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. The software tends to be very expensive, and it is important for both the licensor and the licensee to protect their investments. Software vendors use escrow agreements to protect both their interests and those of the licensee. A software escrow service involves using a third party to store the source code of a particular application software. The escrow agent is the third party in this case, and he is supposed to impartial so as to ensure the rights of both the licensor and the licensee are guaranteed. Indeed, the source code escrow is a very important part of vendor agreement, and both the licensor and licensee have the right to initiate it.
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. This ensures the continuity of the software maintenance over time. 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. In the case of bankruptcy of the developer, the escrow agent makes sure that the software keeps running by providing the source code to the licensee. 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.
Besides protecting the rights of the licensee, the escrow agreement is key to protecting the intellectual property of the developer. 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. Both the licensor and the licensee have various obligations which they are required to fulfill. If any of the parties fails to observe these agreements, there are certain consequences. The use and transfer of the source code is clearly discussed under the escrow agreement.
The other function of the escrow agent is to verify the availability of the source code. There is also the need to ensure that the software is working as it should and thus the escrow agent has to verify this. 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.