What is Software as a Service (SaaS)?
If you work with computers or technology, SaaS is often a term you see come up every now and then. If you don’t know what it is, you should read on – the chances are it has some influence over your life or work.
SaaS is the agreement entered when you license software or other digital services from a provider. This happens most the time. If you buy a piece of software online or in a shop, for instance, that’s SaaS.
What you own – even if it is a physical disc – is just a license.
This is why you have to agree to terms and conditions as it establishes the end user agreement. In short, from your end, you have a right to use the product but not to access the source code or inner workings. These remain the secure and vital property of the provider.
At their end, the provider has to offer a working product. If they fail to uphold the agreement then you can claim for the source code yourself. Whilst this will help you, more often than not it acts as a deterrent to ensure providers offer the right service.
To ensure this, the right protection – such as SaaS Escrow – is recommended.
SaaS Escrow is ideal because it works with the end user agreement. You can’t access the code yourself until it is deemed legally necessary yet there needs to be a way to know the source code is available in the first place.
Escrow works perfectly for this. The agency can remain as a neutral third party that stores the code. When any disputes arise, they have the power and entitlement to give the code out.
In the case of SaaS, this is when the provider is found to have broken or neglected their end of the agreement. In these instances, the escrow agency can quickly deliver what you need, as opposed to long, drawn out legal discussions over the subject.
Yet, as already stated, SaaS works best as a deterrent and this can be reinforced with escrow. This shows you, the customer, that the provider is serious. This is a strong sign of trust and, out of two identical choices you would obviously go for the company willing to put their very product and property on the line.
It’s a strong commitment which has benefits for both sides; helping to come to a much better working relationship.