Formerly known as ESCROW EUROPE (Pty) Ltd

ISO 9001 & ISO/IEC 27001 certified

As we march further into the digital era, software has become an irreplaceable asset and a cornerstone of modern business practices. Software escrow and business continuity go hand-in-hand. Its boundless potential for innovation, coupled with unlimited scalability, makes it an attractive prospect for corporate businesses, financial institutes, and software companies alike.

However, simply owning superior software is not a panacea for business success. Buyers need a safety net, an assurance of uninterrupted operation, even if the unthinkable happens and the software provider falls into insolvency or worse. This is where the concept of software escrow comes in.

What is Software Escrow?

In essence, software is a valuable sequence of code capable of fulfilling specific tasks. Both the providers (vendors) and users (licensees) rely on this code for their financial stability.

While a seamless, conflict-free relationship between the two parties would be ideal, reality often proves less than perfect. Greed, business failures, and contractual breaches can muddy the waters. To mitigate such risks, software escrow is the solution.

The software’s source code is the vendor’s crown jewel – a guarded secret they are hesitant to share, even under the cloak of confidentiality. A single slip could expose their unique code to the world.

Licensees, on the other hand, face a different kind of uncertainty: what if the software provider abruptly closes shop? The potential loss of software access could cripple their operations. This is where software escrow – also known as source code escrow – comes into play. It offers a shield of protection, where the code is securely held, verified, and updated by a trusted third party – escrow company. Businesses can therefore secure their investment in expensive applications with software escrow.

The Perks of Software Escrow for Vendors

For software vendors, software escrow is a protective layer that shields their source code. Rather than sharing the code with multiple businesses, vendors entrust it to a single reliable escrow company. This third-party entity safeguards the code and ensures that it is updated timeously, thereby preventing a single contract breach from jeopardizing the end users business continuity.

The Gains for Licensees in Software Escrow

As for licensees, software escrow gives them peace of mind. In case the software vendor goes out of business, they can continue to utilize the software infrastructure they’ve invested in, thanks to the escrow agreement that safeguards the interests of their business continuity.

Deciphering the Escrow Agreement

Each escrow agreement is bespoke, tailored to the consensus of all parties involved. Generally, such agreements outline the escrow’s scope, conditions for code release, obligations of the vendor, licensee, and escrow agent.

The most critical segment of this agreement is arguably the conditions for release. This clause clearly states the circumstances under which the source code can be released from the escrow to the licensee, such as failure to fulfill contractual obligations, insolvency, software discontinuation, or lack of support in accordance with the agreed terms.

The Business Significance of Software Escrow: Business Continuity

As software, whether installed on-premise or accessed through a cloud hosting service, continues to dominate the business landscape, the demand for software escrow will only rise. Whether you’re a company that depends on various software licenses or a vendor that sells software licenses, software escrow needs to be on your radar.

It’s not just a nice-to-have; it’s a crucial component in maintaining business continuity and ensuring your digital assets are protected.

Talk to us about your software escrow needs