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Killexams : Oracle Management VCE test - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/1Z0-435 Search results Killexams : Oracle Management VCE test - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/1Z0-435 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Oracle Killexams : Rethinking cyber risk assessment models
Rethinking cyber risk assessment models

Most businesses are grappling with rapidly rising cyber risk, and rapidly increasing cyber insurance claims have caused premiums to surge. According to a report by Fitch Ratings, the number of cyber claims increased by 100% over the past three years, with prices up 130% in the US and 92% in the UK. This rate of increase is much higher than those of other commercial business lines.

With coverage becoming more expensive, Andrew Barnett (pictured above), cybersecurity expert and chief strategy officer of Cymulate, is urging businesses to rethink their current cyber risk assessment models, as they are not working against the rising threat.

“The typical risk assessment is based on reviewing existing documentation and conducting interviews with stakeholders and department leads,” Barnett told Corporate Risk and Insurance. “On occasion, the assessor may ask to see some actual configurations or screen shots. These responses and evidence are then reviewed and scored as ‘yes,’ ‘no’ or ‘partial.’ With dynamic enterprise environments and an always-evolving threat landscape, these types of activities will never demonstrate an organization’s actual ability to detect, prevent and respond to cyber threats.”

Another point that Barnett said businesses should pay attention to is their cybersecurity infrastructure. While some businesses have inadequate cybersecurity tools in place, others have too many tools – more than they can use properly. He cited a report by Oracle and KPMG which found that 78% of respondent organizations used more than 50 discrete cybersecurity products to address security issues, leading to a patchwork response to cyber threats.

“If majority of organizations have over 50 tools, then the chance of something being deployed incorrectly, misconfigured or underutilized is very high,” Barnett said. “Most of these products do not operate well together out of the box and require careful consideration to their deployments and customization to work effectively in an organization’s unique environment. Companies should continuously look for these unintentional errors, or gaps, as we often see environmental drift over time and their security posture regress.”

To avoid critical gaps in cybersecurity, Barnett recommended that organizations make several changes to their cyber risk assessment procedures.

Barnett said that companies should be aware of the regulations they must comply with, but the focus should be on building a security program that is in line with the organization’s risk tolerance.

“Build compliance into your security program so you can demonstrate to assessors what they need to see, but don’t let compliance be the driver,” he said.

In relation to compliance, Barnett said that organizations that have adopted a continuous security validation methodology have a much easier time when the auditors come around. This methodology gives the company’s leaders in charge of cyber the ability to always know what their security posture looks like, leading to fewer surprises during an assessment.

Risk and IT managers should work with top management to understand all of the inherent risks faced by the organization and the cyber implications of those risks.

“When calculating residual risk, use technology (like breach and attack simulation) to measure the effectiveness of your mitigating controls,” Barnett said. “Oftentimes, we make assumptions or guess at how a tool or process is working and its effect on reducing likelihood or impact. This can lead to a false sense of security.”

Lastly, Barnett said organizations must practice dealing with various cyber risk scenarios by setting times for teams to test themselves and run through table-top or “war game” exercises to see how they would respond in the event of a cyber incident or breach.

Moving forward, Barnett expects that cyber risk management will require more vigilance, with an “always-on” or continuous monitoring for risk and compliance.

“It is fairly common knowledge that annual or biannual assessments only provide a small snapshot of what is really going on inside an organization, and this model has never been able to keep up with the pace of changing environments and the cyber risks they face,” Barnett said. “If the purpose of an assessment is to give all those involved visibility and confidence into how an organization is doing, we need to change how and how often we are conducting those assessments.”

Due to the amount of sensitive data many businesses hold, privacy regulations are also expected to become tighter in the future.

“With regulators adding more and more requirements on leaders around cyber, executives and board members will have to take cyber risks seriously,” Barnett said. “As a result, I think we’ll see more innovation and focus on improving and simplifying the approach to compliance and risk reporting. Platforms that help distill very technical data into layman's terms and produce meaningful, repeatable reports will become obligatory for cybersecurity leaders.”

Thu, 28 Jul 2022 06:52:00 -0500 en text/html https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/risk-management/news/rethinking-cyber-risk-assessment-models-414878.aspx
Killexams : Why And How Physicians Can Strengthen Their Practice Management Strategy Through Outsourcing

Marketing Director at Arthur Lawrence, overseeing the strategic marketing initiatives within the technology and healthcare management space.

On a breezy evening in spring, John and Kevin, two handsome young men, graduated from the same medical college. Twenty-five years later, these two doctors visited their alma mater for a reunion.

A distinction between them became apparent. John was not living up to his potential. He managed everything himself, like supervising staff, front- and back-end services, and calling insurance companies to settle claims. His involvement in administrative tasks delayed patient care. As a result, John often rushed through appointments and spent less time with his patients. Although John was a good practitioner, he couldn’t increase either the patient volume or revenue. His poor work-life balance took a toll on him.

Kevin, on the other hand, had a different approach to managing his practice.

Instead of micromanaging, he partnered with numerous domain experts. He subcontracted administrative tasks so he and the nurses could spend less time on paperwork and more time with the patients. Kevin hired a digital marketing agency to manage his online presence. Kevin secured a healthy work-life balance by delegating clerical responsibilities to seasoned companies.

Unfortunately, John is not alone in feeling work-related stress within the healthcare domain. In my four years of working closely with healthcare practitioners, I have observed that most physicians micromanage instead of taking a patient-centered, outside-in approach. They are often hesitant to delegate administrative tasks or partner up with specialists to ease up their workload.

There are essentially three ways doctors can Strengthen their overall practice management strategy to ensure better care, Strengthen the patient experience, optimize their online presence and, most importantly, increase revenue through outsourcing. (Full disclosure: My company offers many of these services.)

1. Partner With An Ancillary Service Provider

If your goal is to provide your patients with convenient in-house diagnostic services and you are thinking from a financial perspective, you may consider partnering with an ancillary services provider. They are excellent outpatient and hospital alternatives, as they tend to offer cost-effective yet equally competent services.

When choosing an ancillary service provider to partner with, you should weigh the below factors:

• The training and skill set of the provider’s technicians, technologists and administrators.

• The quality of the equipment they use.

• How much investment working with them will require in terms of time and money.

• Their expertise and length of experience in any diagnostic services you may require, including screening services like autonomic testing, respiratory and renal scans, eye scans, heart screening, thyroid tests and screening, and so on.

2. Outsource Administration And Practice Management

You may also choose to delegate a portion of administrative services or subcontract the entirety of your practice management to a third party. This can give doctors and nurses more time for care delivery. Once your administrative systems and processes are in safe hands, your providers may also be able to enjoy a better work-life balance.

Below are some cost-effective approaches in this domain:

Practice Management

Healthcare practice management and consulting companies take care of all the business aspects of your practice, including financial performance, information technology, practice efficiency and efficacy, and human resources, among others.

An ideal practice management consultant will offer you transparency and complete autonomy in using your systems and processes in addition to managing them. This ensures that you are in control of your practice’s operations. Another crucial factor to consider is how well versed they are in the ever-evolving local and federal healthcare laws, policies and legislation.

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)

A third-party RCM consultant specializes in functions associated with claims processing, payment and revenue generation right from the beginning when a patient makes an appointment.

Before you decide to partner with an RCM expert, consider their length of experience and expertise in:

Front-office management: This includes appointment scheduling and management, benefits verification, authorization and referral management, and leveraging front-office administrative and revenue analytics solutions.

Back-office management: This includes expertise in appropriate billing and claim entries, claim submissions and audits, accounts receivable management, denial management and monthly business analyses and reporting.

• Experience and expertise in insurance credentialing.

• Claim management percentage: look for lower claim denial rates and higher clean claim rates.

Finance And Accounting Service

Hiring a full-time accounting staff is a costlier option, especially to meet a healthcare practice’s finance and accounting needs. A smarter, more cost-effective alternative is to subcontract an external accounting service provider.

