To create a good working relationship and ensure that the end product is satisfactory, the customer and service provider need to work closely together throughout the development process, and make sure that each party fulfils its own obligations. If you are a customer and you have been provided with a Software and Website Development Agreement by your service provider, you need to check your obligations under the agreement, and make sure that you understand what your obligations are and that you are able to meet such obligations.
A typical obligation on a customer in this sort of development agreement is to provide specific material which you would like to be inserted as part of your software and website, for example, branding material, to the service provider. The service provider may also require that such materials be provided in accordance with development specifications, for example, text material must be provided in Word format, and images must be a certain quality or size.
Remember that it is also important that materials be provided by you to your service provider in a timely manner, or in accordance with an agreed schedule between yourself and the service provider, as delays by you in providing the material may lead to delays in the development process. Such delays may cause you to miss a particular deadline, and could also mean that the service provider will be charging additional fees.
Other standard customer obligations include the following:
- an obligation to provide clear instructions;
- an obligation to co-operate with the service provider;
- an obligation to conduct acceptance testing at different development stages (if applicable);
- an obligation to provide feedback within a certain time period and provide ample opportunity for the service provider to make the necessary adjustments; and
- an obligation to make payments on time.
Obligations of Service Provider
Similarly, in the same agreement, the service provider will have certain obligations, including:
- an obligation to provide the services with due care and skill;
- an obligation to meet deadlines as agreed;
- an obligation to provide adequate notice if there will be additional charges;
- an obligation to keep your ideas and concepts confidential; and
- an obligation to ensure that it has the right to use any intellectual property that will be utilised in the development process of your software and website.
A well written and detailed Software and Website Development Agreement which is clear on the obligations of both parties will help reduce disputes and debates over surprise fees. If you are in need of any legal advice or assistance with the drafting of a Software and Website Development Agreement, contact us today on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experience IP/IT lawyers.