You Must Have a Business Continuity Plan When the Pope Comes to Town

By Chris Moren, TierPoint Client Services Manager

Beginning today, The World Meeting of Families Conference will take place in Philadelphia. The event will be a capped off by a visit by Pope Francis on Saturday the 26th, who will be speaking at several locations around the city. He will also be participating in a motorcade and celebrating a public Papal Mass on Sunday.

Here in Pennsylvania, a massive logistical effort has been underway for months to ensure the safety and success of the event. To provide for the utmost security for Pope Francis and the conference participants, many bridges and interstate highways, along with local streets in and around Center City Philadelphia will be closed for the duration of the event. It will be difficult for people to move around and get to work and shop. Naturally, this is causing business hardship on many levels.

TierPoint has a large client base in Philadelphia with offices in Center City; over the past few months, we have worked closely with many of them to plan for this week. We have two facilities in greater Philadelphia, one in Valley Forge and the other at The Navy Yard, which is also being used as a major security checkpoint and staging area for the event. Our focus has been communicating with our clients who may be affected by this event, providing alternate workspace arrangements at our Valley Forge facility as needed, and ensuring all our clients in the region understand the major impact on travel in and around the area that this event will create.

Our Valley Forge facility is equipped with 500+ subscription based workspace recovery seats. These seats include phones, Internet and Network connectivity and other related services for clients to use when they have an unplanned outage or unusual circumstances arise, such as a visit by the Pope.

Next week will sure be an extraordinary one in Philadelphia. Thorough advanced planning and communication has gone into the effort, and we anticipate normal operations for both ourselves and our clients. It has also proven to be a good reminder to have a strong, documented and rehearsed business continuity plan in place that covers every possible contingency — including visits by the Pontiff himself. It should be exciting.