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Software maintenance engineers primarily address technical issues relating to software implementation, function, and upgrades. And if you own a software maintenance and support company, you must have a paper trail. You should plan to create and sign a software maintenance agreement for every contract you need to work on.

The software maintenance contract builds a bridge between you and your customers. Before signing an agreement, you should ensure everyone understands their role. This goal of the software maintenance project, expectations, and responsibilities must be well defined in the software maintenance agreement. 

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There are many considerations in writing any agreement. For software maintenance, it is advisable you discuss with your client and get the necessary information that will help you execute the project without a glitch. The agreement should answer basic questions about what needs to be done, payment and compensation, what is the maintenance routine, what payment method is adopted, and for how long would the contract last?

If you are about to be signed for a software maintenance contract, you should think of a solid software maintenance agreement template that would define your business relationship with your client. Check the next section to see the essential information to include in your agreement template. 

Here's how to write a software maintenance agreement. The core of a software maintenance agreement should cover the following information. 

1. Identification of parties and definition of terms 

It is wise to start the agreement with the identification of the parties involved. Identify yourself or business as the software maintenance provider and bring in the information of the proposed client. Personal information includes the business name of both parties, mailing address, contact address, website, and phone numbers.  Besides, define terms such as service, updates, major and minor upgrades, optional services, revision, among others. 

2. Maintenance services 

List the software maintenance services that you have been employed to render. These may include the identification and diagnosis of faults plus correction of errors. 

3. Scope & strategies 

Next is the scope of the service and what strategies you planned to use. This will give your client an idea of what to expect. Moreso, identify the focal point of need and paint a picture of what to expect when you conclude a software maintenance section.

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4. Customer obligation and access to information  

Your software maintenance agreement should include access to computer systems and resources that would help you achieve the goal of the contract. Also, let other responsibilities of the client be spelled out in the document. 

5. Compensation 

This section takes care of contract fees, the method adopted (hourly, fixed or retainer fees), and payment method. It may also include discounts and interest on late payment. 

6. Timeline

When is the contract kicking off, and how long will it last? Do you have any scheduled maintenance date and time? These are the questions that must be answered in the timeline section of your software maintenance agreement. 

7. Limitations and exclusion of liability

 This section covers the caveats to limit the liability of the maintenance engineer and its interpretation. The maintenance expert is not liable for loss of revenue, use, opportunities, and database. 

8. Ownership rights and confidentiality agreement 

This section handles ownership rights of intellectual property created in the course of the agreement. Since you and the client may exchange sensitive information, a confidentiality agreement will protect you and your client from divulging the trade secrets of each other. Usually, consultants and businesses make use of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect themselves. 

9. Termination 

There should be a provision for contract termination without cause, breach of contract, or untimely withdrawal from the agreement by each party. The software maintenance agreement should specify fees, fine, and method of conflict resolution. 

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