It is important to choose a service provider that has relevant medical bookkeeping and accounts management experience. This is because they should be aware of the data privacy and security standards established by HIPAA to be able to remain compliant across functions. Another important aspect is the technology and financial tools the consultants rely on for data management and analytics. QuickBooks, Stripe, Square, Gusto and Oracle NetSuite are some of the tools that service providers tend to leverage to automate your practice’s finance and accounting processes.

3. Hire A Digital Marketing Agency

Most doctors are cautious about utilizing the power of digital marketing to their advantage. A weak online presence can hamper a doctor’s ability to gather ratings and reviews. In contrast, strong and consistent online visibility can not only help you sustain stronger relationships with existing patients but can also help you reach potential patients.

Ask any digital marketing specialists you’re considering working with how they plan to augment your healthcare facility’s reputation and boost footfall within your specific zip code. They should also be able to explain how they help healthcare professionals find areas that aren’t working for future campaigns. Ask them about their plan for creating measurable, accountable and scalable digital and integrated marketing key performance indicators with multiple milestones along the journey. An ideal digital marketing partner will enable you and your practice to leverage all the above areas to build and maintain your practice’s digital presence and positioning.

Not all healthcare practitioners in the U.S. recognize the value of a collaborative advantage for improving their care delivery model and strengthening patient experiences. However, by choosing the right providers, practitioners may be able to enable easier access to quality care, Strengthen operational and financial efficiencies, and minimize the cost of care.


Forbes Communications Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?


Wed, 27 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 Aseem Mirza en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2022/07/28/why-and-how-physicians-can-improve-their-practice-management-strategy-through-outsourcing/
Killexams : Oracle and Microsoft Release Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure

AUSTIN, Texas and REDMOND, Wash., July 20, 2022 — Oracle Corp and Microsoft Corp today announced the general availability of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. With this new offering, Microsoft Azure customers can easily provision, access, and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) with a familiar experience. Users can migrate or build new applications on Azure and then connect to high-performance and high-availability managed Oracle Database services such as Autonomous Database running on OCI.

Offering Customers Choice with Azure and OCI Multicloud Capabilities

Over the last two decades, thousands of customers have relied on Microsoft and Oracle software working well together to run their business-critical applications. As customers migrate applications and data to the cloud, they continue to look for joint solutions from their trusted software partners. Since 2019, when Oracle and Microsoft partnered to deliver the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, hundreds of organizations have used the secure and private interconnections in 11 global regions.

Microsoft and Oracle are extending this collaboration to further simplify the multicloud experience with Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. Many joint customers, including some of the world’s largest corporations such as AT&T, Marriott International, Veritas and SGS, want to choose the best services across cloud providers to optimize performance, scalability, and the ability to accelerate their business modernization efforts. The Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure builds upon the core capabilities of the Oracle Interconnect for Azure and enables customers to more easily integrate workloads on Microsoft Azure with Oracle Database services on OCI. There are no charges for using the Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure or data egress or ingress when moving data between OCI and Azure. Customers will pay only for the other Azure or Oracle services they consume, such as Azure Synapse or Oracle Autonomous Database.

“Microsoft and Oracle have a long history of working together to support the needs of our joint customers, and this partnership is an example of how we offer customer choice and flexibility as they digitally transform with cloud technology. Oracle’s decision to select Microsoft as its preferred partner deepens the relationship between our two companies and provides customers with the assurance of working with two industry leaders,” said Corey Sanders, corporate vice president, Microsoft Cloud for Industry and Global Expansion.

“There’s a well-known myth that you can’t run real applications across two clouds. We can now dispel that myth as we give Oracle and Microsoft customers the ability to easily test and demonstrate the value of combining Oracle databases with Azure applications. There is no need for deep skills on either of our platforms or complex configurations—anyone can use the Azure Portal to harness the power of our two clouds together,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

“Multicloud takes on a whole new meaning with the launch of the Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. This service, designed to provide intuitive, simple access to the Exadata Database Service and Autonomous Database to Azure users in a transparent manner, responds to the critical need of Azure and Oracle customers to apply the benefits of the latest in Oracle Database technology to their Azure workloads. This combined and interactive connection of services across public clouds sets the stage for what a multicloud experience should be, and is a bold statement about where the future of cloud is heading. It should deliver huge benefits for customers, developers, and the cloud services landscape overall,” said Carl Olofson, research vice president, Data Management Software, IDC.

Familiar Experience for Azure Users Combined with an Oracle Managed Service

With the new Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure, in just a few clicks users can connect their Azure subscriptions to their OCI tenancy. The service automatically configures everything required to link the two cloud environments and federates Azure Active Directory identities, making it easy for Azure customers to use the service. It also provides a familiar dashboard for Oracle Database Services on OCI using Azure terminology and monitoring with Azure Application Insights.

“Many of our mission-critical workloads are running Oracle databases on-premises at massive scale. As we move these workloads to the cloud, Oracle Database Service for Azure enables us to modernize these Oracle databases to services such as Autonomous Database in OCI while leveraging Microsoft Azure for the application tier,” said Jeremy Legg, chief technology officer, AT&T. Watch the video.

“Multicloud architectures enable us to choose the best cloud provider for each workload based on capabilities, performance, and price. The OCI and Azure partnership integrates the capabilities of two major cloud providers, including the Oracle Database services in OCI and Azure’s application development capabilities,” said Naveen Manga, chief technology officer, Marriott International. Watch the video.

“Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure has simplified the use of a multicloud environment for data analytics. We were able to easily ingest large volumes of data hosted by Oracle Exadata Database Service on OCI to Azure Data Factory where we are using Azure Synapse for analysis,” said Jane Zhu, senior vice president and chief information officer, Corporate Operations, Veritas.

“Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure simplifies our multicloud approach. We’re going to be able to leverage the best of Oracle databases in Azure, and we are going to be able to keep our infrastructure in Azure. This is a great opportunity to have the best of the two worlds that eases our migration to the cloud and improves the skills of our people in IT,” said David Plaza, chief information officer, SGS. Watch the video.


Source: Oracle

Tue, 19 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 text/html https://www.datanami.com/this-just-in/oracle-and-microsoft-release-oracle-database-service-for-microsoft-azure/
Killexams : Oracle Enhances Smart Construction Platform with New Analytics Capabilities

AUSTIN, Texas, July 19, 2022 — Engineering and construction organizations struggle to unlock data across applications to effectively diagnose problems, predict risks, and inform future actions. To address this challenge, Oracle today announced Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Analytics. The new solution combines data from Oracle Smart Construction Platform applications to give owners and contractors a comprehensive understanding of performance throughout their operations. With this insight, organizations can quickly spot and correct issues and target ways to drive continuous improvement across project planning, construction, and asset operation.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” said Roz Buick, senior vice president of product, strategy, and marketing for Oracle Construction and Engineering. “The new Oracle Construction Intelligence Cloud Analytics offering combined with the Smart Construction Platform’s predictive intelligence engine and common data environment, gives our customers a deeper, holistic understanding of their performance. Now they can build unique data strategies that drive competitive differentiation. This is how the construction industry will get to six sigma precision like its industrial and manufacturing counterparts.”

The Smart Construction Platform unites capabilities from Oracle engineering and construction applications and third-party solutions with a common data environment and user experience. With the platform, owners and contractors can more easily work together to Strengthen decision-making at every level of their organizations. The new analytics solution and other platform enhancements were unveiled today at the Oracle Industry Lab in Deerfield, Illinois.

“We are increasingly focused on finding new and better ways to leverage our data to gain further insights into project performance and risk,” said Brian Neal, project manager, Rudolph Libbe Inc. “Connecting and blending data for analysis will provide the broadest and deepest view into our operations, helping us to understand trends across our business and identify ways to keep improving how we deliver projects for our customers.”

Smart Construction Platform: Unifying People, Processes, and Data

The Smart Construction Platform brings together the core applications, processes, and data that owners and contractors need to work together across project and asset lifecycles. These include portfolio planning, bid/tender processes, contracts, schedules, project documents and building information model (BIM) collaboration, field tasks, costs, and payments. With the new unified experience, common data environment, and cross-application interoperability, users can easily move between applications and data sets while working within a single project. By synchronizing activities, resources, and data as each project and asset progresses, the platform helps ensure teams across disciplines are always working toward the same goal, with the same information.

