Innovation takes the Principal Financial Group (once again) to a top spot on the InformationWeek 500
September 16, 2009 (Des Moines, IA) — For the 12th consecutive year, the Principal Financial Group® has taken a top spot on the InformationWeek 500, a prestigious list of the most innovative users of technology in the United States. This year The Principal® ranked 33rd out of 500 innovative companies.
"The Principal is honored to be recognized again for technology innovation. We attribute this success to our world class employees, and their application of creativity, initiative, skills and knowledge of technology to our business in a meaningful way," said Gary Scholten, senior vice president and chief information officer of the Principal Financial Group.
Contributing to the company's most recent InformationWeek recognition is the development of the Geo-Business Impact Tool (G-BIT), which was conceived and custom-developed by the Principal Financial Group. A leading-edge application in the financial services industry, G-BIT is a Web application that links a geographical information system, enabling the user to select any area on a map and access a spreadsheet or report for that location. This includes details such as the number of employees in a particular location, and customer account data for that specific area across all lines of business.
Key benefits of the implemented system were realized immediately. During the Midwest floods of 2008, G-BIT was used to obtain a comprehensive list of company locations, employees and customers in affected areas so The Principal could quickly reach out with offers of assistance. G-BIT was also used in advance of Hurricane Ike and during wildfires in California.
"Year after year, InformationWeek 500 companies harness technology to improve efficiency, boost productivity, drive revenue and establish a competitive advantage," said Rob Preston, editor-in-chief of InformationWeek. We applaud this year's winners, and the CIOs and other executives whose ingenuity and risk taking are at the center of business technology innovation."
2009 tech-savvy tools: iGoogle and text messaging
This latest accolade comes soon after the launch of two new technologies which allow retirement plan participants the option to receive certain account information via email or text messages and their personal iGoogle home pages.
First available in mid-May, the use of these technologies is exceeding goals. Within the first three months of the launch, nearly 14,000 participants added the gadget to their iGoogle home page. And nearly 8,500 participants had signed up to receive e-mail or text messages from The Principal.
"We're reaching out to our participants on their terms, and hoping to cut through the clutter by doing so," said Danelle Kronmiller, assistant director of marketing for The Principal. "This is a true example of how technology is helping to meet an emerging business need, with measurable results."
About the InformationWeek 500
InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, now in its 21st year, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of America's best-known companies. Top winners have included: Conway, National Semiconductor, Kimberly-Clark, Hilton Hotels and Unum. The InformationWeek 500 rankings are unique among corporate rankings as it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.
About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $257.7 billion in assets under management and serves some 18.8 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.