Last updated: 
2 May 2019

This is the transcript for the video: Transactional Digital Services Program: First reference community webinar

Damian Giuffre, IP Australia

Hi everyone and welcome to an IP Australia webinar for the Transactional Digital Services program. My name is Damian Giuffre and I'm joined by Kieran MacGillicuddy our senior project manager on the program.

Today's session is really high-level introduction to the Transactional Digital Services program, what it's all about, to give you an understanding of the value proposition for IP professionals and also software in this.

It's also about demonstrating our commitment to really establishing strong and regular collaboration throughout the program. And we'll also be giving you some information and demonstration of the technology, that will help you I guess understand what we're doing and a bit of an idea of the roadmap as well, so they get some of they get some of their delivery frames.

I've actually done this session twice, in Sydney and Melbourne so this is the recorded webinar version. Okay so just to give you some background about why this program's being stood up; In 2016, we've undertaken a fairly significant piece of user research, as part of our customer discovery phase.

So in line with the DTA's digital service standards we are required to undertake user discovery. Some of their customers will be involved in that. And basically, it's around validating user needs and making sure that we're building solutions with the customer in mind. The people involved in that, and I guess it goes to a few the customers after this program was small business who were really key self filing demographic, IP agents as the core large volume users of our transactional services, and software developers as the direct end users of our future systems.

For some background I guess the agency had an appetite to investigate ways to deliver better transactional services for our customers. Over the years, we've received feedback about our eServices and our B2B platforms. Customers have noted there's limitations, things like our user interfaces have limited functionality, and they sometimes make it difficult for self followers to interact with us.

And we also know that our B2B service offering does require a large amount of investment for firms to integrate. So the key intent of this user research piece in this business model validation really was to validate that, IP agents and software developers, and small business owners all agree that they'll derive value. And one of the key success criteria I suppose, was that the majority of IP agents or B2B users would switch to an API based solution. For software developers, the success criteria was about confirming that the majority of software developers believe they would have a good experience using API's from IP Australia, assuming of course, that documentation was easy to understand and navigate, and that we provided a public test environment with real world data.

And the other success criteria was that when we talked to people, at least one software developer intended to build applications based on our API's, and believed they would deliver improved value to their customers. So to do this user research, we undertook surveys. We did interviews and we ran some workshops. And thank you to those people who were involved at the time. The feedback that we received and the information received, is extremely valuable. And we reflect on it often in our work. And it's certainly guided the thinking around how we're moving forward with this project.

So the survey told us that IP professionals, would value case management that communicated directly with IP Australia. They also told us that 50% would change case management providers if it did communicate directly with IP Australia. And it also told us that some of you don't actually use case management software and instead use things like spreadsheets. In essence, firms told us they want case management solutions that integrate easily with IP Australia, and they want those services to be highly available. So firms told us that planned and unplanned outages impact on the ability to do business. People want them to be efficient. So they wanna eliminate double entry of information into their case management systems and into our systems. They want things to be fast. So they want real time validation of filings. So that staff aren't waiting for responses. And they want it to be easy. So only a handful of firms use our current B2B solution. Because it's too hard, it's too complex, and it's expensive to implement. Software providers told us 70% of them are interested in building software for self filers, and 90% would consider developing software to help IP agents transact with IP Australia.

So the research told us that software firms are interested in entering this market and building solutions. To help accelerate this work, we've got a survey at the moment which is looking at the specific needs of IP firms, the current solutions and the willingness to try new software. Self filers told us that 20% of them had a poor experience using eServices, 50% found parts of it confusing, and 60% think it could be improved in some way. So in essence, we're listening to customer feedback, and we're acting.

So we've recognized that there's a need to continually improve our services. And that's why we've commenced this project. Objectives are about providing digital services that are easy and simple to use, and that align with the expectations of modern customers. We also wanna reduce the barrier to entry for digital service integration. And we'll do that through a modern API, that will encourage innovation and support low cost business models in the IP services market. In essence, we wanna create a platform for innovation for both IP Australia and for our customers. So we've taken on the feedback, and we've reviewed our current systems, and we've also looked at best practice across the industry.