For instance, the platform’s scheduling and project management capabilities synchronize planning and worksite teams around a master plan, giving both visibility into a unified schedule and the task data needed to do the right work in the right place at the right time. So, if an HVAC installation should change because of a supply chain issue, the project manager will automatically receive the updated schedule information and can coordinate any needed adjustments across all impacted teams.

Likewise, the platform gives capital planners accurate, timely data on project forecasts so they can align with managers on budget requirements and adjust as strategic priorities change. For example, inflation doubles the costs of a required set of materials on a project. The project manager can push those new actuals and forecast up to the planner who can perform just-in-time changes to the portfolio, possibly pulling funds from a less important project, or putting a project on hold.

And as the platform continually learns and gets smarter using machine learning technologies, it will take these past actions into consideration to flag potential risks and guide more informed decision making in the future. These are just a few of the many connected experiences the platform can deliver by:

  • Providing up-to-date schedule data to project managers so they can keep teams aligned to planned delivery dates and other schedule requirements
  • Uniting planning (CPM schedule) with worksite teams (task schedule) to minimize wasted time and resources
  • Letting capital planning and project execution teams exchange budget and actual cost data, enabling both teams to confidently adjust as work progresses
  • Automatically storing completed bid/tender packages as well as approved invoices and other payment materials in organizations’ document registers
  • Giving all stakeholders visibility to collectively track progress, identify and mitigate risks, and efficiently manage change across the entire supply chain

“Oracle has helped us Strengthen coordination, visibility, and control during project development,” said Weronika Nowak, document control and IT manager for Mayflower Wind. “The ability to further connect our teams, processes, and data across applications and all project phases will increase efficiency while providing our people with the information needed to readily manage change as we work to deliver critical energy assets.”

About Oracle Construction and Engineering

Asset owners and project delivery teams rely on Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for the visibility and control, connected supply chain, and data security needed to drive performance and mitigate risk across their processes, projects, and organization. Our scalable cloud construction management software solutions enable digital transformation for teams that plan, build, and operate critical assets, improving efficiency, collaboration, and change control across the project lifecycle. www.oracle.com/construction-and-engineering.

About Oracle

Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle, please visit us at www.oracle.com.


Source: Oracle

Tue, 19 Jul 2022 05:58:00 -0500 text/html https://www.datanami.com/this-just-in/oracle-enhances-smart-construction-platform-with-new-analytics-capabilities/
Killexams : Speaker Bio:

Dr Chandrasekar Umapathy

Manager - Application Security, Symphony Services

Chandrasekar has 10+ years of experience in Information Technology, and 8 years in Information Security. He is an PHD in Application Security , Digital Forensics Investigation , and also holds MCA ,MBA . He has also achieved the following international certifications: GCFI,CBCP,CSSLP, LPT, CEH, CHFI, ECSA, ENSA, CPTS, ISO27001 (LA)(I), ITIL, CCSA, and CCSE,CWNA,BS25999. He is actively supporting State/Central Government of India officials in Digital Forensic investigation. He has been invited for various security conferences as a speaker as the CSI (Computer Security of India), OWASP,ISACA and e-surakshit.

Tue, 10 May 2022 06:47:00 -0500 text/html https://www.siliconindia.com/events-speakers/SoftTeC-2010-Bangalore-SoftTech2010.html
Killexams : Data Analytics

The 15 most-common persuasion mistakes

As workers across the country slowly head back to the office, many of us might have forgotten how to deal with one another in person and the best way to persuade someone in a working environment.

5 commonly missed opportunities when marketing to multicultural customers

The latest census data shows Australia has become a majority migrant nation for the first time. According to the new national data, more than 50 per cent of residents were born overseas or have a migrant parent.

Post-Pandemic Business Playbook: An Opportunity Unlike Ever Before

Covid-19 created a shift in the customer and economic-based reality unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. Customers have changed from routinised pre-pandemic shopping behaviours to frequently purchasing new brands and suppliers.

Ofer Mintz

Associate Professor of Marketing, UTS Business School

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-au text/html https://www.cmo.com.au/tag/data-analytics/
Killexams : Enterprise innovation: Low Code/No Code democratizes IT Low-Code, No Code (LCNCs) are being used by businesses today to generate value and stimulate innovation across many industries. Enterprises can supply new capabilities quickly and simply on demand without needing to depend on their IT teams. Software development environments make it possible for people with little or no professional coding knowledge to design and change programs. The platform will be used more frequently, according to 60% of low-code/no-code users.

Businesses are increasingly depending on cutting-edge solutions like low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms because they want to build apps quickly as they embark on their digital transformation journeys. These platforms, which demand a minimal level of technical expertise, are rapidly gaining popularity among businesses in a variety of industries that want to easily and quickly build their own apps. “This trend has also given birth to ‘citizen developers’ which has been instrumental for many organizations to bridge their IT skills gap.”, observes P Saravanan, Vice-President, Cloud Engineering, Oracle India.

Factors driving the adoption of LCNCs

“Rapid Automation and shortage of talented/skilled developers are the key factors driving LCNC. The accurate pandemic also has pushed all the companies towards digital transformation with greater speed”, says Mitesh Shah, Vice President, SAP BTP Application Core Products & Services.

The growing need for businesses to respond with agility and speed to changing market dynamics has led to an increased adoption of LCNC approach. Project timelines come down from months to days leading to faster product rollouts. “LCNC approach involves smaller teams, fewer resources, lower infrastructure or low maintenance costs, and better ROI with faster agile releases making it more cost-effective than from-scratch development”, Vishal Chahal, Director IBM Automation, IBM India Software Labs adds.

The current macroeconomic climate has tightened financial constraints for enterprises everywhere. Companies are therefore seeking application development methods that are affordable, which LCNC provides.

The post-pandemic scenario and the requirement for organisations to develop resilience have sped up the adoption of technology; this has led to what we also refer to as compressed transformation—the simultaneous transformation of several organisational components.

Then, there is the demand for agility and experimentation skills as firms engage in rapid transformation and create cutting-edge apps to support their company and workforce development agenda. LCNC has never before seen agility in the development of contemporary multi-channel experiences. “It also helps organizations address the talent gap as skilled technology talent is becoming harder to find, and LCNC developers can help organizations tap into diversified talent that brings business expertise”, Raghavan Iyer, Senior Managing Director, Innovation Lead - Integrated Global Services, Accenture Technology opines.

Accelerating enterprise innovation

LCNCs are designed to harness the power of the cloud and data in order to let business users create applications that provide unique innovations to transform operations, experiences, and give operational efficiencies and insights. . The inclusion of industry accelerators and interfaces with the digital core in LCNC platforms creates a myriad of opportunities for applying data to innovative and disruptive applications. One of LCNC's main advantages is that it recruits those who are most ideally situated to effect change. “Citizen developers can closely collaborate with professional developers and IT experts to create enterprise class applications to experiment and develop applications”, Iyer adds.

According to a Gartner estimate, 70 percent of new apps would be developed by market participants using low-code and no-code platforms by 2025. Programming expertise may not be as crucial in the future as LCNC technologies automate the process of creating new apps. “This will eventually free up developers to focus on the development for niche areas”, Shah explains. Nowadays, rather than being predominantly driven by technology professionals, enterprise innovation focuses on boosting customer experiences, increasing efficiency, and improving business processes. Adoption of the LCNC platform and technologies enables participation in the innovation process from a variety of workforce segments, particularly those with domain expertise.

Bridging the IT skills gap

With the help of LCNC, businesses can stop relying on IT teams to implement and develop new solutions, and business users are given the tools they need to become change agents. Professional developers can concentrate on more intricate, inventive, and feature-rich innovations by using low code approaches that automate the fundamental routines. No Code enables business users (or citizen developers) to investigate and test out novel solutions despite having little to no coding experience.

