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5 Things to Look for in a Software Escrow Provider

August 22, 2014

Maintaining business continuity in the event of some disaster lies at the heart of any software development company. Whilst we all work to keep our part of the internet world safe, with the prevalence of greater technological developments it is now, more than ever, vital to protect what you have.
Most software providers don’t just offer a one off installation, there are updates and tweaks to the system that need to be conveyed to the licensee. And often there is a need to adjust the software you provide to the particular needs of a specific business.

Finding the right software escrow provider is important if you want to maintain the integrity of your software and ensure that all your customers are covered if something goes wrong. A good service can help eliminate any supply chain risk and ensure that, as the vendor, all your own provision is safe guarded.

• Choose a neutral provider. If you are a software company then you want to select an escrow provider that has no vested interest in your product and is geared to providing the full range of services your product and customers need.
• Is your escrow provider clear about the chain of custody? In other words, all process should be recorded and documented appropriately. That includes hard copies of your software as well as electronic transfers.
• Is it secure? Of course you want your software to be held in a safe place, so it’s a good idea to check out what security measures the company has in place and what safety measures it utilises in the event of a breach to maintain business continuity. What disaster recover measures do they have in place? Can they put in place the right verification procedures?
• Does it offer the right reporting? If you need to provide updated reports for audit purposes then you need a service that offers the right reporting measures.
• How do you interact with the company? A web based system that lets you track information is a more flexible way to work with all your escrow needs. Can you contact their customer service section easily and get the advice you need? Are they on hand in an emergency?
• What is the verification process? Ensure that the provider has a robust verification process so that the software is accessible and available if the customer needs it.
• Trust is a big thing in software escrow circles. Choose a company that has a good track record and you can build a relationship that is built on trust. Who do they currently provide for?

Can you contact them to ask if they are getting a good service?

The most important advice for choosing the right partner to manage your software escrow needs is to take your time and check out all the competition. Build a list of all your requirements and match them to your provider. You may have spent 100s of man hours developing your software, so doesn’t it pay to take some time in choosing a suitable escrow partner?

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written by David Clee

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