of a couple of days this week we reached two milestones here at Start Software.
We've raised our 9,000th job, and our 70,000th customer support ticket. Feels like it too, we've been especially busy all year.
Our 9,000th piece of work is pretty typical for us. It's for a client we've been working for since 2006 - most of our customers become partners over time. We work hard to build long-standing relationships with our clients.
The job itself is just a small software change to the business management system that we created for them more than 16 years ago. It has grown as they have grown. When we implemented it, they were a two-person company. They now have more than 200 staff!
Support ticket #70,000 was a bug that one of our users found in one of our apps, Alpha Tracker Mobile. Did you know that we want our users to report bugs and that we even send a thank you present to everyone that does? Get in touch if you think you've found one!
Thank you to all of our clients, old and new - we appreciate you, your business and your trust in us.
Saturday, 26 November 2022
|Some of the fabulous asbestos pros at Core Surveys|
|Visit the Core Surveys website here|
Thursday, 24 November 2022
- The system may be faster in general
- The system will perform at the same speed all day. You won't find that the system slows down as the day progresses
- We won't need to restart systems either overnight or during the day if your software stops responding
- Behind the scenes, you'll know that all of Microsoft's resources are working to ensure that your system is secure and protected from hackers.
|Alpha Portal - our secure client communication portal|
Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Congratulations NORAC & ATaC for the first Annual Data Analysis Report into Asbestos in UK Buildings
Our director Robin was pleased to be invited to the launch of the troubling report, held in a Committee Room at the Houses of Parliament. Why troubling? The report highlights that most asbestos found in surveys is already damaged, increasing its risk, and the asbestos materials with the greatest damage are not being dealt with (in most cases).
Data from asbestos software Alpha Tracker, and other systems, has been used to produce the report.
The launch event, chaired by Respublica, heard from Sir Stephen Timms MP, the chair of the Select Committee which reviewed the state of asbestos in the UK.
Sir Stephen's committee made recommendations including the development of a national asbestos database (see https://uknar.org/), an initiative we are supporting through the development of the OpenAsbestos API.
|Robin's view at the report launch|
Here at Start Software, we are working on an independent data study with Trinity College, Dublin to analyse the data from the 6 million buildings that have been surveyed using Alpha Tracker. We'll be publishing our results in a month or so.
|Quick snap before catching the train back to the Midlands|
If you want to know more about Alpha Tracker or OpenAsbestos, do get in touch with Robin.
Tuesday, 22 November 2022
|You do not want to appear on this list!|
Friday, 18 November 2022
We've finished the release notes for Alpha Tracker R38.5.
We publish detailed release notes every time we update Alpha Tracker so that you can brief yourself about new features and share the document with your accreditation body (eg UKAS).
|Download and read the latest Alpha Tracker release notes|
They will be available on our website here from next week.
|Look out for Alpha Portal at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards|
We can't wait for the event - see you there and good luck to all!
Saturday, 12 November 2022
That's a wrap! The European Asbestos Forum 2022 is over - what an incredible event and a force for good
|Robin delivering his OpenAsbestos presentation|
|Alpha Tracker specialist Kim talking to Ray Nye|
|Asbestos campaigners Ray & (the legendary) Mavis Nye|
|Yvonne, Robin & the Alpha Tracker asbestos software team|
|The Alpha Tracker team hard at work between presentations!|
|Alpha Tracker support techs Jamie & Zac talking to ABP's Sara Mason|
|Robin and the other speakers & panellists|
Tuesday, 8 November 2022
Monday, 7 November 2022
|Download the latest Alpha Tracker Mobile|
Saturday, 5 November 2022
|GETEX and Alpha Tracker working together|
We love Mavis. The asbestos industry loves Mavis!
