Benefits of Using Software Escrow Services
With the growth of technology, it has become extremely important for companies to take advantage of various software to improve business processes. This then means that companies have to license software from various developers. Because of the prohibitive cost of developing application software, licensors and licensees want to ensure that they protect their investments. For this reason, software vendors use escrow services to protect their interests as well as those of the licensee. Software escrow involves depositing the source code of the particular application with a third party. This third party is known as the escrow agent and should be independent of both the licensor and the licensee. 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 is available in two formats, that is, the object code format and 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. Escrow services are very important because they protect the businesses from the bankruptcy of the developer by ensuring that the source code is available for updates and routine maintenance. 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.
Source code escrow also benefits the software developer by protecting their intellectual property rights. There are so many people out there who are out to copy the ideas of different developers, and this makes it hard for the developer to surrender the source code to the licensee. Source code escrow is anchored on various terms and condition which bind both parties. Each of the parties in the escrow agreement has obligations to fulfil. 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. It is also the role of the escrow service to ensure that the software is in good shape and that it offers optimal performance to the licensee. It is always advisable for a licensee to use escrow services if the software supports a vital function of the organization or has a direct impact on the revenue. If the cost of acquiring the software is very high, the licensee is also advised to make sure that they use an escrow agent.
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