Enterprises now want every bit of talent and expertise they can acquire to meet the demands of the rapidly changing business environment. The LCNC approach's citizen developers assist firms in addressing the talent shortage, employee attrition, and skill gaps.

Capabilities of organizations

IBM has built LCNC capabilities in its platforms for an end to end coverage from development and deployment to the management of solutions. “IBM Automation platforms provide AI-driven capability to manage and automate both IT systems and business processes through the LCNC approach. Using technology like Turbonomics and Instana along with Watson AIOps, users are able to automate the observability, optimization, and remediation of their hybrid cloud solutions with low to no coding requirements, monitor their IT systems while getting AI-driven actions for reducing cost and performing dynamic optimization to upscale or downscale their systems with no coding and minimal IT support”, remarked Vishal.

Oracle’s primary offering, Oracle APEX, a low code platform, is accepted for enterprise apps across the world. Saravanan adds “APEX provides users to build enterprise apps 20x faster and with 100x less code. Businesses are also becoming aware of the value of LCNC in India.”.

At Accenture, there are large communities of practitioners on LCNC cutting across hyperscalers, core platforms and pureplay development platforms.“We have built a global practice of LCNC that creates thousands of applications for ourselves and our clients.”, says Iyer.

SAP Labs India is developing the core services behind the LCNC products of SAP. “LCNC core services are providing the unification across the various LCNC offerings of SAP. Additionally in the area of Process Automation, Labs India teams are playing a significant role”, Shah states .

With the increasing move to the LCNC approach , technology is now more readily available to all employees inside the company, improving communication between IT and business divisions and allowing for the development of solutions that are more suited to corporate requirements. Adoption of such platforms can also aid in bridging the skill shortage in the IT sector as it enables businesses to tap into talent pools outside of their usual boundaries.

Tue, 19 Jul 2022 21:07:00 -0500 en text/html https://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/next-gen-technologies/enterprise-innovation-low-code/no-code-democratizes-it/92992994
Killexams : UK Government signs procurement memo of understanding with Salesforce, but are more needed to prevent a cloud oligopoly?

The UK Government’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) procurement body has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Salesforce to make it easier and cheaper for public sector organizations to buy from the supplier.

According to Philip Orumwense, Commercial Director and Chief Technology Procurement Officer at CCS:

The agreement will further ensure increased collaboration and aggregation of government and wider public sector spend to achieve increased automation, forecasting, reporting and customer engagement management tools.

The main items on the Salesforce MoU are:

  • A discount on licences (Salesforce, Mulesoft, Tableau & Slack) and services for eligible UK public sector bodies, including health bodies.
  • Free experimentation projects, so that eligible bodies can test and learn how Salesforce solutions can be used to meet their requirements.
  • Direct access to a panel of Salesforce’s SME implementation partners.
  • Discounted training and support.
  • A discounted trial of Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud, supporting the UK government’s drive towards Net Zero.

Salesforce has a number of UK public sector customers, including the Health Service Executive, Department for Works & Pensions, various local authorities and CCS itself.

More MoUs

CCS has signed a number of such MoUs in accurate years with cloud suppliers, including the likes of Oracle, Google and Microsoft. Oracle’s agreement was first signed as far back as 2012 with an updated  and expanded deal signed last year. At that time, Orumwense commented:

This enhanced Memorandum of Understanding will continue to deliver savings and benefits for new and existing public sector customers using Oracle's cloud based technologies. It will continue delivering value for money whilst supporting public sector customers' journey to the cloud.

Expanding the list of suppliers offering cloud services has become a political agenda item in the UK as legislators have queried the amount of business that has gone to Amazon Web Services (AWS). As of February last year, some £75 million of contracts had been awarded in the previous 12 months.

Lord Maude, who previously ran the UK Cabinet Office where he waged a war on excessively priced tech contracts and essentially began the MoU process in earnest as part of his reforms, was quoted as warning:

When it comes to hosting, we've regressed into allowing a small group, and one vendor, in particular, to dominate. If you take a view of the government as simply as a customer, it makes absolutely no sense for the government to be overly dependent on one supplier. No one would sensibly do that.

The Salesforce MoU looks well-timed as CCS recently launched a tender for a range of cloud services in a set of deals that could be worth up to £5 billion in total. Procurement notices have been issued under the G-Cloud 13 framework, covering cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support, with a further lot for migration and set-up services to follow. Contracts can last for 3 years with an option to extend by a further year.

Eligible suppliers must be able to offer services in the following capabilities:

  • Planning - the provision of planning services to enable customers to move to cloud software and/or hosting services;
  • Setup and Migration- the provision of setup and migration services which involves the process of consolidating and transferring a collection of workloads. Workloads can include emails, files, calendars, document types, related metadata, instant messages, applications, user permissions, compound structure and linked components.
  • Security services - Maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of services and information, and protect services against threats.
  • Quality assurance and performance testing - Continuously ensure that a service does what it’s supposed to do to meet user needs efficiently and reliably.
  • Training
  • Ongoing support - Support user needs by providing help before, during and after service delivery.

My take

Having a wider range of potential providers operating under such MoUs is crucial for government to deliver value for taxpayers money.

Those of us who lived through the crusading days of Maude insisting that tech vendors - mostly large US systems houses and consultancies - come back to the negotiating table, tear up their existing contracts and start from scratch, have been dismayed, but not surprised, that the so-called ‘oligopoly’ simply had to sit it out and wait for a change of government/minister to get things back to ‘normal’.

There were successes that linger. The UK’s G-Cloud framework was a triumph when set up and continues to do good work. As an aside, and given this article has been triggered by a Salesforce announcement, I do remember talking to CEO Marc Benioff in London prior to the formal announcement of G-Cloud and how it would work.   

At the time there was a heavy push from certain quarters to make G-Cloud all about virtualization and private cloud rather than the public cloud push it was to become. I asked Benioff if he thought this was the right direction of travel and got a very firm rebuttal as he told me:

The UK government is way behind in this, and way too much into virtualization…Government needs to stop hiding behind the private cloud.

I was in good company - Benioff had been in at the Cabinet Office the previous day and given Maude the same message.  Thirteen years on, the Public Cloud First policy that was shaped later that year still stands, but progress hasn’t been made at the rate that was promised back in those heady launch days and which needs to be achieved.

In 2022, there’s the risk of a different sort of oligopoly, as the concern around AWS' grip on government contracts suggests - and not just in the UK -  but unfortunately there’s no sign of a Maude to take charge this time and bang the negotiating table.

Instead the Secretary of State with responsibility for digital thinks the internet has been around for ten years and retweets memes of politicians being stabbed. Meanwhile a putative, unelected new Prime Minster has just announced that she (somehow) intends to redesign the internet into adults-only and kid-friendly versions. Sigh. 

Mon, 01 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 BRAINSUM en text/html https://diginomica.com/uk-government-signs-procurement-memo-understanding-salesforce-are-more-needed-prevent-cloud
Killexams : Tuesday Digest: Oracle layoffs to affect Bay Area; Companies expand in Fremont No result found, try new keyword!Also in tech, Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS) stock jumped about 20% with the company reporting strong sales and user numbers and after activist investor Elliott Investment Management confirmed a ... Tue, 02 Aug 2022 08:28:00 -0500 text/html https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2022/08/02/sfbt-digest-tuesday.html Killexams : Biodesix, Inc. (BDSX) CEO Scott Hutton on Q2 2022 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Biodesix, Inc. (NASDAQ:BDSX) Q2 2022 Earnings Conference Call August 4, 2022 8:00 AM ET

Company Participants

Chris Brinzey - Investor Relations

Scott Hutton - Chief Executive Officer

Robin Harper Cowie - Chief Financial Officer

Conference Call Participants

Brian Weinstein - William Blair

Max Masucci - Cowen

Kyle Mikson - Canaccord

Operator

Good morning. My name is Joanne and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Biodesix Second Quarter 2022 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Chris Brinzey, you may begin the conference.