Mavis Nye's work to highlight the danger of asbestos and to help patients suffering from asbestos-related disease is legendary. Our director Robin was honoured when asked to be a Trustee of the Mavis Nye Foundation and has just attended his first Trustee meeting.
|Mavis & Ray (lower left) and the other Mavis Nye Foundation Trustees|
Showreel from the British Wills & Probate Awards - Dan & Jamie make an appearance collecting our award
Thursday, 3 November 2022
|Zac & James from our Support Desk|
Tuesday, 1 November 2022
"We didn't have to do this sort of thing years ago""Why do we have to send documents securely? Won't email do?""Can I just tell you our bank account details over the phone? Won't that be secure?"
Our Support superstars Zac & Jamie were in the newspapers again this week, this time featuring in the Shropshire Star business section.
|Zac & Jamie (James) are progressing really well in the business|
If you ever call for help and speak to either of them, you can now put a face to the voice!
Sunday, 30 October 2022
Friday, 28 October 2022
|Catalyst Safety's website|
Tuesday, 25 October 2022
|Tima with his new laptop|
Our latest Alpha Tracker installation is for new customer Enitial, part of the Cawood Group. Cawood is a nationwide business with 840 staff providing laboratory, analysis and scientific services to a wide range of industries.
Enitial will be using Alpha Tracker to manage their business from nose-to-tail, bringing together a number of specialist field data collection and reporting systems. It will also provide a coherent process and management insight into the business as a whole.
We're starting the implementation process now and will blog again as we embed Alpha Tracker into the business and train the Enitial users.
Friday, 21 October 2022
How exciting - we won!!!
Dan & James attended on our behalf and the judges' comments about our Alpha Legal service to the UK legal community were glowing and lovely to hear.
More photos to come, apparently, but wanted to share the news as soon as possible!
Thursday, 20 October 2022
Fingers crossed! Dan & Jamie head to the British Wills & Probate Awards for Alpha Legal - good luck!!!
|Fingers crossed for Alpha Legal!|
Wednesday, 19 October 2022
Alpha Tracker director Robin attended the BOHS/FAAM asbestos conference in Birmingham today.
|Some of the asbestos conference highlights|
Robin was there to support Andrew Paten and the UKNAR initiative, especially with regard to the OpenAsbestos initiative which is helping all asbestos software systems to share data (with appropriate permission, of course) including with UKNAR's AsbestosSMART software.
Also at the conference were lots of Alpha Tracker asbestos software users - it's always good to catch up - including some from the other side of the world!
|Robin with Philip Hibbs and Brian Eva|
Monday, 10 October 2022
Thursday, 6 October 2022
We are corporate members of the Best Foundation and advise the organisation and its members about cybersecurity as well as providing our Alpha Legal secure portal to their estate planners and Will writers.Thanks for the invitation to the launch event!
|Catherine & Andrew chatting|
|Andrew & Robin shaking hands on the sponsorship deal|
Welcome Merryhill! Another asbestos consultancy has chosen Alpha Tracker to be their asbestos software
|Check out Merryhill's website at https://merryhill.co.uk/|
Wednesday, 5 October 2022
TEAMS and Lucion NexGen have joined the OpenAsbestos initiative - a significant milestone for the project
We're delighted to announce that TEAMS and Lucion NexGen have joined the OpenAsbestos initiative.
Alpha Tracker, Micad, TEAMs and Lucion store (we believe) more than 90% of the UK's live asbestos registers between them - and all these organisations are now involved in the OpenAsbestos project.
Once all systems are OpenAsbestos-compliant, UKNAR will have the potential to access (with the duty holder's permission) the vast majority of the UK's asbestos registers direct from the UKNAR QR code.
We still have a long way to go but the OpenAsbestos programme is progressing well.
Monday, 3 October 2022
Friday, 30 September 2022
Thursday, 29 September 2022
It's been a really useful day for Elaine already, meeting lots of Alpha Tracker asbestos consultancies, old friends and new!
Wednesday, 28 September 2022
National Cyber Awards finalists! Want to work at Start Software here on the University of Wolverhampton's Telford campus?
|Start Software's Telford development office|
Friday, 23 September 2022
Another Alpha Tracker order! A leading New South Wales asbestos consultancy is joining the Alpha Tracker family
|Another New South Wales asbestos consultancy is switching to Alpha Tracker|