Any organisation that has specialist software developed specifically for them will undoubtedly want to protect the investment they have made in that product. Therefore, careful consideration needs to be given to whether an organisation can afford to run the risk of losing access to the source code in the event that the software developer goes out of business. This is where an Escrow Agreement comes into being.
What is an Software Escrow Agreement?
An Escrow Agreement is a contract which normally exists between three parties;
- The purchaser,
- The software owner/developer
- The independent Escrow Agent
Normally when an organisation purchases specialist software, it is the responsibility of the software developer/owner to maintain the source code. However, a purchaser cannot always rely on this and may wish to store a copy of the source code with the Software Escrow Agent. The Software Escrow Agreement gives the purchaser the right to gain access to the software source code, but only under specific circumstances. These conditions are usually set out in the agreement itself. Under the Software Escrow Agreement, the purchaser can access a copy of the source code from the Escrow Agent.
Software Escrow Agreements will;
- Enable the Purchaser to take control of the source code in circumstances where the Software Developer/Owner can no longer maintain the software product
- Ensure that the source code remains available over the anticipated lifetime of the software product
- Document the conditions for permissible retrieval of the software.
How Can Standby Help?
Standby offers an established and professional Software Escrow Service and has a number of clients who use our service.
We can offer;
- Guaranteed independence as a professional third party Escrow Agent (we do not develop code)
- A professional, safe and secure storage environment and location
- All source code is stored in approved fireproof data safes
- Standard Escrow Contracts
- Competitive pricing.
For more information download PDF.
Please contact us if you require more information about our Escrow services or you would like to obtain a free quote.
"It is critical to us, when selling our outbound call center software around the world, that our customers and prospects view our company as stable, secure, and reliable. They also want to be sure that their investment in our solution is protected. They want to be sure, that if for some unlikely reason we went out of business that they would be able to continue using our product and have a third-party with technical know-how able to provide support to them. Smaller customers may not need this but in todays environment these sorts of issues are on the minds of decision makers. To provide this level of assurance to prospects and customers we use Standby Consulting’s Escrow service. It is a pleasure working with Standby, they were flexible to tailor the escrow agreement to meet our requirements and once set up the process of updating escrow material is straight forward. We use the escrow service as an optional extra part of our offering so customer pay an additional fee if they would like to be added as a beneficiary of the escrowed source code."
Pete Cossey, President, Acarda Sales Technologies Limited, Outbound Calling Solutions at www.Acarda.com
"There is an old proverb that commences ‘Do your best and prepare for the worst…’. This epitomizes Kinetiq’s approach in catering for our end user requirements. As a software company, we insist on our customer contracts catering for a Software Escrow agreement. Usually it is the other way around where a vendor will require a software company to have this in place. Given the changing times we are in, the peace of mind for system users where software source can be retained by a reputable escrow agent is a risk management ‘must have’. The protection this type of ‘insurance’ provides can make all the difference to business continuity if support is no longer available and one is reliant on the software in place. When making software choices, be sure you have the co-operation of the software vendor in agreeing to a sound escrow agent who respects both the system users and the software vendor. Kinetiq have an on-going relationship built with trust over time with the well know software escrow agent Standby Consulting. We regularly update source code lodgements to ensure our customers have the best protection in obtaining up to date software source code should the‘worst’ happen."
Mike Craven, General Manager, Kinetiq Ltd at www.kinetiq.com