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Addressing Escrow Misconceptions

Published on 22/05/2018

Here at SES we see Software Escrow as a fundamental protection, ensuring your business’s continuity. Escrow provides assurances that you can retain access to your business critical applications and that your business will remain operational in the event the supplier of your applications is unable to support them.

We have a lot of conversations with customers looking to secure their futures; What are the options? How it can work? and What can be protected? This article aims to address some of the common questions that are raised during these conversations and provide clarification to help you better understand your Escrow requirements, ensuring you get the protection your business needs.

The 6 most common assumptions we come across are:

1. “You can’t Escrow SaaS applications.” – This is without a doubt one of the biggest misconceptions that people have. Yes, SaaS applications can be protected with Escrow. In fact, there’s a strong argument that it’s even more important to protect SaaS applications than their on-premise equivalents as the impact of supplier failure is much more immediate. To ensure your SaaS application is protected you need all of the material required to accurately redeploy your application and to have this updated in line with how fast it changes (Daily, Weekly, Monthly etc.)

2. “Escrow is time consuming.” – At SES we make the Escrow process as simple and easy as possible. Our Template and Master Agreements are designed specifically for End Users and Software Developers to reduce administration, cut down time scales and simplify the Escrow process.

3. “It’s difficult to transfer my Escrow protection to another provider.” – With the free transfer offer from SES, you are able to transfer your existing Escrow agreement to SES from another provider and you won’t pay a fee to set up the new agreement. What’s more,

SES will manage the entire transfer process on your behalf.

4. “We wouldn’t be able to use the code if it was released.” – This ultimately depends on the levels of testing you choose to include. SES offers a wide range of knowledge capture exercises even going as far as simulating a release and demonstrating that the application can be accurately rebuilt on your own environment if a real release event were to occur.

5. “Escrow doesn’t present any value.” – If the Escrow doesn’t represent value it’s because it has been set up incorrectly. For all our agreements, SES works closely with clients to ensure they’ve got comprehensive and meaningful coverage that is updated effectively. Moreover, many clients see the benefit of protecting not only against supplier failure but a breakdown in relationships to ensure contractual commitments are met. Ultimately, this is a service designed for important applications and it’s value should be judged against the potential impact and costs associated with losing access to the application in question.

6. “You have to put all of your applications into Escrow and test them.” – This is not the case in many instances. If an application is easily replaced or if there would be little impact on the business if it were suddenly unavailable, we would not recommend Escrow.

However, if you are using business critical, revenue generating, highly customised, or bespoke applications, SES would strongly advise ensuring they are independently protected.

A review of your current Escrow portfolio is a standard aspect of the transfer process to ensure that the protections and testing levels you currently have in place are appropriate for your security and continuity.

These are the most common concerns our customers have voiced when discussing their Escrow protection with us. If you have experienced any of the above or would like to discuss your Escrow requirements in more detail,  please get in touch and one of our specialists will get back to you within one business day. 

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