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Showing posts from June, 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.

Alpha Tracker is now a member of NORAC - the National Organisation of Asbestos Consultants

We're pleased to announce that Start Software (Alpha Tracker) is now a corporate member of NORAC, the National Organisation of Asbestos Consultants.

NORAC and Alpha Tracker working together

We're looking forward to meeting NORAC members at future meetings and discussing ways to improve our asbestos software systems to benefit the asbestos industry in the UK.

Asbestonomy conference over for 2022. Bring on 2023!

We have just spent a couple of days in London at Asbestonomy 2022.

This international asbestos conference gave us an opportunity to listen to amazing speakers, talk to clients, talk to competitors and meet some wonderful people who are all working together to solve the asbestos problem - once, and for all.

Some of the people we want to highlight (and who we are working with us here at Alpha Tracker) are:
Here are some of the photos I took at the event:

Andrew Paten (UKNAS), Dr Mavis Nye BEM, Robin

Robin with Alpha Tracker user Neil Munro from Acorn Asbestos

Mavis beginning her presentation

Robin, Dr Yvonne Waterman and Andrew Paten

The conference reinforced what an important industry this is.  So many stories of disease, suffering and, tragically, premature death.  It's vital that we all work together to sort this problem out.

We introduced a new industry-wide initiative called OpenAsbestos, which aims to provide an open, industry-wide framework for the sharing of asbestos data.  This supports the UKNAR initiative to develop a UK-wide national asbestos register but also goes much further - enabling all systems and organisations with an interest in asbestos to access data easily wherever it is stored.

If you'd like to know more about OpenAsbestos, please do get in touch with Robin directly.


Best Foundation now working in partnership with Alpha Legal - new subscribers receive 1,000 free credits

The Best Foundation is the new estate planning membership organisation devoted to modernising and improving the will-writing industry.  

Their mission statement says it all: "Be the Best of the Best: Supporting best practice and using the best of digital innovation in the estate planning industry".

We're delighted to announce that Best Foundation members can now subscribe to Alpha Legal and receive 1,000 free credits to use when:
Alpha Legal is easy, safe & secure and the best client portal on the market.

Best Foundation is working with Alpha Legal

How do you take advantage of the offer?


Help! I'm blaming the marathon organisers, Amy & Lucy... only 3 days left until the overnight walking marathon

Here are the amazing Amy & Lucy from CTT Group, the organisers of the overnight walking marathon which takes place *this Friday*.

Robin with CTT Group's Amy & Lucy

We're walking to support the British Red Cross Ukraine appeal.  Our director Robin is joining the CTT walking team and would be amazingly grateful if you could help him to raise money for an excellent cause.

Can you help us reach our £10,000 goal?  Please sponsor us if you can!  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cttgroup

Desktop to web Alpha software conversion complete! Lovely thanks received from the client, Felton Fundraising

We've been working with the wonderful charity fundraising consultants Felton Fundraising for a few months now, converting their existing Alpha Software desktop database system to a version that could be accessed via a web browser instead.

Felton Fundraising's new web system built by Start Software

When the pandemic struck and the Felton staff found themselves working mainly from home, they began to use "remote desktop" techniques to access their business-critical database system.  This worked, just, but was proving to be difficult at times and was reducing the productivity of the team.

Managing Director Sarah Felton made contact with our Start Software team to talk about the possibilities to redevelop the software to run on the web.  As their system was written in Alpha Software's flexible development software, this was a possibility.  We planned the switch and got to work.  The job is now complete and Sarah dropped us a lovely email to thank us for our work:

"We had a team meeting this morning and everyone thinks the database is working really well, I don’t think anyone has used the old one for weeks now which is such a good sign. 

I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for persevering with us and let you know that all the hard work you, James and your team have done is very much appreciated." 

James has been the main client contact with Falah doing most of the development work - we are very proud of both of them.

Can we help you to switch your Alpha Software desktop system to the web?  Get in touch!

Please help! Robin is walking an overnight marathon for Ukraine (British Red Cross) - can you support him?

Our director Robin is walking an overnight marathon to support The British Red Cross and their work in Ukraine.  He says he's too old and too unfit to do it - time will tell!!

These shoes are made for walking (but the body wasn't)

Can you please donate a few £ to help him and his teammates raise these vitally needed funds?

Thanks in advance! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cttgroup

We're launching a new asbestos industry initiative at Asbestonomy this Friday - can you join us?

Our director Robin is at the European asbestos conference Asbestonomy this Friday (17 June) to launch a new industry initiative.  It's been 9 months since he started working on the project, and so he's excited to be showing off this asbestos industry "baby" to all attendees!


If you'd like to attend, get in touch with Start Software director Elaine who can help you to organise your ticket.

Alpha Tracker Release 38 is now in beta - we can't wait for you to see it

We've just published our beta (testing) version of asbestos software Alpha Tracker Release 38, our update for summer (UK)/winter (Aus/NZ) 2022.

