Lab7 Systems Enterprise Platform Product Roadmapping and Feature Definition
In this series of “Customer Spotlight” blog posts, we profile some of our valued customer companies to give our readers a sense of what specific projects we are doing to advance their goals towards building solutions that are embraced by their customers and the scientific community.
This month we’re focusing on Lab7 Systems, a leader in developing an enterprise science platform (ESP) for the management of next-generation genome sequencing (NGS) samples, data, and workflows. Their comprehensive sample-to-answer data management software is designed for the researcher and the clinician: besides enabling sample and genomic workflow management, there is an established need to visualize and annotate identified variants with clinically relevant information, and to allow creating sharable, actionable reports achieved via a configurable Analysis Pipeline Manager. Lab7’s ESP platform is built with a vision to reduce the level of
hands-on data management by lab technicians, research scientists, bioinformaticians, and IT teams who are in many instances struggling with the massive amounts of next generation sequencing data that are being generated and processed. As such, Lab7’s platform addresses the critical need to integrate the disparate and often disjointed scientific software toolkits that are being used, thereby freeing up valuable resources both with regards to personnel/staff and infrastructure.
Lab7 also hosts BioBuilds, a curated and versioned collection of Open Source bioinformatics tools for genomics, which is pre-built for Linux on both x86 and IBM Power Systems platforms and for Mac OS X. Lab7’s main goal is the removal of dependencies, by including all supporting libraries via BioBuilds thus eliminating the need to maintain and build your own versions of these tools.
Lab7 Systems is located in Austin, Texas. Notable current customers and partners include Baylor Scott & White Health, USDA, Dell, IBM (to offer a full NGS solution on the IBM Power Systems), and LifeMap: (1) LifeMap Sciences, a subsidiary of BioTime, and Lab 7 Systems announce partnership and launch of integrated NGS analysis solution; (2) LAB7 ESP AND IBM POWER8: A WINNING COMBINATION
Over the course of the last couple of years, enlightenbio has been working closely with the Lab7 Systems team to develop and articulate the Lab7 ESP product requirements, its purpose, and value propositions. Specifically, enlightenbio focused on the following tasks:
- Defining market problems and target personas including their needs and pains
- Researching and defining different target persona profiles, including, but not limited to laboratory technician, data analyst, and genetic counselor
- Interviewing target user personas to understand their goals, objectives, needs and pains when processing samples in the lab, and analyzing sequence data
- Extracting user interviews to define Lab7 ESP functionality needs that require support
- Visualizing high level user goals and product requirements
- Defining the overall sample and analyses processes with its individual modules and specific user interactions
- Mapping of the different target users to the overall process with their specific needs
- Articulating the Lab7 ESP product requirements
- Articulating the Lab7 ESP product and its purpose via the delivery of a products requirements document
- Defining the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) at launch and at predefined milestones
- Formulating the product value propositions with their functionalities and product behaviors
- Researching different market aspects to define the MVP
- Defining sequencing instruments industry trends
- Researching the complementary HT lab instruments space that encompasses the different sequencing processes
- Identifying relevant knowledge databases to add/integrate into the Lab7 ESP system for integrated downstream variant analysis and interpretation
- Defining supporting elements
- Defining online help, FAQ, Release documentation, and videos support requirements
The above described projects entailed a variety of similar approaches which include, but are not limited to extensive target user interviews to obtain the voice-of-customer and the analysis of secondary market type data. This information is critical towards understanding sample lab processing specifics and challenges, technology usage, level of automation requirements, lab and analysis trends, and software specifications that would drive broad adoption. The findings were translated into product purpose definitions, product requirements, and value propositions. enlightenbio has a dedicated U.S. based research team that ensures all deliverables are highly accurate and complete.
The following is a description of product management and marketing services enlightenbio is currently offering. Please contact us anytime to discuss your specific product management and marketing needs.
enlightenbio’s Product Management Services
Our goal is to provide our customers with product management support to help them deliver research software tools that are embraced by their customers. Our unique experience and background allows us to understand and speak the language of the life scientist – a required prerequisite when working with software solutions that address a researcher’s workflow. Our experienced process applies different concepts that are predominantly based on voice-of-customer as well as secondary market research data gathering and analysis. To learn more about our educational background and commercial experience, see Who we are.
More specifically, enlightenbio offers the following services in the area of product management and marketing:
- Define target markets pain points and unmet needs
- Characterize target user and buyer personas and market segmentation
- Implement product life cycle process
- Develop short and long-term product roadmaps
- Gather and communicate product requirements
- Articulate value propositions
- Manage alpha and beta product testing
- Define a game plan for product launch
- Conduct user surveys and interviews
- Define a go-to-market strategy
- Generate market and user specific use cases
Define target markets and users
The enlightenbio team consists of a unique group of life scientists with years of industry experience in the clinical diagnostics, research software tools, and medical devices markets that allow us to provide unprecedented tailored market expertise. Furthermore, we developed a large established external network we can tap into, have extensive user interview experience, and deep knowledge of the market environment. enlightenbio understands how to address user needs and identify pain points using a pre-defined or custom-developed user questionnaire that meticulously tackles specific aspects. These combined capabilities are brought forward to enable our customers distilling market trends and defining strategic and tactical product roadmaps or detailed product requirements with specific functionalities.
enlightenbio has conducted hundreds of user interviews, and based on this vast experience has developed a successful protocol that is applied to integrate the voice-of-customer in the requirements gathering process. This process not only helps to define unmet needs and pain points as indicated above, but also describes the user and buyer persona, identifies how the majority of customers very likely will use the product, and predicts the market direction with high level trends that need to be kept in laser sharp focus to achieve ultimate success in the market place. Shown as an example below are a couple of Lab7 ESP target users defined through one of these gathering processes – also read “The Life of a genetic counselor: providing patient education, navigating insurance, and challenges in choosing tests” blog post resulting from one of these interviews.
Defining product requirements and strategy
enlightenbio can assist with the development of data and target user-driven product requirements. After gathering all the product requirements – via voice-of-customer interviews, thorough market and product development research, and analysis of the collected market data – extracted and relevant learnings are applied to different product management components. Those include but are not limited to the alignment of product capabilities with consumer demands, the development of strategic and tactical roadmaps (short- and long-term roadmaps), and the definition of the minimal viable product (MVP) launches or specific milestone releases.
enlightenbio builds on an extensive experience base carefully honed over the years in providing these types of product specific deliverables that can function as the basis for product direction communication to our customers’ stakeholders (e.g. the management or engineering teams) or their own customers. enlightenbio’s market research follows the schema of problem identification, method development, data collection, analysis, and – last but not least – reporting. The reported learnings (i.e. product requirements) can function as the guidelines for internal agile product development. Shown below is a flow chart defining a sample process from sample receipt to reported findings with its specific target users across the lab and informatics portion of the Lab7 ESP workflow.
Support product launch activities
enlightenbio can assist with the various tasks that go along with a research software tool, medical device, or clinical diagnostics product release. This typically includes defining and managing the product life cycle process, managing the product and feature testing component and – as applicable – defining a game plan for product launch.
The enlightenbio team has managed many different product releases, be they new product releases or incremental product updates. Essential components of such product releases are arranging for and managing both alpha and beta user testing, obtaining broader feature and product feedback via user surveys and one-on-one calls, translating user findings/feedback into product enhancements and updates, and managing all components associated with a product launch such as the generation of release notes, go-to-market strategy definition, or an accompanying social media strategy.