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What Is Software Maintenance Agreement?

IT is one of the fast-changing industries in the world. New features, products and functions are launched every day and new cyber threats to IT systems occur daily. That is why software systems requires on-going technical support.

A software maintenance agreement is an agreement signed between the software vendor and the software user to provide technical support. Examples of these maintenance services include error-detection, bug-fixing, upgrades, capacity enhancements or removal of obsolete functions.

The software maintenance agreements can be related to software products such as desktop apps, mobile apps, a customer management system software or any type of software as a services (SAAS).

Examples of software maintenance services:

  1. Upgrading of a mobile app is an example of a maintenance service. For instance, Apple IOS system is upgraded regularly to keep your phone more secure.
  2. Bugs, fault or errors occur in the software program regularly. Bugs in software cause the software to produce inaccurate results. For example, a few people have died of radiation therapy because of a bug in software in the past. Another example would be a software bug which calculates the number of customers in a database. To fix these bugs and ensure that software works properly, software maintenance services are provided.

Why Do I Need A Software Maintenance Agreement?

It Industry Is Dynamic – IT is one of the most dynamic industries. New features, updates and functionalities are added to software products constantly and new cyber security threats occur almost every day. This makes the maintenance of software more important.

If the bugs and security vulnerabilities are not taken care of, you will be vulnerable to hackers and cyber attackers. Maintenance agreements guarantee that software owner will keep your software system up-to-date.

Competitive Business Landscape – Almost every business has a website and their customers contact businesses via their websites. If your website is full of errors or it is lacks important functionalities, you will stay behind your competitors.

For instance, assume that you are running an e-commerce platform. A new technology allows customers to complete a purchase by just one click and your competitors updated their websites and added this feature. If you do not add this function, your customers’ satisfaction level will decrease and you will lose them. Adding this new functionality will ensure that you are head-to-head with your competitors.

While adding this new function to your software, it is important to make the whole system run without problems. Maintenance services will help you integrate these improvements into your system easily.

Software maintenance agreement will be useful for you to add new and trendy functions to your software.

WHAT SORT OF CLAUSES SHOULD BE IN A SOFTWARE MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT?

Scope of maintenance services: You should clearly define what services will be provided. Will it include diagnosis of the problems in the software by running test even if you did not report any issues?

Availability of the service: Can you contact the service provider at any time on any day? Or will it only be during business hours?

Payment: Are you going to pay a fixed-price or pay per-service? What if the service takes longer than expected and unforeseen problems occur? You can also decide on a hourly-payment.

Remote access: You may have made this contract with an overseas service provider. You can agree in the contract that the service will be provided remotely by connecting to your IT system from abroad. However, this may lead to system security and data protection issues. It is important to regulate this issue in your contract.

Fees: If the service provider visits you on-site with its personnel, it will bear additional costs such as travel and food. You can decide on who will have to pay for these costs.

Warranty: If the software has bugs or errors and does not work as described in software documentation, you will need maintenance services. What if the service provider is unable to solve the problem? It is a common practice that the service provider refuses to give any warranty to solve the problem. You can negotiate to include a warranty, however.

Termination: You can specify a specific time frame for your contract. Also, you can include provisions to end the contract when the maintenance service did not meet your expectations or solved your problems.

Confidentiality: What if the service provider gains access to your trade secrets while fixing a bug or what if it finds out about sensitive personal data? You can impose a confidentiality obligation on the service provider.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch.

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