Maximising the Advantages of Escrow Services
Advancement in technology has made it very important for companies to take advantage of information technology solutions to improve business processes. This then means that companies have to license software from various developers. Most application software are very expensive, and both the licensor and the licensee want to protect their technology. Software vendors use escrow agreements to protect both their interests and those of the licensee. With source code escrow, the developer is able to store the source code with a third party. The third party is identified as the escrow agent and should have no ties to either the licensor or the licensee. Either the buyer or software vendor can introduce the escrow agreement to protect their interests.
Software exists in two formats namely the object code format and the source code format. The licensor only gets the object code format while the developer deposits the source code format with the escrow agent. The benefit of doing this is that the licensee is guaranteed the continuity of the software maintenance. This is very important for the licensee since the software may be a key part of their business and this cushions then from possible losses. Source code escrow services protect the business using the application for any event including the bankruptcy of the developer which may terminate some services. Under the escrow agreement, the developer, has the responsibility to maintain and offer support to the licensee based on the agreed terms and if this is not fulfilled, the licensee has the right to acquire the source code.
On the other hand, source code escrow is also beneficial to the software developer since it protects their intellectual property rights. Due to the high number of software theft, developers are not comfortable with sharing their source code with the licensee. Both the developer and the licensee are bound by various terms and conditions clearly outlined in the escrow agreement. Each of the parties in the escrow agreement has obligations to fulfil. Failure to fulfill these obligations there are serious consequences. The source code escrow agreement outlines possible use or transfer of the source code which is key in protecting the rights of both parties.
Apart from storing the source code, the escrow agent has to authenticate the source code. The escrow services also verify that the software is working as it should which is also very important. While it is advisable to always use escrow services, those licensees who use the software to support a vital function of the company have more to lose and they should make sure they protect their investments. Also, when the price of the software is very high, it is only best to protect the investment with the use of an escrow service.