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Every business needs funding. While you might have initially financed your business with your own money or loans from family and friends, there comes a time when institutional capital is necessary for sustained growth. Many small business owners rely on bank loans or loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Sometimes, though, small business owners can’t qualify for these loans or need something shorter-term or more flexible. In these cases, alternative lenders offer ways to access the capital you need to grow your small business. Alternative loans come in many shapes and sizes, so you can generally find the right one for your current needs.

This guide will introduce you to the concept of alternative lending and explain some of the most common types of alternative loans. It also presents some of the major players in the space to help you find the right lender for your business. If you’re looking for more detailed information on business loans, see our reviews and picks for the best loan and financing options.

Editor’s note: Need a loan for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

Alternative lending industry overview

Alternative lending is the process of turning to nontraditional lenders to invest in your company. According to Morgan Stanley, alternative lending streamlines the process for borrowers who may be underserved by traditional lending institutions. It was born out of peer-to-peer (P2P) unsecured loans, but with the rise of technology and the expansion of online lending opportunities, alternative lending’s definition has evolved. Besides P2P unsecured loans, alternative lending sources now include crowdsourcing and marketplace lending.

The growth of alternative lending is projected to continue. According to a latest study from Oracle, over 40% of consumers feel that non-banks can offer more than a traditional bank. Small and midsize businesses, in particular, are experiencing a funding gap – leading them to search for nontraditional sources of money. A survey from Richmond’s Federal Reserve Bank found that banks have an approval rate of approximately 58% from small business applications. In comparison, alternative lenders have a 71% approval rate for small businesses.  

Did you know?Did you know? When it comes to small business funding, alternative lenders are more willing than their bank counterparts to approve a loan. Sure, you’ll pay more in interest, but if the benefits of accessing capital outweigh the costs, it’s a viable option.

What is alternative lending?

Alternative lending is any lending that occurs outside of a conventional financial institution. Alternative loans tend to be more flexible than conventional loans, and often have a faster application turnaround. Many types of alternative loans are available, so there is likely an alternative loan out there that suits your small business’s circumstances.

While most banks and conventional lenders could take weeks to approve or deny a loan application, many alternative lenders can deliver funding in a few days. The loan application process for alternative loans also tends to be simpler, requiring only a credit score, tax returns and bank statements rather than a detailed pro forma or business plan.

In addition, alternative lenders are more likely to offer loans in smaller amounts than banks, which often include minimum lending terms that are too high for a small business. Alternative lenders also offer unconventional lending options that allow businesses to leverage assets like their accounts receivable or credit card sales, rather than borrowing on credit.

What are alternative lenders?

Organizations that offer alternative small business loans are called alternative lenders. “Alternative lender” is an umbrella term for several alternative lending models, including direct private lending, marketplace lending and even crowdfunding platforms.

Direct private lenders

Direct private lenders use their own money to issue loans, rather than relying on depositors or investors. This allows direct private lenders to be extremely flexible in granting applications. They tend to offer diverse types of loans, including asset-backed ones such as bridge loans. Direct private lenders can also be more flexible in the amount of money they lend per loan. Some offer low-value loans that many conventional financial institutions won’t consider.

Marketplace lenders

Marketplace lenders – also called peer-to-peer lenders – leverage a technological platform to circumvent banks and connect borrowers directly with investors. While banks make loans with deposited money, marketplace lenders simply package loans from investors and deliver the funding to borrowers, collecting commissions and fees to make their money. Marketplace lenders typically determine whether or not to award a loan based on a borrower’s credit score.

Crowdfunding platforms

Crowdfunding platforms are especially popular for businesses in the prototype or startup stage. A crowdfunding platform gives borrowers a place to raise small amounts of money from a large number of individuals. Generally, the borrower sets a goal and markets their campaign to appeal to potential investors. The benefit of crowdfunding is that it eliminates the application process. However, success is not guaranteed; it comes down to how well you market your campaign and how many people invest in your cause.

Bottom LineBottom line: Variety is the name of the game when it comes to alternative lenders. From marketplace lenders to direct ones, you have many options when looking for funding outside of a bank.

What types of alternative lending are available?

The alternative lending space is innovative; it regularly introduces new types of small business loans and other forms of financing. That makes it a diverse space with many types of loans available. Here’s a look at some of the most common alternative loans for small businesses.

Lines of credit

A line of credit is a fixed amount of money that an alternative lender extends to a borrower, just like a line of credit from a bank. You can draw from the line of credit up to the fixed amount, paying interest on the amount you borrow.

Short-term loans

Short-term loans are any loans scheduled to be paid back in a year or less. Most banks do not offer short-term loans, but they are a common offering from alternative lenders. Short-term loans are useful when your business needs working capital or has to quickly cover a one-time cost.

Installment loans

Installment loans provide a lump sum of money to a borrower, which they repay to the lender at regular intervals until the principal plus interest is paid off. Many installment loans from alternative lenders have a fixed payment amount, meaning the interest rate will not fluctuate during the life of the loan. Installment loans are commonly used to finance the purchase of real estate, vehicles and the equipment a business needs to operate.

Merchant cash advances

A merchant cash advance offers a business cash upfront in exchange for its future credit card sales. Merchant cash advances provide a lump sum of money quickly – sometimes within one day – based on a business’s expected daily credit card receipts. Once the advance is issued, the borrower pays it back through a percentage of their business’s daily credit card revenue.


Microloans, as the name suggests, are low-value loans, typically $50,000 or less. Alternative lenders devised these small loans because conventional lenders like banks typically don’t consider them at all. For many small business owners, $50,000 is more than enough to open their doors or acquire new equipment. Microloans can also be incredibly short-term, with some repayment periods lasting just a few months.

Invoice factoring

Invoice factoring is a type of financing in which a business sells its outstanding accounts receivable to a third party (referred to as the “factor”) at a slight discount. Typically, a business can expect about 90% of the value of its accounts receivable upfront. The factor is then responsible for collecting the payments. The 10% the factor saves on the discounted purchase of the business’s accounts receivable represents its potential profit.

Bridge loans

A bridge loan is a short-term loan backed by an asset, rather than by a credit score. For example, if a business owner is moving from one location to another and is in the process of selling the first location, they can use a bridge loan to purchase the new property and cover all closing costs. The new property would be the collateral for the bridge loan. These loans are typically very short-term, often taking less than a year to repay.

Equipment financing

Equipment financing is the use of a loan to purchase the equipment your business needs to operate. This differs from other types of loans, which can be used for more abstract purposes (for example, a working capital loan for staff wages). Equipment financing relies on the equipment itself as collateral; this enables lower rates and more application approvals because it is tied to the equipment rather than your personal credit or annual revenue.

TipTip: Before you apply for alternative funding, think about what you need the cash for. If it’s to bankroll an expensive piece of equipment, a long-term loan or equipment financing may make the most sense. If you need to deal with a cash flow issue or purchase more inventory, a short-term loan is better.

The best alternative lenders and business loans of 2021

Here’s an overview of the lenders we think are best for a variety of loan needs.

Company Noble Funding Fora Financial Rapid Finance Biz2Credit SBG Funding
Best for Customer service Short-term loans Fast funding Marketplace lending Flexible terms
Loan size $75,000 to $3.5 million $5,000 to $500,000 $5,000 to $10 million $25,000 to $250,000 Up to $5 million
Collateral No No No No No
Loan term Varies Up to 15 months Varies 12-36 months 6 months to 5 years
Personal guarantee Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Minimum sales required 2 years positive net income $12,000 per month N/A $250,000 per year $10,000 per month
Credit score 500 Decent, no open bankruptcies 500 660 500 or more
Time to fund 2 or 3 days 72 hours Same day 72 hours Same day
Online application Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Noble Funding: Best for customer service

Noble Funding is an alternative lender that puts customer service first. In our review of Noble Funding, we found that it provides borrowers a variety of loan types, including short-term bridge loans and long-term business loans. We like that Noble Funding is willing to work with all borrowers and will continue to service the loan long after the money is in your bank account. Noble Funding doesn’t charge upfront fees and will work with you even if your credit is challenged. It doesn’t hurt that Noble Funding has been in business since 2005 and has a strong reputation in the market. 