Chris Brinzey

Thank you, operator and good morning everyone. Thank you for joining us today for a discussion of Biodesix second quarter 2022 business highlights and financial results. Leading the call today will be Scott Hutton, Chief Executive Officer. He will be joined by Robin Harper Cowie, Chief Financial Officer. After the prepared remarks, we will open the call for Q&A. An audio recording and webcast replay for today’s conference call will also be available online as detailed in the press release announcement for this call. Today, we issued a press release announcing our business highlights and financial results for the second quarter 2022. A copy of the release can be found on the Investor Relations page of the company website.

Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected as a result of changing market trends, reduced demand and the competitive nature of Biodesix industry. Such forward-looking statements and their implications involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or performance to differ materially from those projected.

The forward-looking statements discussed on this call are subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the Risk Factors section and elsewhere in the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ending December 31, 2021 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14, 2022 as well as subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed during 2022 as applicable. Additional information concerning factors that could cause results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements are described in greater detail in the company’s press release issued today and in the company’s filings with the SEC.

With that, I would now like to turn the call over to Scott Hutton, Chief Executive Officer. Scott?

Scott Hutton

Thank you, Chris. As a reminder, Biodesix is a patient-centric, mission-driven lung disease diagnostic company with a mission to unite biopharma, physicians and patients to transform the standard of care and Strengthen outcomes with personalized diagnostics.

In our last call in May, we were excited to share that towards the end of the first quarter, we were experiencing strong sales growth in our core lung diagnostic testing, driven in part by sales access returning to pre-pandemic levels. I am thrilled to say that, that strength continued through the second quarter. We finished Q2 with total revenue of $11 million, which includes core long diagnostic testing revenue of $7.3 million, reflecting a very strong 52% year-over-year growth and 56% growth over the first quarter of this year. This was a record quarter in terms of revenue and delivered test volumes. As we begin to put many of the challenges of adapting to a post-pandemic world behind us, we are confident that this momentum will carry through the end of the year and beyond.

Stepping back for a moment, we believe we have one of the most comprehensive suites of diagnostic test with 5 blood-based tests available to support clinical decision-making across the lung cancer continuum from initial risk assessment of lung nodules with Nodify lung testing strategy to post-cancer diagnosis treatment guidance and monitoring with the IQ lung testing strategy. The Nodify lung testing strategy consists of two blood-based proteomic tests; Nodify CDT and Nodify XL2, which are used by physicians to assess the risk of malignancy of a lung nodule. This helps prioritize higher-risk nodules for invasive diagnostic procedures while also helping avoid unnecessary procedures on very low-risk nodules.

In June, we announced that Medicare began covering the Nodify CDT lung nodule test at a price of $649. This is a significant milestone for Biodesix and ensures access and availability to Nodify testing for patients with lung nodules. Last year at this time, we had 4 tests, 3 of which were covered by Medicare. Just one year later, we’ve not only launched a new test, but we have Medicare coverage for all 5 diagnostic tests. Overall, as physicians gain more experience with our Nodify lung testing strategy, we continue to receive positive feedback reflected in increased adoption, which we believe demonstrates the clinical relevance and utility of these tests, and validates that we are only beginning to realize the full potential for Nodify lung to change the standard of care in lung nodule risk assessment.

In addition, we also announced a collaboration with Philips to incorporate the Nodify lung test into the Philips Lung Cancer Orchestrator Patient Management System. We’ve observed a growing demand for digital integration in hospitals as an important factor to streamline logistics and create diagnostic efficiency by incorporating proteomics, radiologic, and patient history data in one place to support treatment decisions. We believe integrating our Nodify test into the Philips Lung Cancer Orchestrator will help facilitate digital ordering of the test following detection of a lung nodule with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and outcomes. As the integration progresses and rolls out, we will provide updates over the coming quarters.

Moving to our IQLung test, we started the year with a full commercial launch of the GeneStrat NGS test, increasing our treatment guidance portfolio to 3 blood-based tests, including the GeneStrat-targeted ddPCR-genomic test and the VeriStrat proteomic test. Offered as options within IQ lung testing strategy, these tests are used to inform treatment decisions and monitor for the rise of resistance mutations while patients are on therapy. The addition of NGS testing means we can now offer physicians the option to detect a broader range of less common genetic alterations. The GeneStrat NGS test is still early in its product launch, but we’re pleased with the feedback and interest not only in the GeneStrat NGS test, but also the full portfolio of IQLung treatment guidance testing.

We continue to support and invest in data generation to demonstrate and reinforce the clinical utility of our test as well as looking to sign meaningful collaborations to further drive adoption and growth of our entire core lung diagnostic testing suite. For example, in May, we presented a poster assessing the impact of the Nodify XL2 test in a real-world clinical setting at the American Thoracic Society International Conference. Data presented highlighted the impact of the Nodify XL2 test on clinical management decisions and investigators showed the Nodify XL2 test was able to support a decrease in chest imaging, outpatient clinic visits and additional invasive procedures without misclassifying the benign lung nodules.

At the upcoming International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, 2022 World Lung meeting this month, we will be presenting data demonstrating that the VeriStrat test is predictive of progression-free survival and overall survival in patients testing low or negative for PD-L1, when treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. We know there is a need for additional testing beyond PD-L1 alone to better identify who is likely to respond to immunotherapy, and we believe this data shows that VeriStrat has the potential to play a role in this decision-making.

Beyond this, we have multiple other clinical studies being conducted and we expect the upcoming full data readout and publication of our Oracle study of the Nodify XL2 test to further support our sales and reimbursement efforts for the test. Additionally, we look forward to providing further updates on our ongoing insight study for the IQLung testing strategy, the altitude study of our Nodify testing and the BEACON study for primary immune response, our immunotherapy guidance test and our further development efforts for our pipeline risk of recurrence test.

Moving to our biopharmaceutical partnerships and services business, we reported revenue of $0.7 million for the quarter, which continues to rebuild and rebound more slowly than we would like. While we are beginning to see enrollment pickup from the serious disruptions of the pandemic, we have seen numerous studies extended – we’ve continued to experience challenges in logistics delays in trial shipment and therefore, have not delivered on the timelines we originally anticipated. Yet, we continue to maintain a backlog of prospective and retrospective studies that we plan to work through over the rest of this year and into 2023.

Adding to our confidence here is that we continue to receive positive feedback and interest in the Biodesix diagnostic Cortex proprietary AI and machine learning platform and our broad multimodal and multi-omic service offerings. Our ongoing efforts and advancements and explainability in transparent AI will provide unique insights and clarity to health care professionals and research teams by providing the ability and potential to identify key biological mechanisms driving specific outcomes for patient subgroups that may require a different approach or different treatment. Overall, we remain confident that in the near future, we’ll see growth in revenue from increasing demand for our service offerings.

Lastly, we continue to look for ways to broaden our product offering, enabling us to capture a larger percent of the $29-billion total addressable market. In June, we announced a new research agreement with one of the top cancer centers in the U.S., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and our existing partner, Bio-Rad Laboratories, to help develop a new novel minimal residual disease test. Also, we plan to utilize our array of genomics, proteomics, artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities with the aim of developing additional biomarker assays in collaboration with MSK.

We have said it before and cannot reiterate it enough. Lung cancer kills more people in the U.S. annually than the next three cancers combined and time matters when treating these patients. We pride ourselves on Biodesix’s ability to discover, develop, and commercialize a broad range of tests that can quickly provide critical results and insights back to health care professionals with best-in-class testing turnaround times for all of our tests to help Strengthen patient care. With a comprehensive suite of tests, all with Medicare reimbursement and the ability to offer diagnostic solutions across the continuum of care, we believe we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of this $29 billion market opportunity and that we have both the team and the products to drive growth in 2022 and beyond.

Now, let me turn it over to Robin to review the first quarter 2022 financial performance. Robin?

Robin Harper Cowie

Thanks, Scott. We are pleased with our second quarter total revenue and core long diagnostics revenue, which exceeded consensus estimates. Overall, total revenue was $11.0 million compared to $11.9 million for the second quarter of 2021 and represented an increase in revenue from our 5 core lung diagnostic tests and offset by an expected decrease in COVID testing as testing moved more towards at-home rapid antigen testing.

