There are several steps to keep in mind when agreeing upon a software escrow:
- The most important thing to decide for your company is which software applications should be escrowed in the first place. If software is mission-critical or difficult to replace, it should be escrowed.
- Ensure that the release terms in your escrow agreement are clear. Make sure both broad situations and detailed possibilities are both covered.
- Make sure your own company’s escrow policies are being followed. Often, companies set rules for themselves that apply to specific situations like escrow. However life happens and things get forgotten.
- If it’s appropriate for your business, explore release terms that don’t require vendor approval. This will have to be negotiated with the vendor and they will require something in return. This could be a bond posted to the escrow agent upon software release, from which damages are later decided upon through arbitration.
- Make sure you’re allowed to customize the software for your own business’s needs, especially once it’s released to you. If the vendor customizes the software for you, make sure your escrow agreement specifies that the customized software is escrowed and not the base, uncustomized software. If you’re buying a hand-tailored suit, you don’t want to leave the store without making sure the measurements aren’t off-the-rack.
- Verify that the vendor’s escrowed material matches what was agreed upon. Use our Technical Verification process in order to ensure this. We can ensure that the deposited materials are functional.
- When the software you’re leasing is upgraded, make sure that the upgrade is escrowed. You don’t want to fall back on a previous and less capable version of the software you use today. We will send out automatic status reports every six months so you will know exactly when and what was escrowed.
- Have a plan in place for when you receive released software code. You need to be able to implement mission-critical applications in a timely manner.