Fora Financial: Best for short-term loans 

Fora Financial is an online lender that provides business owners with short-term loans that are fast to fund and don’t have extra fees attached to them. When reviewing Fora Financial, we found that it offers a quick, easy online application and fast funding. That’s important for business owners who need cash yesterday. Fora Financial also doesn’t require any collateral and little in the way of paperwork. Not to mention this alternative lender doesn’t tack on any additional fees. You pay off the loan principal and interest, and that’s it. Fora Financial lets you take out loans ranging from $5,000 to $500,000, even though you’ll have to pay it back within 15 months. 

Rapid Finance: Best for fast funding 

Rapid Finance is an alternative lender that provides its own loans, as well as a network of lenders, to get you the best loan product in the shortest time possible. Our research proves this. When reviewing Rapid Finance, we found that funding can arrive in your bank account in just a few hours. That’s impressive, and key for business owners looking for fast funding. With this online lender, you can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $10 million through a variety of loan products, including term loans, lines of credit, bridge loans, SBA loans and invoice factoring. 

Biz2Credit: Best marketplace lender

Biz2Credit is a marketplace lender bringing business borrowers and lenders together since 2007. Biz2Credit operates a robust lending marketplace and has arranged more than $2 billion in small business funding since its inception. In our full review of Biz2Credit, we found this alternative lender can accurately match small businesses with sources of capital that meet their unique needs. That really stood out to us, as it can’t be said of all marketplaces. Some will sell you a one-size-fits-all loan that may not work for your enterprise. Biz2Credit offers term loans of up to $250,000, working capital financing of up to $2 million, and commercial real estate loans up to $6 million.

SBG Funding: Best for flexible terms 

SBG Funding is an online lender that provides small businesses with a variety of loan products and flexible terms. We found through our comprehensive review of SBG Funding that you can borrow up to $5 million and set repayment terms of as short as six months or as long as five years. We like that SBG Funding gives you a choice in terms and the frequency by which you pay back your loan. You can make payments biweekly and monthly. We also like that SBG Funding is willing to work with borrowers who have less-than-stellar credit scores. The lender says it approves 85% of term loan applicants, which is a testament to its flexibility. You can get a decision in 24 hours and funding within 12 to 48 hours. If you decide to pay off your loan early, you won’t get hit with any prepayment fees.  

When is alternative lending a good idea for your business?

Alternative lending is a good option for your small business when conventional lenders either don’t offer the financing you need or won’t approve you for a loan. It’s telling that alternative lending took off following the 2008 financial crisis, when banks were hesitant to lend to virtually anyone; alternative lenders fill the gaps left by conventional financial institutions.

Alternative lending is also a good option for your business if you have an immediate need for capital, especially in low amounts. Whether that’s working capital to keep a seasonal business afloat in the offseason or financing for an equipment purchase, alternative lenders can provide fast funding and a short repayment term when banks will not.

While alternative lending offers key advantages for small business loans, there are some drawbacks. To minimize risk and ensure you can repay any loan you accept, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of alternative lending options before partnering with a lender.

What are the advantages of alternative lending options?

Alternative lenders offer some major advantages over bank loans and other conventional financing options. Here’s where alternative lenders outshine banks and credit unions:

  • Simple application process: The requirements of an alternative loan application tend to be far less rigorous than those of traditional bank loans. Sometimes alternative lenders simply require access to your digital bank statements to return a verdict on your application.
  • Fast turnaround: In addition to their simplicity, alternative lenders tend to be much faster than banks or credit unions, n terms of both approval and funding delivery. While conventional lenders might need weeks or months to make a determination and extend the capital, alternative lenders can often get small business funding in a matter of days.
  • Flexible loans: Alternative lenders, particularly direct private lenders, have more free rein in how they package loans and financing options. This has allowed alternative lenders to create unique financial products such as invoice factoring and microloans.

What are the disadvantages of alternative lending options?

Banks and credit unions naturally have their own advantages over alternative lenders. Traditional bank loans tend to beat alternative lending options on the following issues.

  • Higher interest rates: The less-strict requirements, shorter terms and unconventional nature of alternative loans often translates to higher interest rates than conventional lenders charge. In some cases, this is due to a business’s annual revenue and credit score; in others, it has to do with the type of financing a business requires.
  • Short-term loans: While short-term loans can be useful to businesses in some cases, alternative lenders often set short repayment terms even on high-value loans. This means you could end up making higher installment payments to an alternative lender for the same amount of money you could borrow from a bank. 

Alternative lending fills the gaps in business financing

When bank lending isn’t possible or desirable, alternative business lending options are worth considering. Whether your annual revenue or personal credit score isn’t up to the bank’s standards or you just need an amount of money that conventional lenders won’t offer, alternative lenders fill in the gaps with a variety of funding options.

Before you choose to partner with an alternative lender, carefully review the terms of the loan. Your ability to repay the loan on time is key to your small business’s continued success. When you need funding that the banks won’t provide, alternative lenders can help, but always borrow responsibly.

Alternative lending FAQs

What is the cost of alternative lending?

Review the loan terms with the alternative lending provider. Depending on the alternative lending source, you may or may not be subject to an annual percentage rate (APR). Some providers may charge a monthly fee for the loan instead, which is beneficial for those who plan on quick repayment.

If, however, the lender charges an APR that seems low, confirm the fees associated with the loan. For example, the lender may charge an organization fee. An organization fee represents the expense of processing your loan and may cost upward of 3% of the loan amount. Other lenders may charge a set dollar amount for closing costs. At the time of the loan, ask for a breakdown of the total loan costs to understand what you’ll be paying in full to borrow the money.

Is alternative lending better than traditional lending?

Alternative lending isn’t necessarily better than traditional lending, but it offers distinct advantages. Primarily, alternative lending provides the opportunity to harness funding for small and midsize businesses that may not qualify for traditional loans. Also, alternative lending provides more flexibility, including faster processing and shorter payment terms.

Alternative lenders are also versatile in the amounts that they can provide businesses. In some cases, businesses borrow a moderate amount from an alternative lender in addition to a standard bank loan. Another benefit of alternative lending is the industry relies on risk assessments beyond a credit score to approve loans. 

When did alternative lending begin?

According to Funding Circle, the first alternative lenders entered the marketplace around 2005. Prosper and LendingClub, both specializing in P2P loans, are credited with launching the alternative lending trend. Alternative lending companies were launched to aid small and midsize businesses due to banks’ preference for funding corporations, which they consider less of a financial risk. 

Can I get an alternative loan with bad credit?

Yes, some lenders provide lending options to those with bad credit. Instead of looking at a credit score, these lenders will consider qualifications such as minimum annual revenue. The alternative lender also reviews the applicant’s experience. For instance, the lender may request that applicants have operated a business for at least a year.

Adam Uzialko contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Sun, 24 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : ISG to Publish Reports on Oracle Ecosystem Partners

Upcoming ISG Provider Lens™ reports will evaluate service providers helping enterprises and public agencies modernize operations with Oracle applications and cloud technologies

Information Services Group (ISG) III, a leading global technology research and advisory firm, has launched a research study examining service providers that help enterprises and U.S. public sector agencies take advantage of Oracle enterprise software and cloud infrastructure technology.

The study results on Oracle ecosystem services for enterprises will be published in a comprehensive ISG Provider Lens™ report, called Oracle Ecosystem 2022, scheduled to be released in December. The report will cover companies offering services including consulting, implementation, integration and managed services. At the same time, ISG will publish the U.S. Public Sector Oracle Ecosystem 2022 report, covering providers with experience in developing and supporting Oracle solutions for public sector entities in the U.S.

