Skip to main content

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.
Contact Us

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.

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.

Clients we've helped

Software Escrow tailored to your business

At SES we have broken our core Software Escrow services into three distinct service levels to make it easier for our customers to choose the right protection for their business. All of our Escrow Agreements can be used to protect both on-premise and hosted software applications, are secured to ISO: 27001 standards and include the highest liability indemnity insurance available (£5 million).

Already have an Escrow Agreement in place with another supplier? Our Free Transfer Offer enables you to transfer your existing Escrow portfolio to SES at no additional cost. There are no setup fees and SES will manage the entire process on your behalf.

Level 1 – Basic

Includes contract fees and two deposits of code annually with Basic Deposit Reporting on each deposit.
Get Started
Software Escrow Agreement iA contractual agreement between an End User, a Software Developer and SES to ensure the continuity of a licensed software application.
Basic Deposit Reporting iA standard validation test applied to all Software Escrow deposits to ensure the code held in Escrow is accessible and virus free.

Level 2 – Intermediate

An annual, consultant-led validation process to ensure the application can be rebuilt from the source material held in Escrow.
Get Started
Software Escrow Agreement iA contractual agreement between an End User, a Software Developer and SES to ensure the continuity of a licensed software application.
Basic Deposit Reporting iA standard validation test applied to all Software Escrow deposits to ensure the code held in Escrow is accessible and virus free.
Code Validation Testing iInvolves an SES testing consultant witnessing a full rebuild of the application in the developer’s environment and documenting the entire process. The independent report and audio-visual recording enables an ASP to accurately redeploy the application in the event of a release.
Most Popular

Level 3 – Advanced

Bespoke validation processes are undertaken based on the requirements of the software user.
Get Started
Software Escrow Agreement iA contractual agreement between an End User, a Software Developer and SES to ensure the continuity of a licensed software application.
Basic Deposit Reporting iA standard validation test applied to all Software Escrow deposits to ensure the code held in Escrow is accessible and virus free.
Code Validation Testing iInvolves an SES testing consultant witnessing a full rebuild of the application in the developer’s environment and documenting the entire process. The independent report and audio-visual recording enables an ASP to accurately redeploy the application in the event of a release.
Simulated Release Event iThe simulated release event demonstrates the build documentation captured as part of the Code Validation Testing is sufficient for an ASP to accurately redeploy the application upon release.

Level 4 – Complete

Complete and rapid accessibility to hosted applications in the event that the supplier is no longer available.
Get Started
Software Escrow Agreement iA contractual agreement between an End User, a Software Developer and SES to ensure the continuity of a licensed software application.
Code Validation Testing iInvolves an SES testing consultant witnessing a full rebuild of the application in the developer’s environment and documenting the entire process. The independent report and audio-visual recording enables an ASP to accurately redeploy the application in the event of a release.
Interim Release Provision iFor standard Escrow, the release process varies typically between 14 to 30 days (across the Escrow industry), and additionally the recovery time can be a matter of days or weeks. While waiting for this process to complete there is a real danger to the software user of increased operational downtime. SES's LCP provides a real-time Interim Release that bridges the gap between initiating the release process and its completion.
Backup & restore for apps, data & VMs iBy ensuring critical assets are backed up regularly using advanced scheduling and targeting, you can guarantee that you and your customer’s information is protected effectively.
Live Licensee Continuity Planning iWe will help you plan your disaster recovery response and work to implement a bespoke strategy which will be continually assessed and improved after each recovery exercise.

Our expertise. Your questions answered

Why do I need a Software Escrow Agreement?

For End Users of business-critical applications, a Software Escrow Agreement protects you against the developer of your business-critical applications no longer being able to support their applications.

For Software Developers, an Escrow Agreement helps build credibility and trust that you have your clients interests at heart. 

How does a Software Escrow Agreement work?

In its simplest form, an Escrow Agreement is a tri-party agreement between an End User, a Software Developer and a third party Software Escrow Agent. The Developer licenses the application to the End User as usual but also deposits a copy of the source code for the application and any other material required to accurately redeploy the application into Escrow which can then be released to the End User if a release event contained within the Escrow Agreement is triggered. 

How much does a Software Escrow Agreement cost?

The answer to this is entirely dependent on the level of protection you need. SES offers a range of Software Escrow Agreements depending on how many clients will be added to the agreement (for Software Developers), how many business-critical applications the agreement will be used to cover (for End Users) and whether the application/s in question is installed on-premise or delivered through a SaaS model. 

Contact us

If you would like further information, discuss your requirements, get a free no obligation quotation or just a friendly chat on how we could possibly help please fill in the details below and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Tick the box to receive regular updates and industry insights