Showing posts from December, 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.

Happy Christmas from all of us to all of you!

Happy Christmas!

We're here to support you and your business throughout Christmas and New Year so do call or email as normal if you need any help.

Some of us found (or borrowed) a Christmas jumper!

As usual, we'll be making a donation to Mesothelioma UK this year instead of sending Christmas cards.  Hope you understand and approve.

We hope you have a wonderful break and a happy, healthy and successful 2023.


Robin, Elaine, Judy, Leanne, Jack, Kim, Jamie, Zac, Catherine, Dan, Ferry, Adam, Falah, Tom, Tina, Josh & all of the team

Do you use Alpha Tracker's asbestos lab features? Please read this post about under-limit checks

Have we caused some confusion in your lab?  Sorry if we have!

Alpha Tracker specialist Kim - doing her best "confused" face!

As our asbestos lab users will know, we added the requirement for checking “under-limit” samples in Alpha Tracker Release 37 as one of the responses to the HSG248 update. 

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.

Two more UK asbestos consultancies are switching to Alpha Tracker

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

We're delighted to be working with OERCA and their incredible clients, all around the world.

OERCA's software powers hundreds of marine wildlife facilities and aquariums for the world's biggest operators and entertainment businesses.

Photos from Ferry's and Robin's Birmingham visits

Start Software is now working as OERCA's exclusive software development partner and we are incredibly excited to be working with such a vibrant and focused business.

Two of OERCA's clients are local to our UK Telford software development office.  While Start developer Ferry was in the UK from his Indonesian home base, Robin & he visited the National Sea Life Centre in central Birmingham and the Bear Grylls Experience at the NEC.

What happens when a client finds a bug in Alpha Tracker? The answer might surprise you!

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!

"Thank 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.

Check impact

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.

You can call contact our support desks (in the UK and Australia/New Zealand) 24x7 to report bugs or to ask questions.  Thank you for your continued support and business, we appreciate you!


Photos from the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards

What an event.  What a night!  We were so pleased to be sponsoring the Mental Health & Wellbeing Award at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards 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?!

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.

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