Enterprise buyers will be able to use information from the reports to evaluate their current vendor relationships, potential new engagements and available offerings, while ISG advisors use the information to recommend providers to the firm's buy-side clients.

Enterprises worldwide have responded to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic by speeding up strategies to integrate business systems, automate workloads and enhance core business functions. Amid the pandemic, public agencies in the U.S. have faced growing pressure to reduce costs and better serve constituents while operating under specific constraints that most companies do not face.

"Oracle is at the center of enterprise software transformation, including migration to the cloud," said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. "Oracle partners are critical to companies and public agencies that want to benefit from Oracle's latest technologies."

The enterprise software industry, including giants like Oracle, has fast-tracked modernization of its products in response to these needs. Oracle's service provider partners help clients achieve their business goals using modern software enhanced with AI, machine learning and cloud capabilities. Oracle continues to invest in its partners by providing training programs and expanding their expertise, including enabling them to build customized solutions for business-specific challenges.

For the Oracle Ecosystem study, ISG has distributed surveys to more than 100 Oracle service providers. Working in collaboration with ISG's global advisors, the research team will produce three quadrants representing the digital services and products the typical enterprise is buying, based on ISG's experience working with its clients. The three quadrants are:

  • Consulting and Advisory Services, evaluating service providers that help enterprises maximize the value of existing and new Oracle investments in order to modernize, optimize and transform their business operations.
  • Implementation and Integration Services, assessing providers that specialize in implementing and integrating Oracle applications and infrastructure technologies for enterprises. Key capabilities include creating implementation plans and data migration strategies, deploying cloud environments and ensuring security and governance.
  • Managed Services, covering providers of turnkey managed services for running enterprise clients' businesses, including technical and operational tasks, with support delivered onsite, offsite or both. The providers should offer hands-on training in Oracle applications and technologies.

Geographically focused reports from the study will cover the global Oracle services market and examine products and services available in the U.S., Brazil and Germany. ISG analysts Arun Kumar Singh, Meenakshi Srivastava, Elaine Barth, Gabriel Sobanski and Ulrich Meister will serve as authors of the report.

A list of identified providers and vendors and further details on the study are available in this digital brochure.

For the U.S. Public Sector study, ISG has distributed surveys to approximately 50 providers of Oracle services to public sector clients in the U.S. The three quadrants are:

  • Consulting and Advisory Services, evaluating providers that help public sector clients modernize, optimize and transform their operations. Their services can include assessing an agency's maturity, improving and maintaining Oracle investments, developing future-state models, assessing security and developing governance processes.
  • Implementation and Integration Services, assessing providers specialized in implementation, migration and integration around Oracle applications and infrastructure technologies. The providers should have expertise in public sector organizational, operational and compliance requirements.
  • Managed Services, covering providers of turnkey managed services spanning applications, technology and infrastructure for public sector organizations using Oracle software and infrastructure.

A report will cover relevant services available in the U.S. public sector. ISG analysts Phil Hassey and Meenakshi Srivastava will serve as authors of the report.

A list of identified providers and vendors and further details on the U.S. public sector study are available in this digital brochure.

Providers not listed in either brochure can contact ISG and ask to be included in the studies.

All 2022 ISG Provider Lens™ evaluations now feature new and expanded customer experience (CX) data that measures genuine enterprise experience with specific provider services and solutions, based on ISG's continuous CX research. Enterprise customers wishing to share their experience about a specific provider or vendor are encouraged to register here to receive a personalized survey URL. Participants will receive a copy of this report in return for their feedback.

About ISG Provider Lens™ Research

The ISG Provider Lens™ Quadrant research series is the only service provider evaluation of its kind to combine empirical, data-driven research and market analysis with the real-world experience and observations of ISG's global advisory team. Enterprises will find a wealth of detailed data and market analysis to help guide their selection of appropriate sourcing partners, while ISG advisors use the reports to validate their own market knowledge and make recommendations to ISG's enterprise clients. The research currently covers providers offering their services globally, across Europe, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the U.K., France, Benelux, Germany, Switzerland, the Nordics, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia, with additional markets to be added in the future. For more information about ISG Provider Lens research, please visit this webpage.

A companion research series, the ISG Provider Lens Archetype reports, offer a first-of-its-kind evaluation of providers from the perspective of specific buyer types.

About ISG

ISG (Information Services Group) III is a leading global technology research and advisory firm. A trusted business partner to more than 800 clients, including more than 75 of the world's top 100 enterprises, ISG is committed to helping corporations, public sector organizations, and service and technology providers achieve operational excellence and faster growth. The firm specializes in digital transformation services, including automation, cloud and data analytics; sourcing advisory; managed governance and risk services; network carrier services; strategy and operations design; change management; market intelligence and technology research and analysis. Founded in 2006, and based in Stamford, Conn., ISG employs more than 1,300 digital-ready professionals operating in more than 20 countries—a global team known for its innovative thinking, market influence, deep industry and technology expertise, and world-class research and analytical capabilities based on the industry's most comprehensive marketplace data. For more information, visit

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Fri, 08 Jul 2022 01:22:00 -0500 text/html
Killexams : Your Guide to Insurance Quotes & How to Best Use Them

what is an insurance quote

Insurance can be a complicated topic, but the concept of an insurance quote is a fairly simple one to grasp: it’s basically an offer from an insurance company detailing how much you’ll pay and what you’ll get in return. If you need more help with insurance questions, consider working with a financial advisor.

What Are Insurance Quotes?

The idea of an insurance quote applies to just about every field of insurance, from car insurance to renter’s, homeowners and even health.

When you want to get a certain type of insurance, you start by shopping around to different vendors. Basically you’re looking to find out what they can offer you and how much they’ll charge in monthly premiums. Insurance companies generate this information in the form of a quote. This quote will typically list some basic information:

  • Coverage – How much they’ll cover you for in the event of a claim;

  • Deductible/Shared Costs – How much they will expect you to pay before they cover the rest of any given claim;

  • Covered Assets – What this insurance policy will cover;

  • Covered Claims – What kind of claims you can make under this policy;

  • Premium – How much this policy will cost per month.

The best way to think of an insurance quote is like a summary. This is not your full policy, those are generally long documents that discuss your insurance in great detail. Instead the quote gives you a snapshot of the most important elements.

An insurance quote is also not a binding contract. This is an offer, but it is not what lawyers call a “firm offer.” In an insurance quote the company is saying, “based on the information you’ve given, here’s the policy we can probably write.” However, they are not committing to anything until they actually send the full policy over for you to approve. The good news is that, by generating the quote, you aren’t committing to anything either.

How Can You Use Insurance Quotes?

what is an insurance quote

Companies generate insurance quotes based on general information, although what information depends on the type of insurance you’re looking for.

To get a quote you can contact any given insurance company. Most, if not all, will offer you quotes directly from their websites. They will ask for a few pieces of information based on what kind of policy you would like. For example, if you’re looking for renter’s insurance they will usually ask for your address and/or zip code, the size or style of apartment you live in and how much damage you’d like them to cover. If you want auto insurance, they’ll typically ask for information like the make, model and year of your car, and the zip code in which you park it.

In all cases, the insurance company will ask for the basic information it needs to assess risk. For example, if you’re looking for property coverage of some sort, your zip code is usually important for estimating the risk of theft and vandalism.

As a consumer, you want to use an insurance quote for two purposes:

  • First, review this quote to see if the offer meets your needs. Will those premiums work for you? Are they offering enough coverage, and do the deductibles look reasonable?

  • Second, use quotes to comparison shop. Especially with insurance companies offering instant quotes through their websites, you can pull quotes from several different insurers to see who’s willing to offer you the best prices. (After all, remember, a quote isn’t binding on anyone, them or you.)