 And as a result, we've initiated this multi-year program of work. And it's about replacing our legacy systems with API's and exposing those directly to our customers. The high level benefits of this around internal IP Australia efficiencies, customer efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and better data and more structured responses for both IP Australia and their customers. And on the screen, there's some detail about I suppose the value proposition for our customers. We've also gone into a bit more detail about this in a suite of videos that's been created. So we'll put a link into that, in the webinar. I'm gonna hand over to Kieran MacGillicuddy now, who is gonna talk us through at a high level, the API platform and a bit about the roadmap of the program.

Kieran MacGillicuddy, IP Australia  

Thanks Damian. So, up on the screen now you see, effectively an app store for our API's. Now, just before we jump into all of this, you've seen the address bar that we've got this; anypoint.mulesoft, once you're signed up and registered, you may receive emails from your software to your account. And don't be surprised if that occurs, Mulesoft is a strategic partner that we're using to build out the API's. Now within the portal itself, you'll see we've got some instructions and some information in the top bar. We've got a Welcome to IP Australia piece here. And then there's a list of API's, at the moment that has just one API in that which will show you in a bit more detail.

But as we progress through the program of work we'll be adding more and more API's to that. And they'll be other projects and programs across IP Australia that also publish API's onto the same portal. So, for example, API's to allow searching your trademarks, API's to allow different web interfaces, a whole range of things there. And this is the same portal that we use internally. Internally, there are obviously a lot more API's that allow us to connect our different back end systems together. Now as we jump into this first API, we'll see a brief summary of the API here. And then downside some more information and it breaks down the API endpoints. So we'll be stepping just into the most effective or the most interesting one of these today, which is the one that's out and available for production use.

So, sorry I'll just switch to a second tab that I had prepared earlier. That has the authorization data, has already voted in. So you'll see here that we've jumped down through the Endpoints to patents over ipidentifier, renew and a Post transaction. So this gives a URL that you could immediately put into your own development environment or system, you could use post man or something like that.

You could take that URL and start working straight away. But we really provide the portal so that you can have some information to help kickstart your development. So as we look down through here, you can see code examples of how to invoke this endpoint. You can see the security information, the parameters that we're transacting on, to the ipRightidentifier or the patent number in this case, what goes into the message, format information, information on how these are all provided to us. And then information on the responses. So successful response will look like this. And unsuccessful response will look like one of this, so and our business validation not eligible to renew, for example.

Now what we're seeing here I'll switch to API Base Spec. So, the mocking service here allows us to, basically provide a correctly formatted canned response. So whatever you send into us is, we respond in the exact same way. So it's a way to easily test the format of what you're providing us. And there are different environments that allow you to test production like transaction and then complete a production transaction. So for example, here if we entered in a patent number, obviously, not a correct one here, but you'll say that that's populated in the URL at the top. The headers, we won't need to change this. And in the body, we said how many years we want to renew this for. So we could be renewing this for two years, for example. And while I work out have a scroll back, excellent, I can click Send. And that will then send that in, and you'll see that we then receive a 202 accepted message, which provides your range of information you can use in your own case management systems.

So for example, we've got an identifier, which will allow you to look up this transaction, you've got the ID number, as I said, it's a canned ID number. So same for every transaction, the new expiration date or renew to date for the patent and the fees that will deduct from your bank account. So both the total so you can reconcile that as a line item level and also the breakdown of that including any like phase or other adjustments, so that you can easily see what was paid and automize that for your clients. If we had submitted an invalid set key, for example, instead of providing a number of years to renew, I put in letters, you'll see that we then get a bad request, invalid schema for the content type, and it gives you some information you can use to easily test your system. So from there you see that we've got a very quick basic way to test this.

