Network World Announces 17th Annual User Excellence Award Winner

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA – NOVEMBER 12, 2001 – Network World, the leading network news publication, today named Prudential Financial the winner of its 17th annual User Excellence Award. Each year, Network World honors organizations that demonstrate exceptional use of network technology to further business objectives. Prudential Financial has been selected as the 2001 award winner for creating a virtual private network (VPN) that turned it into a telework powerhouse while cutting remote access charges in half and netting the company about $7 million a year in savings. Winners are featured in Network World's November 12 Signature Series Best Issue.


Prudential Financials award-winning VPN has revolutionized the way the company conducts business. It is now able to attract and hire employees who want to work from home, need to work closer to the customers or are physically unable to withstand a daily commute. Through the VPN, close to 25,000 remote workers can access the same database information they have at the office with a high-speed connection. The company is also able to set up connected sales offices in the field that can be built up and taken down in just hours. In addition, videoconferencing and distance-learning programs are reducing the need to travel – a sensitive issue in today's business world.

"For the past 17 years, Network World's User Excellence Award has honored the positive impact Network IT Executives can have on business. As technology continues to be the driver not only for business advantage but for its survival, organizations are relying heavily on the innovation, vision, skill and knowledge of their IT people," states Beth Schultz, editor of Network World's Signature Series. "This year's winner truly exemplifies the integral role technology plays in business. Not only was Prudential able to cut its remote access bills in half, but the VPN enhanced its entire corporate culture."


Two organizations also earned runner-up status in the prestigious User Excellence Award competition. St. Elizabeth's Hospital, part of the 13-member Hospital Sisters Health System run by The Order of Franciscan Nuns, was commended for the sheer breadth of what its "one man" IT department accomplished — often against corporate resistance and mounting pressure from federal privacy regulations. The Chicago Clearing House Association, the clearinghouse between its eight member banks and 400 Midwestern affiliates, was lauded for its Web-enabled cash adjustment — a simple but elegant network design with industry-wide impact.

How The Winners are Determined

Network World User Excellence Award entries are evaluated based on their business case, technology choice, costs and benefits. Organizations are judged on how their networks mesh with their business goals. Winners are picked from a variety of industries, such as financial services, health care and manufacturing.

About Network World

Network World, Inc., the Leader in Network Knowledge, empowers Network IT Executives through education, information and community. Network World is the leading provider of news, analysis, reviews, events and education on information technology. Network World publishes the leading newsweekly, NetworkWorld, hosts the most active online community, Network World Fusion (, and produces educational seminars and events worldwide.

About International Data Group

Network World, Inc. is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network of technology-specific sites around the world through (, which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at