When you read a quote, make sure to particularly look at the policy’s coverage. Most insurers will write their quotes so that the premiums jump out at you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You do need to know how much this will cost, after all.  Just make sure to also read through enough to see if they’ll cover the kind of costs or damage you’re looking for. It won’t do you any good to get a renter’s policy, for example, that doesn’t cover flooding… then defines “flood damage” as any kind of water damage regardless of source.

And keep your quote. It’s common for terms to change between an insurance quote and when your insurer writes the genuine policy. This is frustrating, but also often inevitable. When an insurance company writes policies they request a lot more information than when they generate quotes, and that can change things.

But make sure to compare your quote with the final policy. You don’t want to abandon good coverage over a small price change here and there, but you also do want to check for anything important. If your quote promised certain coverage that was important to you, double check to make sure that the policy contains those protections.

The Bottom Line

what is an insurance quote

An insurance quote is an offer from an insurance company to provide you a certain policy for a certain price. Getting quotes is an essential part of shopping for insurance, since it lets you see how much you would pay and what you would get from any given insurer.


Insurance Tips

  • Getting a quote depends entirely on what kind of insurance you’re getting, because the insurance company will need different information for different policies. Read on to see the eight types of policies that they can write, and that you can buy.

  • A financial advisor can help you figure out your insurance needs. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Photo credit: © Faizal Bin Ramli, ©, ©

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Sat, 06 Aug 2022 02:14:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : City Auditor Says Several Members Of City Human Resources Got Large Raises Without Following Proper Procedure

An investigation by City Auditor Stan Sewell found that several members of the city Human Resources Department got large raises without going through the property procedures.

He said Beverly Moultrie, who heads city HR, initially said procedures were followed, but it was later learned they were not.

Mr. Sewell said it took numerous calls, and notifying the mayor's office, before Ms. Moultrie would hand over information he was seeking.

The investigatory report says:

We received an anonymous Hotline complaint the City’s Chief Human Resources Officer had given promotions and raises without following established procedures.

The report specifically referenced the following positions:

• Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer

• Director of HRMS and Recruitment (new position)

• Director of Compensation (new position)

• Director of Operations (new position)

• Three Recruitment Coordinator positions (new positions)

In addition to policy violations, the complainant alleged certain individuals promoted lacked appropriate experience and qualifications, and received pay increases that were excessive.

We have limited our review to address technical policy violations and concerns about internal control activities. We did not attempt to determine if individuals were qualified and equitably compensated.

To address the complaint, we reviewed the City Charter, City Code, Employee Information Guide, made inquiries, conducted interviews and reviewed personnel/payroll records (electronic and paper).

Our review of information within the City’s Oracle system found the following latest personnel actions related to the above positions:

1. Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer (Shea Jefferson): Effective December 30, 2019 promoted to this GS 29 position with $28,425 pay increase to salary of $93,000.

2. Director of HR Operations (Deborah Guy): Effective December 31, 2019 promoted to this GS27 position with $16,650 pay increase to salary of $72,000. (Deputy Administrator positions are political appointments made directly by the department Administrator. Therefore, we eliminated this position from our detail review of records. Considering our findings related to the other positions, it is possible proper authorizations for setting the appointed individual’s salary were not obtained.)

Director HRMS & Employment Services (Serene Siener): Effective December 31, 2019 promoted to this GS27 position with $16,650 pay increase to salary of $72,000.

4. Director Compensation and Performance Management (Alicia Niehoff): Effective January 10, 2020 promoted to this GS27 position with $7,425 pay increase to salary of $72,000.

5. Recruiting Coordinator (Luisa Chamberlin): Effective January 31, 2020 promoted to this GS15 position with $2,072 pay increase to salary of $36,600.

6. Recruiting Coordinator (Alexander Threatt): Effective January 31, 2020 transferred to this GS15 position with no pay increase maintaining a salary of $37,771. 7.

Recruiting Coordinator (Joseph Sanders): Effective January 31, 2020 transferred to this GS15 position with no pay increase maintaining a salary of $37,771.

During a meeting on March 4, 2020, the Chief Human Resources Officer, Beverly Moultrie, acknowledged the positions in question were not advertised per the Employee Information Guide procedures for internal or external vacancies. She explained such advertisement was not required because there were no genuine vacancies (the changes were all title changes with new job duties for existing staff)2 . Ms. Moultrie advised all three Director Positions were promotions with pay increases. Ms. Moultrie also advised that two of the three Recruiting Coordinator positions were lateral transfers with no pay change.

One of the Recruiting Coordinator positions was a promotion. Regardless of whether the positions should have been posted, Ms. Moultrie confirmed Position Action Request Forms (PARF) were required for all of the changes. She asserted those forms were properly completed and she would have the Director of HRMS and Employment Services, Serene Siener, send them to OIA when she returned to work in a day or two. Ms. Moultrie never produced the PARF documents as promised. Multiple requests were made after the above-mentioned meeting on March 4, 2020.

Ultimately, the documents were obtained on July 20, 2020 after arranging a meeting directly with Serene Siener (records keeper) to review personnel files. We have attached a timeline detailing our efforts to obtain the requested documentation, as well as a relevant excerpt from the City’s Charter.

After reviewing documentation and meeting with Ms. Siener, we noted none of the PARF documents had the required authorizing signatures from the Chief Financial Officer and the Chief Operating Officer (they only have Beverly Moultrie’s signature). Directions for Completion of the Position Action Request Form provides a detail of steps required for completing a PARF. The final direction is highlighted at the bottom stating “All required signatures must be obtained prior to processing of the form.”

In an email on February 27, 2020, Ms. Moultrie stated the Recruiting Coordinator “positions were established from vacancies that existed at the same level.” Section IV (E) (1) of the EIG states, “The Human Resources Department will prepare and publicize job announcements in order to bring notice of vacancies to as many qualified persons as possible.” [Emphasis Added] Section IV (E) provides additional mandated procedures such as notifying all City employees and allowing all City employees the opportunity to apply.

While the failure to obtain the required authorizing signatures on the PARF documents is significant, we were particularly concerned about how the changes could have been processed in the City’s computerized system without a properly completed document. Upon inquiry, we learned the Human Resources Department makes all pay rate changes.

During a scheduled Zoom meeting on August 3, 2020, the COO and Deputy COO were provided a general overview of the promotions/raises given without appropriate signatures on PARF’s, as well as the delays in obtaining the documents. Our concern about the Human Resources Department circumventing internal controls to make those adjustments was also conveyed. Both advised they were unaware of the promotions/raises. Ms. Sullivan stated she was aware Ms. Moultrie was working on a reorganization within the department.

Conclusion: The Human Resources Department is responsible for initiating all pay changes in the City’s computerized system. They provide the primary internal control for the City to ensure pay increases are not made unless properly authorized. At the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, the Chief Human Resources Officer promoted several staff, with significant raises. The position changes and pay increases were made without the proper authorizations and without following required procedures. Furthermore, the Position Action Request Forms did not have the authorizing signatures of the CFO and COO. This circumvention of procedures is significant because the Human Resources Department is the gatekeeper.

Administration should take immediate actions to have DIT limit the ability of Human Resources Department staff to modify any position or pay information for Human Resources staff. We recommend an office independent of the Department, such as Finance or the Mayor’s Office, make such changes.

Additional Considerations: Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) forms were not completed for any of the changes we reviewed. In addition, we did not note written justification in the personnel files for any of the changes reviewed. Classification Process: Evaluation of New or Existing Positions requires detailed steps for evaluation of a new position.