Our second quarter core lung diagnostic testing revenue was $7.3 million from total volumes of approximately 5,600 tests versus $4.8 million from total volumes of approximately 4,000 tests for the second quarter of 2021. This represents 52% revenue and 40% volume growth over the second quarter of 2021 and 56% revenue and 30% volume growth over last quarter. The growth in test volume was primarily driven by our Nodify CDT and Nodify XL2 tests and the accurate launch of the GeneStrat NGS test.

Biopharmaceutical Services revenue was $0.7 million compared to $1.0 million in the second quarter of 2021, a decrease of 29%. As we have said before, this business can fluctuate due to several factors, including contract timing and project execution, but in this instance, reflects the continued impact that pandemic has had on extension of prospective clinical trial time lines and shipping of samples needed to complete the projects and recognize revenue. We ended the quarter with up to $7.8 million contracted but not yet recognized, $2.2 million of which is currently on the balance sheet as deferred revenue as we have already collected the cash.

COVID testing revenue was $3.0 million in the second quarter of 2022 versus $6.1 million in the year ago quarter, an anticipated decrease, which we discussed in our May earnings call. The increase in the second quarter over the prior quarter was due to a contract with the State of Colorado to handle the surge in testing required due to the Omnicom spike seen over the last couple of months. This contract expires by the end of August and should not be modeled to continue or contribute significant revenue into the second half of the year. We have consistently projected that COVID testing as a percentage of revenue would drop off significantly as compared to the prior year, assessing shifted to readily available rapid at-home antigen testing. We expect this dynamic will continue through 2022, and therefore, do not expect any significant COVID revenue for the latter half of 2022.

Gross margin as a percentage in the second quarter 2022 was 64% versus 40% in the second quarter of 2021 and 51% in the first quarter of 2022. The improvement in gross margin was primarily a result of growth in our core long diagnostic business and Medicare coverage for our Nodify CDT test. We expect the overall gross margin as a percentage to remain approximately in the mid-60s, perhaps with a small increase over the course of the year as a result of several factors, including the decline in COVID testing revenue expectation, which has a lower margin than lung diagnostics, plus the benefit of Medicare coverage for Nodify CDT tests and the expanding scale of our GeneStrat NGS test.

Overall operating expenses, excluding direct costs and expenses were $18.6 million in the second quarter of 2022 compared to $15.4 million for the same period of 2021. The year-over-year increase seen in the quarter was primarily driven by increases in sales and marketing expense. As a cost maintaining measure, we effectively kept the size of our sales organization from the first quarter of 2022, but the main difference in expense was that the team had access to physicians for in-person meetings requiring travel for the full quarter versus limited access in the first quarter. While the impact of physician access and inflation contributed to an increase in travel costs within our sales and marketing expense, the sales team delivered increased productivity over the first quarter.

Operating expense for the second quarter 2022 includes $7.0 million in non-cash expenses, including stock-based compensation as compared to $2.4 million during the second quarter 2021. The net loss for the second quarter of 2022 was $15.3 million compared to a net loss of $11.4 million for the second quarter of 2021. The increase in net loss is attributable to the restructuring of our contingent consideration arrangement with integrated diagnostics, the decrease in revenue from COVID-19 testing in 2021, and the growth of the commercial organization in 2021.

And turning to our overall liquidity, we ended the quarter with $28.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, inclusive of $5.1 million in restricted cash, an increase from prior quarter, primarily due to the net proceeds of $14.5 million from our private placement and at-the-market offerings and net proceeds of $12.8 million from the securities purchase agreement entered into [indiscernible] Capital LLC, partially offset by a partial repayment of our SBB 2021 term loan and Indi milestone payment of $3.0 million and $2.0 million, respectively.

In addition to the successful liquidity enhancements during the second quarter 2022, we have taken a variety of steps to add access to additional funding and reduce our cash burn, all while focusing on continuing to grow revenue in 2022 and 2023. We will continue to focus on liquidity enhancements that will enable us to maintain focus on revenue growth and accelerate our time to profitability.

As of June 30, 2022, the company had remaining available capacity for share issuances of approximately $29.9 million under our at-the-market facility and up to $49.2 million under the LPC facility. In 2022, we will invest in projects and hires that result in near-term revenue growth while implementing additional cost savings measures that will impact the second half of 2022 and 2023.

Turning to our outlook for 2022, we are reaffirming our previous guidance and anticipate 2022 total revenue to be between $37.5 million and $39.5 million.

Now let me turn it over to Scott. Scott?

Scott Hutton

Thank you, Robin. So as you’ve just heard, it’s been a busy, productive and rewarding quarter. I’m extremely proud of the Biodesix team and excited for us to continue to grow as we progress through 2022. The Biodesix team remains steadfast in our commitment to: one, Strengthen the lives of patients impacted by lung disease. Two, integrate Biodesix testing into physician practices, providing all the testing needed for a lung patient through the continuum of care. One patient, one trusted company, multiple test, personalized results. Three, discover and develop new diagnostic tests like our risk of recurrence test, primary immune response test, and the newly announced molecular minimal residual disease test. Four, lead the way with AI explainability and transparency. Five, conduct numerous clinical studies to demonstrate. And reinforce the real-world performance of our test. And six, grow and expand our biopharmaceutical partnerships to aid in their research, drug development, clinical trials, and development of companion diagnostics.

In closing, I’d like to thank all Biodesix teammates for their dedication to the Biodesix mission, vision and culture, which revolves around our collective commitment and daily contributions to positively impact patients’ lives.

With that, I’ll turn the call over to the operator for questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Brian Weinstein with William Blair. Your line is open.

Brian Weinstein

Hi, guys. Good morning.

Scott Hutton

Hi, Brian.

Brian Weinstein

Hi. We start – just some questions on the guidance in particular. Can you help maybe break that down a little bit between the core lung, the COVID and the biopharma. There is obviously a lot of moving pieces. Robin, I think you talked about COVID really trailing off. I’m not sure how to think about biopharma. And then on the core lung side, what that would look like? I mean, it would appear to us that given the momentum that you guys are seeing, it sounds like access is pretty open. You can talk about that if you want, certainly. But now the CDT reimbursement coming in at a higher level than I think that we would have anticipated, it would seem like that core lung franchise should have some pretty good momentum behind it. So can you just talk about how you thought about all of that with the guidance and breaking that down for us?

Robin Harper Cowie

Sure. Good morning, Brian. Yes. Well, obviously, we’re very pleased with the growth momentum in the core lung diagnostics and with the price for Nodify CDT. We do expect to continue to have strong growth. But I think, as I mentioned earlier, we’ve been very cautious about adding new heads and growing the size of the organization this year, trying to maintain or reduce our expected spend in burn, which could potentially temper some of that higher level growth versus if we just continue to wholesale expand the sales team. From COVID and biopharma, yes, we expect COVID to drop off due to the expiration of the contract with our State of Colorado partner. And with the biopharma delays in shipping and extension of the time lines for those studies, we sort of look at COVID and biopharma as offsetting each other. So we think with our lung diagnostics, we’re on track, as we’ve talked about over the course of the year, and with COVID and biopharma somewhat offsetting each other, that’s how we got and remain at our revenue guidance of 37.5% to 39.5%.

Brian Weinstein

Yes. It just feels as there may be some conservatism that’s built into that core lung, which I guess I understand just given prior uncertainty and whatnot. And you guys just kind of getting back on your feet a little bit. Is that an appropriate characterization that there is some conservatism that’s sort of built in here? Because again, just given the higher CDT reimbursement than what we would have thought and the momentum that you’re seeing that it would seem that those numbers could actually be a bit higher. I just want to make sure that there is nothing that you’re seeing in the end market that’s concerning or anything like that, that would kind of put a lid on that growth or it’s just conservatism being – just given what we’ve seen over the last couple of years.

Robin Harper Cowie

You’re absolutely right, Brian. It’s conservatism. We’re trying to plan and anticipate that we could potentially have another COVID wave that sneaks up on us. I think what we’ve learned over the last couple of years is nobody really can predict COVID or how it impacts hospitals and physicians in their general population. So yes, there is absolutely conservatism built into the lung diagnostic forecast.

