An introduction to Software Escrow

What is Software Escrow and how does it benefit the end user? Adam Boland of SES explains how Software Escrow can protect your business-critical applications.

Software Escrow

Why would I need to protect my business-critical applications?

Every business relies on at least one critical application, whether its financial software, your CRM system, stock control or logistics. But what would the impact be if you were no longer able to access these critical applications?

You could invest in new applications, but procuring suitable replacements is a time consuming and costly process, especially if your former applications were highly customised or bespoke. It’s also important to consider the impact to your business in the meantime with no access to your critical applications.

Software Escrow provides a way of ensuring access to your critical applications until a suitable replacement can be found and implemented.

What is Software Escrow?

Software Escrow protects your investments in third party developed applications and ensures the continuity of your business. A Software Escrow agreement authorises an independent Software Escrow agent to hold and validate a copy of your applications' source code, including all relevant applications on behalf of the software user (‘Licensee’).

In the event your supplier is unable to maintain its service, the source code and supporting documentation can be released back to the Licensee, so that they or an alternative third party can continue to maintain the application.

When would you need Software Escrow?

There are many standard trigger events where a business may need Software Escrow. Standard release events include:

  • the software developer ceasing to trade
  • the software developer entering into insolvency proceedings
  • a breach of the maintenance agreement between the software developer and end user
  • the software developer merging with, or being acquired by, another organisation and the intellectual property rights (IPR) being transferred

How does Software Escrow benefit the end user?

For any organisation, the cost, time, disruption, security and effort involved with procuring a new application can be substantial, and the impact of downtime can be catastrophic. An Escrow solution reduces these risks and removes the need for you to replace a failed system, allowing you to continue without disruption.

About the author

Adam Boland is an Account Director at SES and has 18 years’ experience protecting businesses continuity with Software Escrow protection. SES protect over 2,500 Software Developers, IP Owners, Distributors and End Users in over 40 countries across the world.

See also

Why email encryption is essential to your business

Company profiles

Image: Getty Images

Publication date: 19 October 2020

Any opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and the author alone, and does not necessarily represent that of The Gazette.