Product Users: Ecosystem Platform Strategy
Oscar Health Product Lead on Understanding Product Users (Part 2)
In order for Oscar to coordinate such a wide variety of product users, a platform strategy is required. Here’s a partial list of all the people that participate in our ecosystem:
- Concierge team
- Oscar virtual physicians
- Network team
- Insurance operations team
- Data & Analytics team
Since we have a lot of users, we need a lot of tools as well. Examples include:
- Member mobile and web
- Virtual care platform
- Network management
- Provider portal
- Claims systems
- Concierge tools
The way we manage this wide array of stakeholders and tools is by building a user-centric platform. Every user needs some fundamental sources of truth to do their jobs. They need to understand who are our members, who are our providers, or what are our plans and benefits. Therefore, we centralize these sources of truth in our platform strategy to make it configurable, flexible and scalable. Then we continue to build on the platform to innovate and scale faster.
Thinking Product Management
When it comes to applications for product users, product management revolves around an obsession with them and thinking about their every move. You want to build a valuable, visual and intuitive user experience. Every PM gets this.
In regards to our internal tools, they all must directly or indirectly support our members. Sometimes there’s a direct interaction between internal users and members, like in the case of our concierge team. On the other hand, our network team enables members to find the right doctor, but the team doesn’t interact directly with members.
How To Build A Platform
It all rests on our platform strategy. Conceptually and tactically there’s a whole suite of data models and services coupled with internal tools that own our sources of truth. Users of platforms could be other products, such as internal, external or direct to user applications. Essentially, anyone accessing the data is also a user. There’s a wider breadth of user personas when implementing a platform model.
The fundamental focus is scalability and flexibility. When you’re in platform build mode, you can’t really A/B test it. Instead, there’s more emphasis on discovery and scoping.
To build a platform, you start with a hypothesis. To form a hypothesis, we listen to our users, monitor data, shadow teams and look at external industry players to see what’s happening. At Oscar, our hypothesis could be, “Members, providers and internal users need to be able to trust that information about Oscar’s providers and networks are accurate.”