Some key requirements are:

a) Completion of a Position Review Request Form and Organization Chart is to be submitted to the Compensation Division where a review of justification resulting in a recommendation shall occur prior to moving forward.

b) A completed JAQ and Job Description are to be submitted to the Compensation Division where a position evaluation and market assessment are to take place (classification, pay grade and salary change).

c) Submission of a PARF for processing. Section II E of the EIG states, “When a new position is established or duties of an existing position substantially change, the Department Head shall submit to the Human Resources Department a comprehensive Job Analysis Questionnaire….” Section III A 1 of the EIG states “When an appointing authority desires to adjust the personnel complement…or changes in job titles and/or grades, the requesting appointing authority must submit to the Chief Human Resources Officer or designee a Position Action Request Form showing...changes requested. Such requests must include written justification from the requesting appointing authority or designee for the complement change.”

The Recruiting Coordinator Class Specification was first posted to the web on March 4, 2020 with no class code. Individuals were promoted or transferred to these positions in January 2020. The Recruiting Coordinator position was not in the General Pay Plan – FY20 as of March 4, 2020.

Section II A of the EIG states, “The Human Resources Department will maintain a Classification Plan that provides a listing of employment positions in the City. The Classification Plan provides a complete inventory of all positions in the City’s service and an accurate description and specifications for each job classification.”

Additionally, Section II D of the EIG states “…the Human Resources Department shall be responsible for maintaining accurate job descriptions in the Classification Plan that reflect the duties that each employee performs… Job descriptions will be available on the City’s intranet.” It is understandable some employees may feel the system for promotions and raises is unfair when they become aware of substantial increases in pay for a limited number of employees within the Human Resources Department, implemented outside of standard policy, at a time when they have been advised equitable pay adjustments are pending implementation of a compensation study. Perceived inequities within an organization can be destructive to the work environment and employee morale.

Section IV I 2 of the EIG states, “A promotion is assigning an employee from one position to another that is classified in a higher salary range. Promotions in every case must involve a definite increase in duties and responsibilities and shall not be made merely for the purpose of affecting an increase in compensation.”

Section I, A of the EIG states, “The purpose of this Employee Information Guide is to establish a fair and uniform system of policies, procedures and expectations for all employees of the City.” [Emphasis Added]

To avoid such situations in the future, in addition to the digital restrictions discussed above, we recommend enhancements to the Employee Information Guide. Such revisions might include a requirement that documentation reviews for personnel changes be made by an office independent of Human Resources, when the changes are related to that department. To enhance the appearance of equity and to ensure fair opportunities for all City employees, a revision could require all newly created positions be posted.

We note Section IV E of the EIG states “The City of Chattanooga will make every effort to attract qualified applicants for every position….” It seems short-sighted to assume the best applicant for a newly created position could not possibly be outside of a single office. In furtherance of this overall objective, consideration should be given to a requirement that all postings be made public (elimination of internal only job postings).

Provisions could be made to allow for promotions in line with clearly defined and established progression plans. Ultimately, the Human Resources Department should set the example for compliance with all personnel policies and procedures.

The issues discussed in this memorandum are not the result of an audit performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Had we performed such an audit, additional issues might have been reported.

The purpose of this memo is to provide those charged with governance information that may prove useful in fulfilling their oversight responsibilities in an effective manner.

Attachment cc: Anne Wilkins, Audit Committee Chair Daisy Madison, Chief Financial Officer Maura Sullivan, Chief Operations Officer Kerry Hayes, Chief of Staff Beverly Moultrie, Chief Human Resources Officer Phil Noblett, Chief Ethics Officer Gail Duffey, Payroll Supervisor HL57 H

Sat, 30 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Oracle Automates the Tasks Sellers Despise with Next Generation CRM

Oracle Fusion Sales provides sellers with AI-powered recommendations and guided steps to close deals faster

AUSTIN, Texas, July 26, 2022  /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle today announced the next generation of Oracle Fusion Sales, a sales automation application that identifies high-quality sales opportunities and guides sellers to close deals faster. Part of Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) and powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Fusion Sales automatically provides sellers with quotes, proposals, and recommended steps to help them increase productivity, close more deals, and instill confidence among buyers.    


Nearly one third of sellers struggle to close deals and meet quotas, according to a latest study conducted by CRM analyst firm Beagle Research Group in partnership with Oracle. The study, "Does Your CRM Leave Money on the Table," highlights the struggles that sellers face with customer churn and archaic sales processes. In turn, sellers have noted that they are open to greater automation and trust AI to take on greater responsibilities, including qualifying leads (70 percent), identifying priority deals (60 percent), and tracking deal progress (80 percent).

"Traditional CRM systems were designed to be a system of record for planning and forecasting versus a tool to help sellers sell more. As a result, sellers spend countless hours on data entry and administration that stunts sales productivity," said Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president and general manager, Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX). "Applying 40 plus years of data and business process expertise, we have done the heavy lifting to engineer the next era of CRM. Oracle Fusion Sales removes the manual steps in the B2B sales process to help sellers close more deals faster and more efficiently."

Oracle Fusion Sales provides sellers with:

  • Step-by-Step Guided Processes: Sellers can onboard faster and Excellerate productivity with a guided step-by-step process to help engage with accounts, progress opportunities, and close deals faster. Customers can choose to base the processes on best practices set by leadership or customizable, industry-specific templates. 
  • Conversation Ready Opportunities: Sellers can automate the process of re-qualifying and converting marketing leads into opportunities. Connected to Oracle Fusion Marketing, Fusion Sales automatically creates highly qualified leads and then passes them to sellers for follow-up.
  • Automated Quotes and Proposals: Sellers automatically receive initial quotes, proposals, and implementation schedules when opportunities are created. The quotes are automatically updated throughout the sales process as a deal progresses and are based on historical data that includes prior successful deals, a customer's industry, and other account attributes.
  • Intelligent Content Recommendations: Sellers can automatically receive marketing-approved content that is most likely to progress the sale. This saves sellers' and buyers' time at each step in the sales process and puts the right offers and answers to commonly asked questions directly in the seller's hands.
  • Digital Sales Rooms: Sellers can Excellerate the buying experience and better engage buyers by building personalized microsites. Helpful resources like quotes, past contracts, reference stories, and details for past or upcoming Zoom meetings are aggregated to help move buyers closer to a purchasing decision. As buyers use Digital Sales Rooms, sales operations can capture buying signals and other customer engagement data that can inform sales insights, internal training and enablement, and drive future deal success.
  • Advanced Revenue Intelligence: Sales leaders can easily access and report on business trends, spot outliers, and monitor customer sentiment and sales performance with Oracle Fusion CX Analytics. Fusion Sales provides a complete view across the business being able to pull in data from sales, marketing, service, finance, and HR all without support from IT.

What Customers and Partners are Saying About Fusion Sales

"CRM is an integral tool especially as we sell complex and expensive equipment and software solutions in 180 countries across the globe. We used to stitch together sales insights from an array of applications, Excel spreadsheets, and post-it notes. It wasn't an efficient process," said Samantha Mohr, vice president, inside sales, Ricoh. "Oracle Fusion Sales provides our sellers with a guided experience that focuses their time and improves deal success by delivering better insights to help us adapt to market shifts faster."

"Our customers are always searching for new approaches that drive real value and instill confidence in buyers. Oracle Fusion Sales helps solve significant challenges of the B2B selling environment with a boundaryless, adaptable, and radically human engineered architecture" said Andrea Cesarini, Europe Oracle business group lead, Accenture. "Having partnered for over 30 years now, Accenture and Oracle bring unparalleled innovation, industry, and technology acumen to our joint clients."

To learn more, please tune into Oracle Live on July 26, 2022, here.

Part of Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite, Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience (CX) connects data across advertising, marketing, sales, and service to make every customer interaction matter. Going beyond traditional CRM, learn about how Oracle Advertising and CX helps businesses      improve customer experience and build brand loyalty.

About Oracle
Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at

Oracle, Java, and MySQL are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.

