Meet Alex – IP Australia’s next-generation virtual assistant

Author:Patricia Kelly
Position::Director General, IP Australia

In today’s digital world, IP Australia’s customers are seeking a more personalized, assisted customer experience with smart online tools available at any time. The digital economy has provided enormous opportunities for organizations to provide new innovative offerings that delight customers, reduce costs and deliver significant benefits. So we asked ourselves, how could IP Australia embrace... (see full summary)


IP Australia has worked hard with its customers to embrace an accelerated digital service delivery journey. Since 2012, we have successfully transformed our business model. At that time, just 12 per cent of customers undertook transactions online. Now, in 2016, approximately 99 percent of the more than 800,000 customer transactions we manage each year are done digitally.

It is from this incredibly powerful digital platform that we planned to add value to our customers’ experience and business outcomes by introducing our new intelligent virtual assistant – Alex.

Who is Alex?

Alex is our 24/7 virtual assistant that through machine learning technologies, digital services and natural language processing can provide “human-like” responses to customers’ questions and support them in better navigating the intellectual property (IP) system. The virtual assistant technology allows us to offer support within our preferred online web channel with a simple, clear and timely service. We are using a next-generation digital asset to transform customer experience at IP Australia. It is also being deployed across a range of leading global private and public sector service delivery organizations.

IP Australia’s deployment of Alex is designed to add value for both customers and the organization. Alex was officially launched in July 2016, initially supporting IP Australia’s trademark services, which account for 76 percent of all contact center enquiries. We believed that given the high volume of enquiries and the generally limited knowledge that applicants have of the trademark application process, a virtual assistant in this area would be most helpful in assisting them to navigate Australia’s IP system. In September 2016, Alex was expanded and now also covers patents, plant breeder’s rights and designs. Over the coming months Alex will learn and expand “her” knowledge as customers continue to ask her more and more...

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