There are no standard fix times for remedying software errors, problems and bugs in a SaaS agreement.  Fix times need to be tailored to the services being provided and should be set out in the service level agreement (SLA). The following factors need to be considered when SaaS suppliers establish fix times in their SaaS agreement.

Duty to Acknowledge, Respond and Fix Errors

Time to acknowledge, respond or fix a SaaS software problem should start to run upon receipt of a customer message, from acknowledgement of the error, or some other trigger event.

Nature and Severity of the Problem

How severe is the problem or error? i.e. critical, medium or low

Is the problem an error (a software problem that can be reproduced) or is it a bug?

Type of SaaS Solution

Is the SaaS application business critical? i.e. online banking

What is standard in that particular business area?  i.e. online recruitment, accounting, banking

Commercial Considerations

How much has the customer paid for the SaaS solution, maintenance and support?

Are service credits offered for breaches of the fix times?

Practical Issues

Is there a global support hotline?

Are IT staff available to work 24 x 7?

Does the SaaS provider have access to the third party data centre?

What are the terms of the hosting agreement with the third party data centre?

Exclusions

Ensure that errors or problems caused by something beyond your control are excluded from fix times i.e. the customer’s inability to connect to the Internet.

Exclude errors or problems in the SaaS agreement which are caused by the customer i.e. the customer’s failure to use the specified browser, hardware etc.

Help

Irene Bodle is an IT lawyer specialising in SaaS agreements with over 10 years experience in the IT sector. If you require assistance with any SaaS, ASP, software on demand contracts or any other IT legal issues contact me:

irene.bodle@bodlelaw.com
www.bodlelaw.com

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