Software escrow for vendors and developers


An escrow arrangement is in effect; a licence granted by the software vendor to the end-user for end-user access to the source code under specific conditions.

Harbinger offers source code escrow services that have been designed by technology and legal specialists especially for software developers and vendors. We have simplified the process and removed the burden of administering multiple escrow arrangements.

We provide:

  • An online escrow management system to manage, monitor and control your escrow arrangements
  • Secure encryption and transmission to make escrow lodgements – or if you prefer to send us your tape or CD, we’ll accept that too
  • A data vaulting and backup facility that exceeds government and industry security standards
  • A proactive management service that will alert when you are due to make another lodgement
  • The option of our proven standard agreements, or one tailored to your individual needs
  • Fast agreement review and service set-up
  • The “Harbinger Escrow” logo to display on your marketing collateral or website

Software vendors and developers worldwide are increasingly recognising that:

  • Escrow is a sign of quality, trust and partnership.
  • Your client’s request for escrow is legitimate and a compliment to you.
  • It is a sign that your client’s consider your software critical to their business
  • It is a good business governance practice
  • It can help provide a patent and copyright audit trail
  • It underscores your commitment to working in the best interests of your client>


To speak to one of our vendor specialists about the most appropriate escrow services for you and your clients
please phone: +61 3 9618 2000.


Harbinger’s escrow arrangements provide you with independent auditable documentation to support a patent claim, and robust proof to support an intellectual property copyright claim.

Having your most valued asset in escrow with a neutral third party provides you with a disaster recovery option in the event of an emergency. Harbinger as your escrow agent, will maintain a copy of your intellectual property stored off-site and available to you for restoration.

Modern escrow reduces your dependency on key employees who may have a tendency to ‘hoard’ instead of ‘share’ information.

What software end user’s need to know

What would be the impact to your business if a vendor of mission-critical software stopped supporting you?

Reduce the risk of using software

increase corporate compliance

achieve best procurement practice

As a software end-user, you rely on vendors to supply and maintain your software. This exposes your company to a new set of risks. In the event that your software vendor stops supporting you, an established escrow arrangement will protect your business by providing access to the source code and information that you would need to continue to operate.

Software escrow is an essential part of modern technology services contracts. It not only delivers compliance with best procurement practices and meets Sarbanes-Oxley corporate compliance regulations, but most importantly it also reduces the risk to your business.

read more



  • Assures your business continuity – protects you and your supplier relationship from market factors which are outside your control
  • Protects you financially – avoids the cost of downtime or even having to start again. You have the time to replace the software with a new solution
  • Reduces your risks – protecting the software with escrow means that if the developer cannot complete it, you can ensure that someone else can
  • Improves service delivery – Your vendor has an added incentive to meet your service level requirements

read more

We offer

  • Your choice of either standard or tailored escrow agreements
  • Fast service establishment – 24 hours for standard agreements
  • A secure online escrow management system
  • Compliance and lodgement activity monitoring
  • Active Alerts that prompts you when an escrow lodgement is due
  • Online and telephone support
  • Software agreement, contract and procurement advice
  • Software risk management consulting
  • Software verification services
  • Lodgement auditing services

read more

To find out more or to talk to one of our escrow specialists, please contact us on +61 3 9618 2000


More Information for Software Developers

Why use an Escrow Agent

A founding principle of escrow agents is to remain neutral. It is important that your escrow agent is experienced and an independent third party that is not under the influence or control of either the end-user or the vendor. It is rarely a good idea to simply name one of the party’s lawyers or accountants as the escrow agent. Their duty is to their client – so there is a potential conflict of interest.
Harbinger is an independent and neutral third party who can administer escrow arrangements on your behalf.

Protection of your intellectual property

Software vendors also accrue some added benefits from escrowing their source code. Since Harbinger, as a neutral third party, dates and time-stamps all materials deposited into escrow, an escrow account creates an audit trail of the development of technology and provides independent validation of the ownership of the related intellectual property.

As Harbinger is an independent third party, it has the trust of the courts to vouch for the existence and ownership of your intellectual property.

Standard and Tailored Agreements

Harbinger’s recommended escrow inclusions are published as standard agreements. They are based on best practice and are made available to you as a simple and cost effective means of establishing a robust escrow agreement. However, Harbinger’s escrow professionals can also work with you to tailor agreements with the right level of protection that meet the demands of your corporate risk profile. 

Harbinger’s Advisory Services

Harbinger’s escrow services have been developed through decades of experience in software development, technology usage and IT law. They include the features and services our customers have told us they want.  However, your needs today are unique. We will advise you on the most appropriate services to achieve the level of protection you desire for your business.

Privacy and Security

You can take comfort from knowing that your data is always secure and protected. Our online data centre meets the strictest Australian Government ASIO data security requirements. All data is fully backed up to a secondary location in Harbinger’s own offline data vault. We understand technology and protect your interests with the integrity you – as a technology developer expect.

Harbinger provides unmatched intellectual property protection for vendors and end-users. Many of Australia’s top software developers trust Harbinger as their neutral third party to provide escrow services.


To find out more or to talk to one of our escrow specialists, please contact us on +61 3 9618 2000