Ok as a software attorney, what I am asking are your agreements simple or complex (hey, maybe even a plain English SaaS Agreement)? Have you thought about it? I find that most companies don’t really think about these kind of issues (or at least if they do, it is on the bottom of their list). Let me see if I can add this to your to do list, or help move it up the list.
Step 1: SaaS Agreement. Your SaaS agreement should be super simple. What I mean is, your agreement should be vetted internally to make sure it is (a) written in plain English (get the legal jargon out), (b) only includes the necessary clauses (talk to your attorney about this, as too often there are clauses in there you may not need or actualy want), and (c) as short as possible. If you have not taken this on, then do it. You will find that it is well worth the effort.
Step 2: Negotiating Process. How are your sales teams handling the negotiation of your SaaS agreements? Have they thought through the legal and business issues (are they trained on how to respond to questions from end users and channel partners)? If the answer is yes, then great, you are probably getting your deals closed in a reasonable amount of time and building trust with your end users and partners, but if not then you have some work to do. Have your teams read ‘Getting to Yes‘ (for starters), and then make sure they fully understand the contracts they are asking your end users and partners to sign (i.e. Step 1).
This is really not that hard, but too often these type of issues are not addressed (or addressed too late in the game). If you follow these two simple steps, you can figure out if you are selling legal complexity or simplicity, and make the necessary adjustments to sell simplicity if you aren’t. Add this to you to do list, or simply move it up the list!
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Legal Disclaimer: This is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to constitute legal advice.