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Datacom recognised for implementation of IP Australia's intelligent assistant, Alex
Fri, 22nd Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

IP Australia's intelligent assistant 'Alex', implemented by Datacom, has scooped an award at the 4th Annual Intelligent Assistant Awards in San Francisco this week.

“Competition for the Intelligent Assistants Awards was fierce this year. Datacom's deployment at IP Australia distinguished itself by demonstrating how a virtual agent can support the broader digital transformation initiatives of one of the most well-respected IP-related government agencies in the world,” explains Dan Miller, lead analyst at Opus Research, originator of the Intelligent Assistant Awards.

Datacom and Nuance designed Alex for government partner IP Australia in order to help the company improve its customer experience program.

“We are very pleased that the industry-leading work we have been doing in Intelligent Assistant integration has been recognised internationally,” Stacey says.

“We have worked closely with IP Australia on the highly successful implementation of Alex in order to enhance their customer experience offering,” comments Datacom Connect's director, Stacey Tomasoni.

‘Alex' provides direct answers to questions on IP Australia's website and Facebook page from customers and learns from customer queries.

Datacom and IP Australia worked together to determine the conversation strategy, website and web chat integration, as well as the core content that makes up Alex's replies.

“While the AI technology is truly innovative, it's really about how we can expand the customer experience and put the customer first. Through continually refining this approach, the experience Alex provides goes from strength to strength,” comments Tomasoni.

According to the Australian government, which runs IP Australia, Alex has had a ‘significant' impact on IP Australia's digital engagement strategy.

Alex has supported more than 50,000 customer interactions and helped to maintain IP Australia's customer service ratings at around 84% - a stark contrast to 2013 statistics that showed only 12% of the agency's 800,000 customer interactions used digital channels per year. The adoption rate has since grown to 99.6%.

“Alex was developed as a result of feedback from our customers and as part of our plan to continuously improve our online content. Given the high volume of enquiries and the opportunity for a high volume of IP self-filers, especially in trademarks, a virtual assistant in this area was ideal in assisting them to navigate Australia's IP system. It's important that we can as an agency deliver on our customers' wants and needs,” comments IP Australia's Director General, Patricia Kelly.

Tech partner Nuance also improved Alex by integrating its Nina Coach to become ‘Alex Coach' in July.

“IP Australia's Alex is continually evolving to have meaningful conversations with customers, this award is a testament to IP Australia's commitment to providing the very best in digital customer service. Leveraging human assisted virtual agents, IP Australia can draw upon the most advanced natural language processing and machine learning intelligence available to improve resolution rates with customers even further, while getting smarter and more efficient over time,” comments Robert Schwarz, managing director, Nuance, Australia and New Zealand.

The Nina Coach integration allows Alex to become part of a human-assisted virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence.

Alex will be able to bring in a customer service representative to help with more complex questions. Alex learns from these interactions through the recording, analysis and foldback into the system's semantic brain.

Nuance says this process makes the technology smarter and more accurate over time so the virtual assistant can provide its own answer in future.