Showing posts from February, 2022

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.

View previously taken samples! A new drop-down is available in Tracker Mobile

Another update to Tracker Mobile is available.  This is another really useful and important update, following on the heels of the "search" update we blogged about here.

An overdue update! View previously taken samples (and rooms) while surveying

We can now add drop-downs to Tracker Mobile forms to show previously used samples for information (or for use in cross-references/visually similar asbestos samples) and previously recorded rooms, too.  

This was possible before, of course, but only by saving the form the surveyor was working in and returning to the list of samples already taken - now it can be seen whilst the surveyor is recording the new item.  Much easier, much faster, and much more likely to ensure quality data is recorded!

If you would like the update, please contact our UK or Aus/NZ support desks and they will be able to update your Alpha Tracker system.

How much will a "phishing" attack cost your small business? On average, £8,460!

Remember our "emails are not secure" message?  One reason is "phishing" - these are emails where hackers convince staff to give away personal or security information.  This information is then used to gain access to company or network resources.

£8,460 per attack on average for a small business - or £13,400 for a larger one

The latest security report from security consultancy Bulletproof (read in full here) shows that, on average, a phishing attack will cost a small business £8,460 and £13,400 for a larger one.

Alpha Legal reduces your reliance on emails and reduces the risk of you falling foul of a phishing attack.  At only £35/month for a fully branded subscription, it's money well spent.  Register here now.

Worrying ransomware report - take extra care about how you use emails in your business

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has just published its latest ransomware report, headlined "Joint advisory highlights increased globalised threat of ransomware".

It's worth a read - download by clicking this link

There are some seriously worrying findings here.  As an Alpha Legal subscriber, you're protecting yourself from many of these threats, but they are still worth reading and noting:
  • criminals are mainly gaining access via email "phishing" campaigns

    Alpha Legal protects you by reducing your reliance on emails in your business.

  • hackers share information about potential victims - so fall for a scam once and you will be targeted more and more

    There is no safe way to use emails to send and receive sensitive information - emails are not secure! - use Alpha Legal's secure forms instead

  • criminals are targeting smaller and smaller businesses - everyone is at risk

    with subscriptions starting at only £10/month, Alpha Legal is affordable for all sizes of business.
We're here to help.  We are working with 1000s of legal organisations, IFAs, accountants and estate agents to help them to protect their businesses, their reputation and their clients.  Can we help you?  Get in touch!

Type it, search it, sorted! Have you updated Tracker Mobile yet?

Have you updated your Mobile Data app yet from the Google or Apple or Microsoft stores?  It really makes a difference when using our on-site asbestos data capture tool, Tracker Mobile.

If not, you're missing out on the amazing new search feature - it searches everything you've surveyed, and instantly too!

You can now instantly search within Tracker Mobile

Look out for more improvements coming soon - they are going to really improve your surveying day!

We've had our printed copy! Alpha Legal featured in Modern Law magazine

It's great to see Alpha Legal featuring so widely now in the legal press.

Solicitors, will writers and estate planners are all recognising how important it is to communicate securely with clients - emails just aren't secure enough when scams are on the rise.

Here's support technical Zac with the latest Modern Law magazine featuring a two-page spread all about Alpha Legal:

Zac with our copy of Modern Law

Alpha Legal has now helped more than 15,000 clients - can we help yours, too?

Letting agents beware - "years of legal and regulatory changes ahead". Subscribe to Alpha Legal now and relax!

Estate and letting agents beware - there are warnings of "years of legal and regulatory changes ahead".  This is not a drill - it's time to act!

It's time to act! Subscribe to Alpha Legal to protect yourself and your tenants

The insecure methods for requesting and checking ID documents from prospective tenants - for example, by email - will no longer be allowed under new regulations coming along soon.  Asking for copies of passports and driving licences to be photographed and sent to you by email will be outlawed and rightly so - emails are not secure!

Alpha Legal is the answer - take out a fully-branded subscription for only £35/month and you will be able to safely, easily and securely request ID from your tenants.

Zac & James hit the headlines! The success of our apprenticeship scheme has been recognised in the newspapers

We're really proud of our apprenticeship scheme and of our latest apprentices, Zac & James.