Brian Weinstein

Okay, thank you. And then on the lung portfolio, Scott, maybe you can talk a little bit about the sales cycle there. what you’re seeing in terms of physician willingness to engage with you guys, and how long it takes to kind of close an account and what kind of utilization you’re seeing? You’re not providing physician metrics there, you are providing test volume, which we appreciate, certainly. But can you just talk about sales cycle, how long it takes to close to a kind of just feedback that you’re hearing in general.

Scott Hutton

Yes. Thanks, Brian. Great question. As a reminder, we launched Nodify XL2 and Nodify CDT, both right into the pandemic headwind. So the way we look at this is we went into lockdown, we launched these two products. We were doing the best we could remotely. So now with our returning to a pre-pandemic state of access, we’re out there really educating and informing physicians on these two new products. In many cases, we’re introducing them to Biodesix and our full portfolio of products and test capabilities. We’re being received and welcomed exceptionally well. And as you’ve seen, it results in the strong and significant growth we’ve experienced.

It really depends from an individual sales rep perspective on the prior history experience with the Biodesix sales reps pre-pandemic. In some cases, as you’ll recall, we’re out introducing ourselves because we’ve expanded the sales force significantly. Pre-IPO, we stated that we would double the size of the sales force in 2021. We did that. We continue to focus on expanding the sales force. Given the current market and economic environment, we’re more mindful of where we expand and when we expand, and we prioritize those areas that are underpenetrated with a high incidence and prevalence of lung cancer, where we think we can go in and make a significant positive impact in patient care.

With the major society meetings for pulmonologists coming up in the fall, we think we’ve got a great opportunity to continue to increase those face-to-face interactions. And if you think about it, when I state that we launched Nodify CDT and XL2 going into the pandemic headwind, we’ve not attended CHEST since the launch of those two meetings in-person. So we’re looking at this as a huge opportunity to continue to build on the momentum that we’ve got already. Is that helpful, Brian?

Brian Weinstein

Yes, it is. I appreciate that. And then one last one for Robin. Robin, can you just talk about operating cash flow expectations for the year? Obviously, you will have access to different sources of capital. So on the financing side, but just in terms of the cash flow from operations, so how should we think about the burn for the full year there?

Robin Harper Cowie

Yes. We anticipate, as our revenue grows, obviously, operating cash flow will Strengthen and our burn will reduce across the year. We noted in the remarks today that this quarter included $7 million of non-cash expenses. I believe I noted last earnings call that due to the changes in our debt structure, the reorganization of the Indi milestone payments and all of the other movements we’ve made we had more expense hitting the interest expense line. And so we saw that for sure in the second quarter, and we will continue to see that as we move forward through the rest of this year and into 2023. We plan to utilize the liquidity options we have over the rest of the year and into 2023. And also, we will continue to look at other options and other facilities that could further enhance our cash position to get us to cash flow breakeven.

Brian Weinstein

Okay. Alright. I’ve got a bunch more, but we will deal with those off-line. So thank you guys for taking the questions.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Max Masucci with Cowen. Your line is open.

Max Masucci

Hi. Thanks for taking the questions. Great to see the continued momentum in the lung cancer diagnostics business. So first one, just based on today’s release and commentary from prior calls, it’s safe to say that XL2 and the CDT volumes continue to ramp nicely. I’m curious, is there any detail you can provide around the amount of Nodify CDT volumes that you were processing or taking in before the Medicare coverage hit but not getting paid on. And so with the CDT reimbursement starting to flow in during June going forward, I’m just trying to understand if there is potential for a near-term revenue boost, if you do start getting paid on some CDT volumes that you have – that you’ve been taking in previously but not getting paid on prior to the coverage one?

Robin Harper Cowie

Good morning, Max. Yes, we’re very pleased, obviously, with the Medicare coverage and the pricing that we received. We have received some payments on tests that we brought in prior to the coverage through – as we move through the appeals process. As with Medicare, you’re never 100% certain how all of the claims volumes and the timing of those will flow. So we’re not projecting any major backlog or large numbers here. We’re just really looking to the future and projecting the full coverage of the test at the 649 moving forward.

Max Masucci

Okay, great. And even before CDT earned Medicare coverage, I think my understanding is that it was frequently being ordered in tandem with XL2. So maybe can you just remind us what the frequency is of both CDT and XL2 being ordered together versus on a standalone basis? And then just given the bundled approach of the risk assessment strategy, how do you expect the Nodify CDT Medicare coverage to influence the frequency of XL2 ordering and just that bundled type approach?

Scott Hutton

Hi, Max. Great question. Yes, as we stated in the past, what we’ve seen as physicians become comfortable and knowledgeable on the benefits of Nodify testing is both tests being ordered together. Physicians really see both the benefit of a rural in-test and a rural out-test. And so with Nodify CDT being run first that really falls in line with physician thinking, right, if they are trying to find those patients with likely malignant nodules so that they can intervene, we all know that since we’re dealing with the dead least of all cancers, early detection and diagnosis increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. So, with a positive or a likely malignant result, those physicians then know to intervene. At that point in time, we do not run the XL2 test because there is no need. So, we have seen them ordered predominantly together. And then it really just depends upon whether XL2 is run and those percentages will vary based upon each individual physician practice and how they are targeting and selecting patient populations. We do anticipate and expect coming out of the pandemic because physicians pulled those at-risk patients to stay away and stay healthy, as they come back out, they are prioritizing the high-risk patients. And so when you referenced the Medicare coverage for CDT, we think there is upside and a positive impact as we see more utilization or positive likely malignant test results for Nodify CDT.

Max Masucci

Great. I appreciate that color. And maybe one final question for Robin, just around biopharma. I mean is there any update or detail around just the size of the biopharma backlog and where it stands or even maybe the growth in the biopharma revenue backlog, if some of the conversion has occurred a bit slower due to factors that are not specific to Biodesix. We have seen it for many other companies. So, detail around the size of the backlog, the growth in the backlog. And then maybe even the percentage of the backlog that’s coming from prospective versus retrospective studies.

Robin Harper Cowie

Sure, happy to. We currently have a $7.8 million in backlog, the currently signed contracts that are not yet recognized revenue. We are pleased with that number and really pleased actually with the funnel. For contracts, the number of contracts and the size of the contracts that are under negotiation and moving forward, really gives us confidence in our long-term biopharma business. You are exactly right that the conversion factor is really hard to calculate right now due to the outside factors. And we really have sort of three time lines here that are sort of pre-COVID, the 2 years of COVID and now, hopefully, what is post-COVID. And they really all are very, very different. So, it’s hard to compare each other. The larger portion of the backlog is in prospective studies. The retrospective studies tend to be shorter timelines because the samples are already collected, and the biggest factor for us in getting those done is trial shipment. So, we have mentioned and I have seen others mention as well delays in getting samples in the door. So, that does push off some of the retrospective projects from being completed. But because the larger portion of our – of the business right now is prospective, any delays or extensions of timelines really does impact the revenue in the current quarter.

Max Masucci

Great. Super helpful. Thanks again.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Kyle Mikson with Canaccord. Your line is open.

Kyle Mikson

Hey. Thanks. Congrats on the quarter. So, Robin, I want to start with the CBT reimbursement $649 solid rate. It’s not on the CMS ADLT list, at least when I last checked. I guess this ADLT an option for CDT. Obviously, many of your tests have been granted ADLT status and enjoy those higher payment rates, like could CDT join that group? And if so, when could that happen?

Robin Harper Cowie

Great question Kyle and good morning. There is a potential for ADLT, but I would not expect an increase in the price for ADLT Category A, which if CDT were to receive that status, that’s the category it would be under. The price for the test for the first nine months is actually the list price on the first data test is offered, and that list price for us is $649. So, we actually did receive our original list price from Medicare already. So, we are already above where we had expected to be. So, I would not expect any change to that price. And I also can’t really comment about ADLT timelines if we were able to get that status sort of at the mercy of CMS.