Some of the new and improved features in Alpha Tracker Release 38

It's full of new features requested by our clients, including
We can't wait for you to see and use Alpha Tracker Release 38 - it's our biggest Alpha Tracker update ever!

Our apprentices Zac and James are visiting Moneypenny. What an inspirational company!

We have been partners with Moneypenny forever!  When we first created our business we knew that we needed help with answering our phones in the best quality way possible and so we contacted Moneypenny, who, at the time, were also a fledgling start-up.

Now Moneypenny is one of the UK's business success stories with a world-class workforce and attitude to business.  Truly inspirational.  Just Google "award winning Moneypenny" to read about their directors, their attitude to training and teamwork, and their incredible Wrexham HQ.

Some shots of Zac & James visiting the Moneypenny HQ

One benefit of our long-standing partnership is that Moneypenny help us to train and inspire new staff members and Zac & James were the latest to benefit.  Thanks Moneypenny!

Alpha Legal and Clio are now partners! We're in the Clio App Store

We're absolutely delighted to announce our new partnership with Clio, the #1 legal software for clients, cases, billing, and more.

Alpha Legal and Clio are now partners

Solicitors and other legal practices using Clio can now share contacts and documents via Alpha Legal's secure client portal giving clients the best possible experience.

"We're thrilled to be working with Clio.  Alpha Legal and Clio work so well together for legal businesses looking to streamline and secure their client experience.  We'll be extending the Alpha Legal features available to Clio users over the next few months - watch this space!" 

Robin and the Alpha Legal team

You can find Alpha Legal in the Clio app store here: https://www.clio.com/app-directory/alpha-legal/.



For more information, contact Alpha Legal here.

Barclays have got wise to email fraud - it's what Alpha Legal is all about!

Alpha Legal director Robin completed a property transaction yesterday in a Barclays branch and was fascinated to hear the Barclays staff member read their fraud warning:

"Hackers can intercept emails containing bank account details and change them.  Don't rely on bank details you receive in emails and always confirm them another way."

This is the reason that we first created Alpha Legal - to protect consumers and businesses from the dangers of email fraud.  Emails are not secure!  It was so reassuring that a big institution such as Barclays now understands the problem.

Barclays has posted about the dangers of email fraud - Alpha Legal's core message

Read more here: https://www.barclays.co.uk/journal/email-payment-fraud/ 

Robin's Cyber-Security Checklist for software developers has been published on the Institution of Analysts and Programmers' website

Our director Robin is a member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers' (IAP) cyber-security panel, called CyberCoP.  

Robin has been developing a checklist for software developers across the IT industry to help programmers to build software which is inherently secure, helped by Start Software's technical lead, Tom.


The draft checklist has now been published on the IAP website and can be found here: https://www.iap.org.uk/main/cyber-security-developers-checklist/

It's been a busy week for Alpha Legal !

Our stats continue to grow here at Alpha Legal with more and more legal, property and financial professionals subscribing to our service.


Can we help you to
  • build your brand with our customer portal and Alfi app
  • communicate securely with your clients
  • onboard clients with ID verification?

New "chain of custody" features now in development for the July Alpha Tracker update

Tracking asbestos samples as they move from surveyor to lab reception, through the lab and then on to storage or disposal is an important aspect of any professional asbestos operation.


Our asbestos lab features (https://www.start-software.com/tracker/alpha-tracker/3-improve-the-lab/) are tried-and-tested but have been lacking in this respect.

We're building new features into the summer (UK)/winter (Aus/NZ) 2022 Alpha Tracker update, Release 38, to really improve our lab features and make them best-in-class.  We expect to make this available in July.

Our new Wallboard will be available in Alpha Tracker Release 38

We've been working hard on our new Wallboard - the at-a-glance view of the diary that also gives planners a view of future income month-by-month or week-by-week.

Our new faster, filterable, searchable Wallboard

Some of the improvements include:
  • much better performance - you can now work in real-time

  • you can now filter by office, client, work type or project - or any combination!

  • we show the daily totals and the staff totals graphically as well as numerically.
Release 38 is only a month or so away now - do get in touch (UK or Aus/NZ) if you want to see a preview of this or any other new feature.

Support Desk stats improve - more than 90% of urgent calls solved within 2 hours

Our support desk improved its performance in May, solving more than 90% of high priority calls within 2 hours.

Our performance improved after a couple of difficult months

Did you know that we offer 24x7 support, in person, and you'll always speak to a human, never a machine?

New consultancy Asbestos Action goes live with asbestos software Alpha Tracker

Our trainer Kim completed the Alpha Tracker training at asbestos consultancy Asbestos Action last week.  


It's always great to see long-standing Alpha Tracker asbestos software users start their own businesses and wanting to use our software from day 1!  Good luck Joshua & team.

The first Mavis Nye Foundation Cycle Club (MNFCC) race is only days away

The first MNFCC race is only days away - the "Yorkshire Corker"!  Our asbestos software Alpha Tracker is sponsoring the team (notice our new logo?!).

The first MNFCC cycle race is on Sunday 5 June

Would you like to support the team, too?  Donate here: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/MNFCC/

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