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Mon, 25 Jul 2022 22:40:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Washington Lawmakers Outraged After Watchdog Computer Report (TNS) — Washington lawmakers reacted with outrage after a report published by an internal Department of Veterans Affairs watchdog Friday confirmed a computer system at Spokane's VA hospital has caused nearly 150 cases of harm, while another report found VA leaders in charge of training users on the new system misled investigators.

The Spokesman-Review previously reported the cases of patient harm based on a draft report by the VA Office of Inspector General, an independent oversight body charged with investigating the department, that found a flaw in the system caused delays in patient care when referral orders for follow-up care effectively went missing. The report alleges Cerner Corp., which is developing the system under a $10 billion contract, knew about the issue but did not fix it nor warn VA of the risks it created.

The second report found two senior VA officials gave the Office of Inspector General inaccurate information during a previous investigation into problems with training employees to use the new system. In one case, the officials provided data claiming 89% of employees had passed a proficiency test, when in reality fewer than half that many — just 44% — had shown they could use the Cerner system. The report concluded that while the officials didn't intentionally mislead investigators, their "lack of diligence" hampered oversight.

Tech giant Oracle acquired Cerner, now known as Oracle Cerner, in a $28.3 billion deal that closed in June. The company faces the task of addressing a wide range of problems with the electronic health record system that have reduced access to care and left VA employees exhausted and demoralized since the system was launched in Spokane in October 2020.

Lawmakers who represent the Inland Northwest cities where the system has been deployed — including Spokane, Wenatchee and Walla Walla — were quick to respond to the reports' findings on Friday, with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R- Spokane, calling them "even worse than I suspected."

"I am appalled by all parties involved in this disaster," she said in a statement, calling Cerner's failure to brief VA leaders and train health care providers on the feature that caused referrals to go missing "reprehensible."

"As for VA leadership, their manipulation of training and system proficiency data to save face has put veteran safety at risk and is morally bankrupt," McMorris Rodgers said. "This agency has completely lost sight of its mission and done irreparable damage to my trust in their ability to deliver results for Eastern Washington veterans."

Most of the 149 cases of harm were classified as "minor," but there were 52 incidents of "moderate" harm — requiring a longer hospital stay or more care — and two cases of "major" harm, defined by the VA as "permanent decrease in the body's functioning or disfigurement" that "requires surgery or inpatient care." The draft report included only one case of major harm, in which a veteran known to be at risk of suicide was not scheduled for a follow-up appointment because of the flaw in the system and later called the Veterans Crisis Line threatening to kill himself.

The findings of the second report, including the VA training officials manipulating proficiency test results, were disclosed during a Senate VA Committee hearing in July 2021. VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes declined to say whether the two officials were still employed by the department, saying in an email, " VA does not share personnel-related details about its employees with the public or press."

Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat who sits on the Senate VA Committee, said the Cerner system should not be deployed at other sites "until its glaring errors are resolved." After The Spokesman-Review gave the VA an opportunity to respond to the draft report revealing harm and ongoing risk to veterans caused by lost referrals, the department announced it would delay the system's launch in the Puget Sound region from August to March 2023.

"My number one priority here is patient safety and, as the reports make plain, the EHR system is jeopardizing patient safety to the tune of hundreds of orders," Murray said in a statement.

According to the Office of Inspector General, the Cerner system failed to deliver more than 11,000 orders for requested clinical services between October 2020 and June 2021. While the VA and Oracle Cerner have since taken steps to mitigate the problem, the watchdog office says it has not been fully resolved.

"As I've said in the past, officials need to be completely transparent and cannot withhold or slow walk any information to the Inspector General's office," Murray said. "So I'm going to carefully review these reports and continue to hold both VA and Oracle Cerner accountable. Our veterans and the hardworking providers on the ground, in Spokane and Walla Walla, are counting on us to get this right, so I won't stop pressing for solutions until this is fixed."

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R- Sunnyside, represents a Central Washington district that includes clinics in Yakima and Richland that began using the Cerner system in March, when it launched at the Walla Walla VA Medical Center with which they are affiliated.

"The details found in these reports are deeply disturbing," Newhouse said in a statement. "These reports highlight that the VA, and this administration, intentionally ignored reports showing that their system was putting our veterans' lives at risk."

The VA signed a $10 billion contract with Cerner under the Trump administration in 2018, skipping the usual competitive bidding process with the justification that the VA needed to use the same system as the Department of Defense, which had begun rolling out a Cerner system in its facilities earlier that year, beginning at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane. Despite the Biden administration reversing other Trump-era decisions, VA Secretary Denis McDonough has chosen to continue the Cerner project, which is projected to cost at least $21 billion over more than a decade when accounting for necessary infrastructure upgrades.

The top members from both parties on the House and Senate VA committees also released statements about the watchdog reports on Friday, with Rep. Mark Takano of California, the top Democrat on the House panel, saying he was "extremely disappointed" by the VA's lack of transparency.

"We have been concerned about patient safety and the possibility of patient harm from the very beginning of this project," Takano said. "We have repeatedly been assured by the highest levels of VA and the program office that no veterans had been harmed by the transition to the Oracle Cerner Millennium product. Today's report by the VA Office of the Inspector General shows that we had not been given the whole story."

Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois, the top Republican on the committee, visited VA facilities in Richland and Walla Walla with Newhouse in early July.

"Instead of fixing the issues with the system, VA and Cerner seem much more interested in hiding them," Bost said. "We expect honesty, at the very least, and a plan to resolve the training and referral issues so they never happen again."

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, the top Democrat on the Senate VA Committee, called the reports "unacceptable" and said Oracle Cerner "needs to step up its game and deliver a functioning, quality system that'll do right by taxpayers."

Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas — who has been less vocal than other lawmakers in his criticism of Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner — didn't mention the company in a statement that pointed blame at the VA.

"The lack of care the department has provided to veterans impacted by the new system is unacceptable," Moran said. "Today's reports illustrate patient safety issues that can be traced directly to failures at the highest levels at VA, including the department's failure to ensure that personnel are candid and open with OIG investigators working to uncover problems in the system."

The Senate VA Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to question VA officials and an Oracle executive about the status of the Cerner system's rollout. Despite VA leaders admitting the system had not shown "adequate reliability" to be used in Seattle and Portland, the department plans to launch it in Boise on Saturday.

© 2022 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Tue, 19 Jul 2022 02:39:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Long Covid symptoms experienced by one in eight patients, research suggests

Alpha wave: The research is based on Covid sufferers with the first variant up until August 2021 (PA)

One in eight adults are likely to develop long Covid symptoms after being infected with Covid-19, a new study suggests.

New research has compared common symptoms of long Covid, such as chest pain, breathing difficulties, loss of taste and smell, in thousands of people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 during the Alpha wave with those who hadn’t been infected.

Professor Judith Rosmalen from the University of Groningen, lead author of the study, said: “There is urgent need for data informing the scale and scope of the long-term symptoms experienced by some patients after Covid illness.

“However, most previous research into long Covid has not looked at the frequency of these symptoms in people who haven’t been diagnosed with Covid-19 or looked at individual patients’ symptoms before the diagnosis of Covid-19.”

Researchers collected data by asking participants to regularly fill out monthly digital questionnaires on 23 common long Covid symptoms from March 2020 to August 2021. This would have captured those infected with the Alpha variant.

The study found several common symptoms in people became worse or were newly developed three months after they had Covid. These included chest pain, difficulties breathing, pain when breathing, painful muscles, loss of taste and/or smell, tingling hands/feet, a lump in the throat, alternately feeling hot and cold, heavy arms and/or legs and general tiredness.

Symptoms which did not appear to get worse three to five months after infection were headache, itchy eyes, dizziness, back pain and nausea.

First author of the study Aranka Ballering said the “core symptoms have major implications for future research, as these symptoms can be used to distinguish between post-Covid condition and non-Covid related symptoms.”

