Unlike a software development agreement, your Software as a Service (“SaaS”) agreement will not have detailed responsibilities for maintenance and support. However, most SaaS subscriptions these days can be easily updated to allow users to use the most up to date subscription. Users may be required to update their iPhone or Android application for the latest version or may update this software online. That being said, it is still important to outline how these updates will be undertaken and the availability of the site, appreciating that all websites do require maintenance. Other issues may cause the site or software not to function from time to time.

Updates to the software

You should outline in the agreement how you will be updating the software. Will the update be available via the Internet or is the user required to check for available updates to the software? You should outline in the agreement that by using and downloading the software that the user has agreed to update the software to the most up-to-date version, as this will allow full functionality. You should also outline that any updates will also be subject to the same terms as the most up to date version of your SaaS agreement.

Maintenance and Support

Although your business may not provide maintenance or troubleshooting, you should provide basic support to your users, for example assistance in changing account details. You should also provide contact details so that you can be notified of any technical difficulties that may be affecting your software.

Availability

You should also outline the availability of your website, app and software, as well as indemnify yourself against any issues that may arise if your site, software or app is not available or not working due to issues outside of your control. You should also state the time and days that the software should be available and that outside of these hours it is possible that the website, app or software will be unavailable due to maintenance or other development activity.

Notice requirements

Where possible or required, you should provide notice to your users of any maintenance or development activity in advance. If the site will be down for a period time, you should notify users via email and your website. You should address further in your limitation of liability and indemnity clause the risks associated with using the site and that you cannot guarantee availability.

Conclusion

Drafting a detailed update and support clause in your SaaS agreement that addresses your obligations and the process of updating the software will protect your business from future issues with clients. For example if a user requires more assistance than you are obligated to provide, you have already clearly defined the relationship in your terms and can express this during a dispute. If you’re in need of legal advice in regards to your SaaS agreement or any other legal issues associated with your software, contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced IT lawyers.

Priscilla Ng

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