Here they are in the Shropshire Star newspaper, being featured as shining examples of modern apprentices.

Zac and James in the Shropshire Star

James, Zac and director Elaine all spoke to the newspaper and were quoted as follows:

James Holmes, of Telford-based Start Software which builds software for web, mobile and desktop, said: “The apprenticeship has been a great opportunity for me to venture into a new sector. I have been progressing really well at Start Software and I am learning something new every day.”

Zac Marshall said: “I love being an apprentice and Start Software have been very supportive in helping me develop my IT knowledge and communication skills. “The reason I chose to go down the apprenticeship route was so that I could learn and develop new skills whilst getting paid at the same time – helping me in my early years of my working and personal life.”

Director Elaine Porter said: “We are an advocate for apprenticeships and very keen to nurture new talent. We feel the apprenticeship route allows us to train young people who then become valued members of the team.”

Software update available: Multi-page lab certificates are now automatically inserted into asbestos reports "page by page"

We've just improved Alpha Tracker to help consultancies and labs working with the largest asbestos surveys.

Asbestos surveying consultancies & labs working with large reports will benefit

Adam has just finished an update to Alpha Tracker Document Manager to save staff time and effort when incorporating multi-page lab certificates into asbestos survey reports.

Previously, when Alpha Tracker asked Word to insert the PDF lab certificate and it ran over more than one page, there would be some manual effort required to reformat the document as Word only inserts the first page of a PDF, not all pages.

Adam's update - known as ATDM v1.4.1936 - automates the process and automatically splits the PDF into multiple pages and inserts them all, one-by-one.  This will be a real time-saver for asbestos admin staff.

Contact our support desk if you would like this update applied to your system.  It is free of charge to all users with active support contracts.

Element asbestos staff have their Alpha Tracker surveying training

Kim was at asbestos consultancy Element in Stockport yesterday to deliver some Alpha Tracker asbestos surveyor training.

Here are some of the photos she took during the session.  It was great to see so many old friends again!

If we can help your asbestos consultancy to get the most out of asbestos software Alpha Tracker, get in touch!

It's what we've all been waiting for! Not a party invitation from Boris Johnson, a search button in Tracker Mobile!

This is a game-changer for all of our Alpha Tracker asbestos surveyors working with Tracker Mobile, our mobile asbestos data collection system.

We finally have a search button!  This is an instant search that enables a surveyor to find rooms, items, projects, anything! 

Type it, search it, sorted!

This will be of most use to asbestos surveyors doing reinspections on multiple domestic properties during a single day.  Previously, surveyors sorted the lists by project number or site name to find the items they needed, but the search option changes all of this.  It will also be a huge timesaver when searching for previously surveyed rooms or location a specific sample number.

The update will be in the Google and Apple app stores shortly.  Watch out for it!

Qualsurv go live with Alpha Tracker's air monitoring service - Tracker Air

The asbestos team at Qualsurv has just gone live with the Alpha Tracker asbestos air monitoring module, Tracker Air.

Here are some of the photos that Kim grabbed during the training session.

531 support calls answered in January 2022 - 19 out of 20 resolved in time

Our support desk took 531 calls in January, the fewest for 6 months.  Still felt pretty busy, though!

Our support desk performance over the last 12 months

In round numbers, 19 out of 20 calls were resolved in the timescales requested by our customers which is a good performance for Will, Zac & James and the rest of the team.

Our support desk is there for our Alpha Tracker and Alpha Legal subscribers along with users of our other software systems.  We operate 24x7 throughout the year to ensure that our customers can speak to us - in person - whenever they want.

The wonders of Zoom! More Tracker Air training with attendees joining from the office, home and their cars!

We've just completed some more Tracker Air (air monitoring) training for Alpha Tracker users EMS Asbestos.

Thanks to the technical sorcery that is Zoom, we had attendees joining from the office, home and even a car!

Some of the EMS asbestos professionals

We've had really good feedback for our latest Tracker Air updates, keeping our asbestos software in line with the latest HSG248 regs.  Do let us know if we can improve it even further!

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