She added: “Post-Covid condition, otherwise known as long Covid, is an urgent problem with a mounting human toll. Understanding the core symptoms and the prevalence of post-Covid-19 in the general population represents a major step forward for our ability to design studies that can ultimately inform successful healthcare responses to the long-term symptoms of Covid.”

Technicians scan test tubes containing live samples of Covid-19 at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow (PA Archive)

Overall the study had 76,422 participants and 4,231 caught Covid-19. The results of people who had contracted Covid were compared to a control group of around 8,462 people without Covid and matched for sex, age, and the time they completed the questionaires.

The study then looked at the results for people who had reported symptom data prior to a Covid diagnosis and found 21 per cent of positive patients, compared to 8 per cent in the control group, had experienced at least one of the common symptoms three months after being infected.

This the researchers said suggests that 12 per cent of the Covid positive patients could attribute their symptoms to Covid.

Most of the data was collected before the vaccine rollout in the Netherlands.

The authors noted they will have only covered people infected with the Alpha variant or earlier variants and had no data on patients infected by Delta or Omicron. They also said due to asymptomatic infection, where people don’t experience symptoms, the prevalence of Covid-19 in the study may have been underestimated.

The study did also not look at “brain fog” which has since been found to be a common symptom of long Covid.

Prof Rosmalen said: “Future research should include mental health symptoms (e.g. depression and anxiety symptoms), along with additional post-infectious symptoms that we could not assess in this study (such as brain fog, insomnia, and post-exertional malaise).

“We were unable to investigate what might cause any of the symptoms observed after Covid in this study, but we hope future research will be able to provide insights into the mechanisms involved.”

Sat, 06 Aug 2022 00:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market Analysis by Size, Share, Key Players, Growth, Trends & Forecast 2027
EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market Analysis by Size, Share, Key Players, Growth, Trends & Forecast 2027

“Apple (US), Cisco (US), Blackboard (US), IBM (US), Dell EMC (US),Google (US), Microsoft (US), Oracle(US),SAP (Germany), Instructure(US).”

EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market by Hardware (Interactive Displays, Interactive Projectors), Education System Solution (LMS, TMS, DMS, SRS, Test Preparation, Learning & Gamification), Deployment Type, End User and Region – Global Forecast to 2027

MarketsandMarkets forecasts the global EdTech and Smart Classrooms Market to grow from USD 125.3 billion in 2022 to USD 232.9  billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.2% during the forecast period. The major factors driving the growth of the EdTech and smart classrooms market include increasing penetration of mobile devices and easy availability of internet, and growing demand for online teaching-learning models, impact of COVID-19 pandemic and growing need for EdTech solutions to keep education system running.

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Interactive Displays segment to hold the highest market size during the forecast period

Interactive displays helps to collaborate teaching with tech boost social learning. As per a study it has been discovered that frequent group activity in classrooms, often aided by technology, can result in 20% higher levels of social-emotional skill development. Students in these classes are also 13% more likely to feel confident contributing to class discussions. Interactive display encourages the real time collaboration. SMART Boards facilitate the necessary collaboration for students to develop these skills. Creating an audience response system on the interactive display allows students to use devices to participate in class surveys, quizzes, and games, and then analyse the results in real time. A large interactive whiteboard (IWB), also known as an interactive board or a smart board, is a large interactive display board in the shape of a whiteboard. It can be a standalone touchscreen computer used to perform tasks and operations on its own, or it can be a connectable apparatus used as a touchpad to control computers from a projector. They are used in a variety of settings, such as classrooms at all levels of education, corporate board rooms and work groups, professional sports coaching training rooms, broadcasting studios, and others.

Cloud deployment type to record the fastest growth rate during the forecast period

Technology innovation has provided numerous alternative solutions for businesses of all sizes to operate more efficiently. Cloud has emerged as a new trend in data centre administration. The cloud eliminates the costs of purchasing software and hardware, setting up and running data centres, such as electricity expenses for power and cooling of servers, and high-skilled IT resources for infrastructure management. Cloud services are available on demand and can be configured by a single person in a matter of minutes. Cloud provides dependability by storing multiple copies of data on different servers. The cloud is a potential technological creation that fosters change for its users. Cloud computing is an information technology paradigm that delivers computing services via the Internet by utilizing remote servers, database systems, networking, analytics, storage systems, software, and other digital facilities. Cloud computing has significant benefits for higher education, particularly for students transitioning from K-12 to university. Teachers can easily deliver online classes and engage their students in various programs and online projects by utilizing cloud technology in education. Cloud-based deployment refers to the hosted-type deployment of the game-based learning solution. There has been an upward trend in the deployment of the EdTech solution via cloud or dedicated data center infrastructure. The advantages of hosted deployment include reduced physical infrastructure, lower maintenance costs, 24×7 accessibility, and effective analysis of electronic business content. The cloud-based deployment of EdTech solution is crucial as it offers a flexible and scalable infrastructure to handle multiple devices and analyze ideas from employees, customers, and partners.

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Major EdTech and smart classrooms vendors include Apple (US), Cisco (US),  Blackboard (US), IBM (US), Dell EMC (US), Google (US), Microsoft (US), Oracle(US), SAP (Germany), Instructure(US). These market players have adopted various growth strategies, such as partnerships, agreements, and collaborations, and new product enhancements to expand their presence in the EdTech and smart classrooms market. Product enhancements and collaborations have been the most adopted strategies by major players from 2018 to 2020, which helped companies innovate their offerings and broaden their customer base.

A prominent player in the EdTech and smart classrooms market, Apple focuses on inorganic growth strategies such as partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions. For instance, in August 2021 Apple launched Mobile Student ID through which students will be able to navigate campus and make purchases using mobile student IDs on the iPhone and Apple Watch. In July 2020 Apple partnered with HBCUs to offer innovative opportunities for coding to communities across the US. Apple deepened the partnership with an additional 10 HBCUs regional coding centers under its Community Education Initiative. The main objective of this partnership is to bring coding, creativity, and workforce development opportunities to learners of all ages. Apple offers software as well as hardware to empower educators with powerful products and tools. Apple offers several applications for K-12 education, including Schoolwork and Classroom. The company also offers AR in education to provide a better learning experience. Teaching tools helps to simplify teaching tasks with apps that make the classroom more flexible, collaborative, and personalized for each student. Apple has interactive guide that makes it easy to stay on task and organized while teaching remotely with iPad. The learning apps helps to manage schedules and screen time to minimize the distractions and also helps to create productive learning environments and make device set up easy for teachers and parents. Apple has various products, such as Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, wearables, and services. It has an intelligent software assistant named Siri, which has cloud-synchronized data with iCloud.

Blackboard has a vast product portfolio with diverse offerings across four divisions: K-12, higher education, government, and business. Under the K-12 division, the company offers products such as LMS, Synchronous Collaborative Learning, Learning Object Repository, Web Community Manager, Mass Notifications, Mobile Communications Application, Teacher Communication, Social Media Manager, and Blackboard Ally. Its solutions include Blackboard Classroom, Collaborate Starter, and Personalized Learning. Blackboard’s higher education division products include Blackboard Learn, Blackboard Collaborate, Analytics for Learn, Blackboard Intelligence, Blackboard Predict, Outcomes and Assessments, X-ray for Learning Analytics, Blackboard Connect, Blackboard Instructor, Moodlerooms, Blackboard Transact, Blackboard Ally, and Blackboard Open Content. The company also provides services, such as student pathway services, marketing, and recruiting, help desk services, enrollment management, financial aid and student services, engagement campaigns, student retention, training and implementation services, strategic consulting, and analytics consulting services. Its teaching and learning solutions include LMS, education analytics, web conferencing, mobile learning, open-source learning, training and implementation, virtual classroom, and competency-based education. Blackboard also offers campus enablement solutions such as payment solutions, security solutions, campus store solutions, and transaction solutions. Under the government division, it offers solutions such as LMS, registration and reporting, accessibility, collaboration and web conferencing, mass notifications and implementation, and strategic consulting. The company has launched Blackboard Unite on April 2020 for K-12. This solution compromises a virtual classroom, learning management system, accessibility tool, mobile app, and services and implementation kit to help emote learning efforts.

