The 4 Levels of Verification: Verify Your Developer’s Compliance

By: In: Technology Escrow On: Aug 23, 2016
The 4 Levels of Verification: Verify Your Developer’s Compliance

Once you have made the decision of whether or not you need technology escrow, have chosen your agreement type, and your developer has made the initial deposit, it is easy to believe that your account is all set. But what if it’s not?

If you do not verify what is in your escrow account you put yourself at risk for scrambling around if you ever need to execute a release of the account.  Odds are, if you are requesting a release, your developer may not be able to help out. (Your release conditions likely included the developer going out of business, no longer supporting your application, or ceasing to do business in a normal manner).

A thorough verification of the escrow materials before they are ever needed provides assurance that, in the event of a deposit release, you would be able to quickly and effectively read, recreate, and maintain the technology in-house (or at least have a bridge until you switch developers).

 Myth: Verification is an Act of Bad Faith

To be clear, this is not an issue of bad faith.  To the contrary, our experience shows that some developers need our help understanding what a full and complete set of escrow materials should contain.

76 of deposits incomplete


How Do I Pick What Level of Verification is Right for Me?

 There are 4 levels of verification, with each level of testing being more expansive than the level before it.  It’s a recommended best practice for all escrow agreements to include at least a basic verification.  Let one of our agents work with you to pick the level that makes the most sense for you.  As a rule of thumb, the higher the risk, the higher the level of verification we recommend to our customers.

File List Report

List all file types in the account.

Level 1: Inventory & Analysis Test

Provides a complete audit and inventory analysis of the deposit and determines if the account information is complete.

Level 2: Compile Test

Validates whether or not the development environment can be recreated from the escrow deposit.

Level 3: Binary Comparison Test

Compares files in Level 2 to what the licensee has on-site to see if they match.

Level 4: Full Usability Test

Assures the licensee that what is in escrow will be fully usable in the event of a release.


How Often Should I Re-test?

We typically suggest an annual re-test, but that differs based on the client, how often the technology is expected to change, and how critical those changes are.  Our team is experienced and equipped to help you put together a testing schedule based on the technology update/release schedule


For more information on this, and a breakdown of the 6 steps to achieving best practice with Technology Escrow, download our full guide now:

IPM_Social_Licensee Ebook


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About the author

Nadine Dias

Nadine Dias joined Iron Mountain as a Marketing Specialist for the Intellectual Property Management (IPM) team. In this role, she works closely with the IPM Sales team to educate the market about the importance of protecting your IP in terms of technology escrow (and verification), cloud software protection, discovery escrow in IP litigation, and financial SEC /CFTC compliance. Nadine holds a Masters of Science in Marketing Analytics with a concentration in Business Analytics as well as Bachelors of Science in Marketing from Bentley University.