The Principal Financial Group Selects Business Objects
to Power Customer Care Extranet

Business Objects Will Allow Leading Financial Services Provider to Extend the Power of e-Business Intelligence

San Jose, Calif. - March 13, 2001 - Today's businesses know that an attractive benefits package plays a strategic role in retaining and recruiting quality employees. The Principal Financial Group®, a recognized leader in using Internet technology to improve customer relationships, is rolling out an additional application to help businesses ensure that they are delivering and managing the best possible benefits package to their employees. The company's Group National Accounts division plans to use Business Objects, (NASDAQ: BOBJ), the world's leading provider of e-business intelligence (e-BI) solutions, to provide an extranet to its self-funded customers that will allow them to obtain an improved understanding and control of their medical benefits programs.

The Principal Financial Group, a global provider of financial services and products, will use WebIntelligence®, the integrated query, reporting, and online analytical processing application (OLAP) from Business Objects, to power its customer extranet. Accessible anytime, anywhere, and by any device with a web browser, Principal Financial Group National Account customers will have interactive access to standard, current reports via the Group Health Insurance extranet.

"Our extranet platform with Business Objects is a key component of our customer relationship management (CRM) initiative at the Principal Financial Group," said Steve Kammeyer, a director in the National Accounts division of the Principal Financial Group. "By giving our customers the ability to access and analyze their insurance data over the Internet, we are giving them a powerful platform to help them identify money-saving opportunities and improve the quality of benefits packages for their employees. It also provides the tools they need to more effectively manage their plans."

Customers of the Principal Financial Group enjoy several benefits from access to this extranet. To begin with, customers now have direct access via the Internet to important data about their medical benefits program. For example, they can view information related to their total claims, claims per region or business unit, historical costs, and number of instances in which employees receive care outside of the network. Access to this information helps companies identify trends that may be costly to their business and make changes to their benefits plan to make sure their plan is effective from both a benefits and cost standpoint.

"The Principal Financial Group is a great example of how an e-business can use the Internet to provide greater customer service and work together to find ways to save money and improve quality," said Alex Moissis, vice president of marketing for North America, Business Objects. "Business Intelligence extranets have emerged to play a critical role in this development, and, with more than 400 extranet customers today, Business Objects is becoming the de facto standard for deploying this type of solution."

The Principal Financial Group also uses Business Objects as one of its internal reporting standards to create and distribute reports to the company's employees. The Principal Financial Group has discovered that WebIntelligence's ease of use and ability to compile data from a variety of sources has increased the speed of the reporting process and level of content in reports considerably.

"Before Business Objects, it took IT three days to produce the reports that end-users are now producing in minutes," said Tim Peterson, senior IT analyst at the Principal Financial Group. "WebIntelligence's functionality, user-friendliness, and real-time data access offer benefits that go straight to the bottom line by cutting costs, boosting productivity, and increasing the speed of business. Business Objects is an excellent partner in delivering business intelligence applications to the enterprise and our customer base."

The Principal Financial Group plans to build on the early gains its realized by extending Business Objects inside and outside its enterprise. In response to the positive feedback it's received from the customers and employees already up on the extranet system, the Principal Financial Group plans to eventually expand the extranet to other business lines.

About Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group ( is a leading global financial institution offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance and mortgage banking. Its flagship and largest member, Principal Life Insurance Company (The Principal ®) , founded in 1879, is the ninth largest U.S. life insurance company based on 1999 statutory assets. More employers choose The Principal for their 401(k) plans than any other bank, mutual fund, or insurance company in the United States . The Principal Financial Group has $117.5 billion in assets under management and serves more than 11 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.