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Fri, 22 Jul 2022 11:15:00 -0500 GetNews en-US text/html
Killexams : Be the first to know

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic representatives are widening their scrutiny into the role of tech companies in collecting the personal data of people who may be seeking an abortion, as lawmakers, regulators and the Biden administration grapple with the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling last month ending the constitutional protections for abortion.

In a new volley of congressional letters, six House Democrats have asked the top executives of Amazon’s cloud-service network and major cloud provider Oracle about the companies’ handling of consumers’ location data from mobile phones, and what steps they have taken or planned to protect the privacy rights of individuals seeking information on abortion.

The decision by the court’s conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade has resulted in strict limits or total bans on abortion in more than a dozen states. About a dozen more states are set to impose additional restrictions. Privacy experts say that could make women vulnerable because their personal data could be used to surveil pregnancies and shared with police or sold to vigilantes. Online searches, location data, text messages and emails, and even apps that track periods could be used to prosecute people who seek an abortion — or medical care for a miscarriage — as well as those who assist them, experts say.

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Privacy advocates are watching for possible new moves by law enforcement agencies in affected states — serving subpoenas, for example, on tech companies such as Google, Apple, Bing, Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp, services like Uber and Lyft, and internet service providers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Comcast.

“Data collected and sold by your company could be used by law enforcement and prosecutors in states with aggressive abortion restrictions,” the House Democrats, led by Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts, said in the letters. “Additionally, in states that empower vigilantes and private actors to sue abortion providers, this information can be used as part of judicial proceedings.

“When consumers use apps on their phone and quickly tap ‘yes’ on ‘use geolocation data’ pop-ups, they should not be thinking about the endless sale of their data to advertisers, individuals or law enforcement. And it most certainly should not be used to hunt down, prosecute and jail an individual seeking reproductive care. Companies can take action today to protect individual rights.”

The letters also went to executives of Near Intelligence Holdings and Mobilewalla. Along with Oracle and Amazon Web Services’ Data Exchange, the companies were described as leading data brokers — businesses that gather, sell or trade location data from mobile phones, which could be used to track people who have visited abortion clinics or have gone out of state seeking abortion services.

Five other Democrats active in tech issues signed the letters with Trahan: Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Yvette Clarke of New York, Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Adam Schiff of California and Sean Casten of Illinois.

Spokespeople for Amazon and Oracle didn’t respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Also this week, Massachusetts’ two U.S. senators, Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, sent letters to four companies raising concerns that the software they use to monitor students’ online communications could be used to punish students who seek information about abortion services and reproductive health care. They asked the companies — Bark Technologies,, GoGuardian and Securly — whether their software flags students’ online searches for abortion and other related terms.

“It would be deeply disturbing if your software flags words or activity that suggest students are searching for contraception, abortion or other related services, and if school administrators, parents and even law enforcement were potentially informed of this activity,” Warren and Markey wrote.

Generally, the so-called “ed tech” companies say the monitoring is intended to stop the next school shooter or student suicide, and that the scans are mostly limited to school e-mails or activity on school computers or internet networks, not private accounts.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden, under mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to be more forceful in response to the Supreme Court ruling, signed an executive order to try to protect access to abortion. The actions Biden outlined are intended to head off some potential penalties that women seeking abortion may face after the ruling, but his order cannot restore access to abortion in the more than a dozen states where strict limits or total bans have gone into effect.

Biden also asked the Federal Trade Commission to take steps to protect the privacy of those seeking information about reproductive care online. On June 24, the day the high court announced its decision, four Democratic lawmakers asked the FTC to investigate Apple and Google for allegedly deceiving millions of mobile phone users by enabling the collection and sale of their personal data of all kinds to third parties.

In May, several Senate Democrats urged the CEOs of Google and Apple to prohibit apps on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store from using data-mining practices that could facilitate the targeting of individuals seeking abortion services.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Fri, 22 Jul 2022 04:08:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Oracle Fin Serv Standalone June 2022 Net Sales at Rs 1,058.78 crore, up 1.69% Y-o-Y

July 21, 2022 / 10:06 AM IST

Reported Standalone quarterly numbers for Oracle Financial Services Software are:

Net Sales at Rs 1,058.78 crore in June 2022 up 1.69% from Rs. 1,041.16 crore in June 2021.

Quarterly Net Profit at Rs. 439.25 crore in June 2022 down 8.43% from Rs. 479.69 crore in June 2021.

EBITDA stands at Rs. 602.34 crore in June 2022 down 9.89% from Rs. 668.43 crore in June 2021.

Oracle Fin Serv EPS has decreased to Rs. 50.89 in June 2022 from Rs. 55.72 in June 2021.

Oracle Fin Serv shares closed at 3,258.80 on July 20, 2022 (NSE) and has given -11.89% returns over the last 6 months and -17.66% over the last 12 months.

Oracle Financial Services Software
Standalone Quarterly Results in Rs. Cr.
Jun'22 Mar'22 Jun'21
Net Sales/Income from operations 1,058.78 958.35 1,041.16
Other Operating Income -- -- --
Total Income From Operations 1,058.78 958.35 1,041.16
Consumption of Raw Materials -- -- --
Purchase of Traded Goods -- -- --
Increase/Decrease in Stocks -- -- --
Power & Fuel -- -- --
Employees Cost 406.61 408.55 326.28
Depreciation 14.38 14.73 17.86
Excise Duty -- -- --
Admin. And Selling Expenses -- -- --
R & D Expenses -- -- --
Provisions And Contingencies -- -- --
Exp. Capitalised -- -- --
Other Expenses 81.39 56.41 74.42
P/L Before Other Inc. , Int., Excpt. Items & Tax 556.41 478.67 622.61
Other Income 31.55 184.82 27.96
P/L Before Int., Excpt. Items & Tax 587.96 663.49 650.57
Interest 0.89 0.26 1.04
P/L Before Exceptional Items & Tax 587.08 663.23 649.53
Exceptional Items -- -- --
P/L Before Tax 587.08 663.23 649.53
Tax 147.83 123.17 169.85
P/L After Tax from Ordinary Activities 439.25 540.05 479.69
Prior Year Adjustments -- -- --
Extra Ordinary Items -- -- --
Net Profit/(Loss) For the Period 439.25 540.05 479.69
Equity Share Capital 43.17 43.12 43.06
Reserves Excluding Revaluation Reserves -- -- --
Equity Dividend Rate (%) -- -- --
EPS Before Extra Ordinary
Basic EPS 50.89 62.62 55.72
Diluted EPS 50.70 62.35 55.47
EPS After Extra Ordinary
Basic EPS 50.89 62.62 55.72
Diluted EPS 50.70 62.35 55.47
Public Share Holding
No Of Shares (Crores) -- -- --
Share Holding (%) -- -- --
Promoters and Promoter Group Shareholding
a) Pledged/Encumbered
- Number of shares (Crores) -- -- --
- Per. of shares (as a % of the total sh. of prom. and promoter group) -- -- --
- Per. of shares (as a % of the total Share Cap. of the company) -- -- --
b) Non-encumbered
- Number of shares (Crores) -- -- --
- Per. of shares (as a % of the total sh. of prom. and promoter group) -- -- --
- Per. of shares (as a % of the total Share Cap. of the company) -- -- --
Source : Dion Global Solutions Limited

Wed, 20 Jul 2022 17:47:00 -0500 en text/html
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