Guide to Software Escrow Services
When we speak of software escrow services what we mean is a source code software deposit involving a third party escrow agent.
Basic escrow is requested by the licensee who in this case is the one in charge of the maintenance of the software.
If the licensor gets bankrupt or any other reason that he fails to maintain or update the software as formally agreed upon, then the source code of the software will be released to the licensee.
If you are the license owner you should understand that escrow has requirements to be met. The software escrow services offer custom software to different companies which are also vital and critical to the company.
Whether the licensor is in a position to do so or not due to bankruptcy or other issues, operations and maintenance of company software shall continue.
You should have the updated copy of the source code if you are to do this. However, licensors are often reluctant to agree to this because the source code represents a trade secret and generally as you may expect, this is closely guarded.
Software escrow services then have a solution which will do away with this conflict of interest, where the source code escrow will assure that the licensed person can get his access to the source code when it has been established that the maintenance of the software cannot be assured as it was stated in the contract agreement which has been agreed upon by the two parties.
One of the benefits that come along with the software escrow services is free software.
If you are going to sign an agreement contract with a software licensor make sure you know what the terms and conditions are by reading everything carefully which is easy as they are written in black and white.
The escrow agreement is well described and is applicable to clients who seek custom software development which generally will not be made available to the general public.
It is not available to any other entity because the software was specifically designed for you to fit your needs and useful for your office operations. When there is free software it is called open source of ransom ware.
Many companies adopt a software escrow process because of its benefits. With the escrow agent, there is an incentive for the licensee in investing in the source code. Meanwhile developers of the software are able to provide services without exposing their secret and intellectual property.
Escrow agents can provide optional services which can help licensees to certify the evolution of the software and maintain and upgrade functionalities over time. The licensee then has the ability to maintain an application in-house indefinitely or it gives him the luxury of taking his time until a replacement technology can be identified and implemented with a new vendor.