Kyle Mikson

Okay. Alright. Thanks. So, on gross margins, mid-60s through second half of the year, does that basically mean that the fourth quarter gross margin could be like flat to 2Q levels? I am just wondering like why that would be just given you would assume volumes would increase. You have the reimbursement here in the back half. So, maybe could you just walk through the puts and takes, Robin, the gross margins?

Robin Harper Cowie

Sure. I would expect a couple of points uptick, so – but just not major increases. So, in the mid-60s, perhaps up to the 67% by the end of the year, I think makes sense. The biggest drag right now on gross margins is the GeneStrat NGS launch. As with every test as you are ramping and scaling – getting to scale is really a critical factor for strong positive gross margin contribution.

Kyle Mikson

Okay. That was great. And then Scott, it would be meaningful if VeriStrat was found to be predictive of give yes, no yes. Could you just walk through the path to develop like a VeriStrat and panadiagnostic. And I am wondering if the biopharma partnerships are in place today that could look enable them?

Scott Hutton

Yes. Good morning Kyle. Great question. Yes, we do offer all of our commercial tests as available options for biopharma partnership continued research. And so we have a significant amount of data that they could support, but we are not capable at this point in time of disclosing any of that. I think what I would focus on is kind of connecting the dots to what we said a few months ago related to kind of cracking or breaking the black box. We know that historically, a number of diagnostics couldn’t clearly communicate what they were measuring and in what quantities are abundant. And we have broken that black box. And so our efforts with transparent AI and explainability, we feel strongly that we will have the ability to highlight exactly what proteins and what abundance and combinations we are measuring with VeriStrat. And we think that leads to renewed conversations that allow us to build, hopefully, towards companion diagnostic opportunities. And then the same, that will build towards the introduction of primary immune response and risk of recurrence. We think it’s critically important that as more and more clinical interest shifts towards proteomics that we would be the leader on the LDT and commercially available proteomic test front to highlight exactly what proteins are being measured and most importantly, continue to invest in data development. And we have got our INSIGHT trial, which you may recall, we have got over 4,500 patients enrolled in that where we have the ability to highlight patient response to different real-world treatments in combination with the VeriStrat test result. So, much more to come there, Kyle, but you are thinking about it exactly how we are and how the conversations with physicians and biopharma are going.

Kyle Mikson

Okay. That sounds promising. Thanks Scott. If I could just ask another one before I hop off. There is obviously a lot going on at Biodesix right now. A lot of good things of [indiscernible] do ups, congrats on all those kind of updates. What are you doing, I guess to ensure you can kind of thoughtfully contribute to all your projects like all the current test, the pipeline tests while still executing business as usual and continuing to Strengthen performance as you have done, obviously, in the accurate quarters. We are all excited for you, and we are confident in Biodesix, the company is not very large, obviously, just kind of be a question worth asking. Thanks.

Scott Hutton

Yes, it’s a great question, and thanks for the kind words, Kyle. We appreciate that. We take all of that to heart. We think we punch above our weight class. It’s taken a little bit of time for people to start to see that. But we don’t want people to think is that we are not mindful and intentional with our time, energy, effort, and expenses. So, for us, it really is about the greatest impact. We know that our notified testing strategy has the largest market opportunity. We also know that we can have the most significant impact there. Since those are the two tests that we have commercialized most recently and prior to the pandemic and then NGS to follow the pandemic. We are going to focus on Nodify, on the sales front. We think that that’s the introduction, kind of that warm handoff as the patient comes into – with some concern to assess whether they have a malignant nodule or not. So, for us, that’s the top priority. We mentioned it on the call. We are very mindful of sales force expansion. We are going to continue to expand opportunistically, but we are going to pull back if we don’t think we can get a near-term return. I think the same applies to our product pipeline and R&D efforts. We really want to be focused on near-term return. We are proud to share that we believe we are the only company focused in lung with five on-market tests that all have reimbursement that benefits us, as Robin said, as we strive to get closer to profitability. And so we may pull a few levers here and shift some things in our product pipeline cadence as we progress. But the nice thing about that is we have got many shots-on-goal. Again, we continue to punch above our weight class, if you will. And we think that this opportunity will continue to fuel us. But more to come in the future quarters as we continue to make progress. And as Robin said, we will start to highlight and tease out when we think we can get to profitability. But we feel really good about where we are at today.

Kyle Mikson

Great. Thanks Scott. Thanks Robin.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] And the next question comes from the line of Tejas Savant with Morgan Stanley. Your line is open.

Unidentified Analyst

Hello. This is Yuko on for Tejas. Thank you for taking our questions. Could you elaborate on the scope of the research partnership with MSK on developing novel MRD test? And what are the financial implications from the agreement?

Scott Hutton

Yes, great question and good morning. We didn’t disclose the specific details. But what we can tell you is really it’s a broad research discovery and development agreement. And so we highlighted MRD because that’s the first and the highest priority. We will look forward in future earnings calls and quarters to highlight progress being made and give greater detail as we progress through that. But we think this is critically important. To Kyle’s question, when you think about our shots-on-goal and opportunities, we think it says a lot about not only who we are, our culture and our capabilities to have someone like Memorial Sloan Kettering partner with us. And so those type of relationships and partnerships give you great access to physicians that are treating patients. And in an integrated system, you have got the ability to align and focus on a common goal. And so we think that the product development efforts in partnership with them, there is potential to accelerate timelines when compared to a diagnostics company going at it alone. So, we are very, very excited about that. It’s very promising. And again, we think it says and speaks volumes about who we are. And we expect to have more partnerships and collaborations like this in the future.

Unidentified Analyst

Great. Thank you for that color. And then some of the companies noticed staffing shortages in hospitals and physician offices. Are you seeing the same? And if so, does that represent a headwind for the lung diagnostic products?

Scott Hutton

Yes, it’s a great question. And I think all of us experience that in our day-to-day lives, we are all consumers of something, and we have seen delays. I don’t think that healthcare is insulated from that. I think we all have read the press [ph]. We are starting to understand that there is potential for increased nursing and physician shortages. For us, I wouldn’t state that we are insulated from it. But at this point in time, we are not seeing a significant impact. We continue to monitor it. Obviously, we are focused on building strong relationships with those healthcare professionals, their practices, and their teams. But the way we look at it is if they are scheduling patient visits, we know that they have got the staffing to support that. And because we are offering blood-based testing, we really don’t see any constraints at this point in time. But again, we are watching it closely. We want to be mindful of the different challenges that healthcare professionals have gone through, not just in the last few weeks and months, but over the last few years. They are tired, they are overworked, they are frustrated. Most importantly, they are excited to get back to a pre-pandemic state to treat those patients that they have dedicated themselves to treating and positively impacting. So, we will keep you posted as we progress through future quarters if and when that becomes an issue. But at this point in time, we don’t see that being a rate limiter.

Unidentified Analyst

Got it. That’s great to hear. And then a quick one for Robin, with the interest expense – interest rates going up, should we anticipate any changes in that interest expense line? And then could you also provide color on how we should think about OpEx trends for the remainder of the year with ongoing inflationary pressures?

Robin Harper Cowie

Yes. I would say that our interest expense should remain fairly similar to what we had in the second quarter for the remainder of the year, less because of increasing interest expense because our current – our debt and what we have – those contracts are already in place, but more from the restructuring and the facilities we put in place in the second quarter. As for OpEx, I would anticipate slight increases in OpEx across the rest of the year, anticipating further cost and pressures from inflation and on travel. And as Scott mentioned, we are very excited for the second half of this year to have actual in-person conferences again. This will be the first time since 2019 that our conferences are all in-person and that our teams will be there for the first time in 2 years or 3 years. So, I would anticipate some slight increases in OpEx as we move forward.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much.

Operator

There are no further questions at this time. This concludes today’s conference call. You may now disconnect.

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 05:28:00 -0500 en text/html https://seekingalpha.com/article/4530800-biodesix-inc-bdsx-ceo-scott-hutton-on-q2-2022-results-earnings-call-transcript
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