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According to Porter’s five (1985), Industry structure is determined by five competitive forces which are – the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the threat of new entrants, the threat of substitutes and rivalry among suppliers. The theory suggests that in order to gain competitive advantage, managers must understand and react to those external forces within an industry that determine an organisation level of competitiveness.

The latest financial services survey by CBI and Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP shows that as the credit squeezes, continued income values fell sharply and business sentient worsened, while cost continued to rise, banks saw businesses fall quite sharply and profitability drop slightly. The activities of Lloyds TSB were as well affected but one strategy the bank has developed in the face of the current dwindling profitability is its ability to divide its activities into various segments (segmentation) of the market.

This strategy she uses to gain competitive environment in the volatile market environment. To consolidate on commercial banking advantage, the bank created the Asset based lending (ABL) funds. The lending funds which offers a range of flexible financial services that suits individual and business needs. This unique product is targeted at developing full assets based approach by allowing business to secure funding against debtors. The fund allows businesses to receive advances of funds against outstanding sales invoices of up to 90%

According to the Guardian website, Through Cheltenham ; Gloucester its mortgage division, the bank has grown to be the second biggest mortgage lender in the first half of the year taking a 24% share of new loans. Lloyds TSB bank core banking division was repositioned to deliver a more personal and modern banking service. Its corporate banking division (The treasury), has been able to provide a wide range of foreign exchange and money market products and services thereby maintaining a top market position for almost two decade.

As it is evident from the above analysis of the market environment that all this competitive forces will be affected by the development of the software and information technology industry, in order to gain competitive edge, Oracle Corporation on the other hand has provided with their product – the most customer success. This is evident in their effort in creating software and providing services that allows organisation get the most up-to date and accurate information from the business system.

According to their website, it is the first software company that develops and deploys 100% interest enabled enterprise software across its entire product line: database, business applications, application development and decision support tools. Oracle has brought upon the industry innovative ideas according to their website by the creation oracle real application cluster, oracle e-business suite, oracle grid, computing, support for enterprise Linux and oracle fusion which they believe is the most open, innovate and fast growing application software.

Also, the proposed merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS is expected to result in cost advantage in the long run. The fusion of the two banks will bring reduction in the cost of doing business (e. g. staff strength reduction, compressed cost of advertising, etc) as the activities of both banks becomes compressed into a single entity . In trying to be unique in the industry, Lloyds TSB has so far built on its reputation “For the journey so far…..

” to reflect on all the group businesses from wholesale to retail and international banking and this has repositioned the bank to a direct and customer communication oriented firm. The bank also sees its human resources team as one of the greatest resources it has. For this, the bank decided to invest in the remodelling of its human resources through leadership and partnership skill which requires senior HR team to think and act strategically rather than the historical functions of banks as provider of services

Oracle Corporation on the other hand have over three decades provided the software and services that enables organisation to get the most up to date and accurate information from the business systems. They have grown over the year for the over thirty years they have been in information management business to be gold standard for database technology and applications in enterprise throughout the world.

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