Sally Cohn: My Experience as a Master Business Continuity Planner
Sally Cohn, MBCP, is Executive Vice President of Client Services for RecoveryPlanner, recent recipient of the President’s “E” Award for Exports. We talked with her about the award, how her MBCP certification contributes to her organization’s achievements, and more.
The President’s “E” Award for Exports – Please tell us about that and what it means.
The President’s “E” Award for Exports is the highest recognition any US entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of US exports. RecoveryPlanner has a commitment to provide its RPX Business Continuity Management Software and Continuity Mobile Apps throughout the world. The software has been adopted by organizations internationally because of our efforts, such as offering RPX in other languages besides English, such as, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Russian and building a network of international partners who distribute, implement, and support our global solutions in their local markets.
One reason we were chosen for this award is because thanks to our active engagement with the Department of Commerce, we’re very international, with partners all over the world. This gives us a local presence, and makes it easier for us to send our partners, particularly help desks in the regions that can speak the language, out and develop strong relationships wherever we are. It’s great to receive this level of recognition as a result.
How did you, as an MBCP, help contribute to RecoveryPlanner winning this award?
Directly, I have managed BCM consulting projects for RecoveryPlanner in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, South America, and large global projects for US companies that impact the organization as a whole. Indirectly, I have an integral part in training our international partners on our software so that they can conduct their BCM services on RPX. Partners feel more comfortable knowing they are partnering with a BCM company that has certified Planners in Business Continuity. Having the MBCP establishes upfront that I am a Subject Matter Expert in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Management, which brings the partners confidence upfront with who they are working with.
What is your approach to supply chain issues?
One of the questions that has always been on our business impact analysis has been about political impact. In the U.S. that means company politics, but regarding supply chain means it involves the politics of the country. When there are events, it’s those regional politics that affect the response to those events. For instance, they may cut off your use of U.S. companies, or limit access to a particular s supply chain or that. Our software gives you access to alternate supply chains. So if one supplier is not available, the RecoveryPlanner software lets you know who else you can contact and provides all the information you need so you can instantly call up and switch over. The right software can help navigate the supply chain and vendor management in foreign countries, no matter where you are.
Business continuity is an international issue. No matter where you are there are always going to be events to respond to and prepare for, and you need software to help you do it. So we don’t limit ourselves to just one area – our marketplace is the world.
How does your MBCP help you contribute to other areas/achievements in your organization?
Having my MBCP for over a decade and decades of experience in the field, makes me a respected contributor to our RPX software and RecoveryPlanner’s consulting practice. I am part of a group responsible for our software’s development. I bring to this group the Planners perspective on what RPX needs to include in order to ensure that the best practices of the DRII Professional Practices are being followed and implemented. Having an MBCP as a leader in our organization has proven to improve RP’s marketability by showing prospects and clients that RP is committed to Business Continuity and takes our Planning (Consulting) Department seriously.
What does being an MBCP mean to you?
Having MBCP after my name, demonstrates my expertise in Business Continuity. I have noticed that people understand the difference in the certification levels. There have been times where we have had prospects and clients request that I lead their project because I am a MBCP or they may come to me directly to ask for advice due to my level of expertise.
I’ve been in this field back when it was just considered disaster recovery. My husband was a broker for alternate hot-sites. So we came up with a package for DR. Once business continuity started, it just made sense we continue along with the field as it grew. That’s why we started The Friends of Al Berman, because we’ve been around almost as long as Al – and that’s saying something. Obviously we’re so dedicated to the profession, because we’ve been in it for all this time!
Do you believe that holding an MBCP gives you a greater responsibility to and opportunity for advancing your profession? If so, how?
I do believe that having my MBCP gives me greater responsibility to advance the business continuity profession. I have been in this field for over 30 years and have seen this field evolve and mature over the decades. I am truly committed to the field of business continuity planning and I enjoy passing on my knowledge of the field by teaching others about it. RecoveryPlanner’s Professional Services group consists of Planners with different certification levels: ACBP, CBCP and MBCP. I have taken on the role for mentoring our younger Planners and our Software Support Personnel. I have even created a BCP 101 video for all new employees, so that they understand the field of BCM. Hopefully, my passion brings to them a stronger interest in the field and desire to further their education.