What is the first step in negotiating a SaaS Contract?
From the customer side –
For me, the first step before I start reviewing a contract is to have a kick-off meeting with the business unit that’s implementing the project.
1. Getting to know the team – learn more about the business unit, what it does, who the stakeholders are, how they work. Let them get to know you – your role as legal counsel on this matter, how you work through a negotiation, what your next steps are
2. Getting to know the overarching project – this is crucial before reviewing a SaaS agreement. This is where you ask a lot of questions about the overarching goal of the project, how this particular SaaS application fits in, what problem it is trying to solve.
3. Learning the nitty-gritty – Especially if this is a new area for you, try to drill down to the details of what the SaaS application is doing. How does it integrate with the rest of the customer’s system, what information and data does it process, what does the application deliver or output, how do the users interact with the application.
Negotiating a SaaS contract is about creating a contract that helps your client meet its business goals effectively. And you can’t do that unless you know the underlying details.