If we go over on the left hand side to API instances, you'll see three instances that are available. So the mocking service which is what I was demonstrating, which provides the canned responses, and you'll see that has Mulesoft URL, and then you'll see a UAT. So this one, you'll see is test.api.ipaustralia, and then production, which is production.api.ipaustralia. So where the mocking service provides you a canned response, the UAT one is a production like response. So if you provide us a patent number, we go through all of the checks and then respond, applying the production business rules to that. So that's where you get different versions of being able to renew different view modes, things like that. And the production version obviously allows you to complete a production transaction. So, the key part there is that you can access the mocking service straightaway. So you see it or not, logged in.

You can use the UAT service, and that's something where you ask us for permission to interact with that. And once you're comfortable with that, you let us know and then we upgrade your access to the production service. And you can start watching transactions. So that's available right now. And you'll see over time that we add more and more additional endpoints to complete different activities. So for example, there's a number here that I haven't demonstrated for you today. But over time, they'll be more and more so in the short term will be adding in transaction as a trademark renewals and others will appear. You can also see message modelling, so if you want one place to see all of the information that we transact with about a patent, you can look through the top section, and you'll see a number of things that we've already defined here.

So what's the address for service? How these formatted was the information here, pre country codes, straight numbers, et cetera. So this is defined at a pretty low level of detail, but you can use this to help to define your applications. Now we received some feedback already from customers about ways we could improve this, I'm already acting on that so you'll start seeing some changes in here to increase the level of detail. But we won't go over all of that in the laborious detail. I'll jump back now to the roadmap, which is looking at when you can expect to see different functionality appearing in the portal. Sorry, we just jumping through the setup so that you can actually see it.

Thanks for bearing with us. Now you see on the screen the delivery roadmap. So what we're looking at there is, you want to see that what you're seeing the delivery roadmap is when we're planning to deliver this. So you'll see on the left hand side, Q1, the API foundation work has been completed. So that was around establishing at different environments, cloud hosting, et cetera. So the Q2, patent renewals. So that's been completed and that's what we just demonstrated. Now, the moment we're working on amendments and assignments in the payments business line, we're working on renewals for trademarks and renewals for designs. So we're aiming to have renewals for designs and trademarks finished by the end of March, so about six weeks from when we're recording this, and will then be progressing into trademark new applications while we continue on the amendments/assignments work.

And that takes us to the end of this financial year. And then you'll see we've only forecast at this level of detail through until Q2, 2019-2020. Basically, that's because we adjust what we're doing based on the feedback that we received from customers like yourselves. So for example, the trademark renewals had been scheduled in Q1 next fin year. Design renewals had been scheduled in Q1 the following financial year, based on feedback from customers like yourselves, there's a strong push to bring this forward to allow the completion of all renewals for those three months as a single block of transactions. So we've taken that feedback on board and moved that forward. The CEO saw the new application sitting here, that's really been powerful because we see this a key enabler for people who are building third party systems that interact with us.

So if you are building a third party portal that allowed customers to file a trademark application, then obviously you need a new application API to do that. So that's why we're sitting that one right up front there. Now what you wanna see on the roadmap here, is the what we call Beta C or the web and mobile work streams for IP Australia ourselves. We plan to start those off next financial year and they are intentionally lagging behind the API's because they need the API's to work. And we also want to take the time to really think about how we want to deliver those, and where we see the market for IP right filings and with ourselves and with third parties and attorney firms what kind of things manage the market there, innovative solutions. Now I'll hand back over to Damian, to wrap up.

Damian Giuffre, IP Australia

Thanks Kieran. And thank you everyone for listening in. It's exciting to be able to talk about these projects and have you guys hear from us about some of the things we're up to. And it's great to be able to give you guys an opportunity to get involved. The core purpose of this, is around starting our engagement journey. There's no point us building stuff that people aren't gonna use. And that's what this is really about. This is the first of many of these sorts of sessions. As for today, if you're interested in finding out more please go to our website. There's a lot more detailed information about our API's and how to register your interests. Moving forward will connect with the reference community and advise you about our ongoing development schedule and give you guys more opportunities to have input, to provide feedback and really influence the build itself. So we really look forward to having you on this journey and thank you for your time today.