Contract certification standards.
Balanced terms lead to frictionless contracting.
IT contract templates commonly favor the party who wrote them, typically the seller. A meaningful minority of companies, however, have chosen to offer balanced, or even customer-favorable, terms in the interest of removing legal friction from getting business done.
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How TermScout's certification works.
TermScout offers IT vendors the opportunity to have their contracts independently reviewed against objective criteria and certified as being either Balanced or Customer Favorable where the data supports certification.
In order to qualify for Certification, an IT contract must meet the following criteria:
- Achieve a TermScout rating of Balanced or Customer Favorable, and
- Be free of all designated Deal Breaker clauses.
The difference between certified Balanced and certified Customer Favorable is the TermScout favorability rating achieved by the contract.
Each of these criteria is more fully described below.
1. Balanced Or Better Rating
A contract is balanced when it allocates risks between the parties in a roughly equal manner, as determined by TermScout’s two-step, data-driven analysis. First, we use our proprietary AI to abstract over 750 defined data points from each contract we analyze. Then, we use an algorithm to objectively score that data. Because TermScout looks at the exact same set of data points and uses the exact same scoring algorithm in every contract analysis we conduct, you can now compare contracts on an apples-to-apples basis. (You can read more about the data points that TermScout analyzes in every IT contract here.)
This enables us to objectively rate contracts at both the agreement level and by key topic area (e.g., limitations of liability, indemnification, warranties, etc.) and show you which contracts are vendor favorable, which are customer favorable, and which are balanced. Here are some examples of what contracts look like that fall into each of these categories.¹
- Vendor Favorable: Gusto, AppHarbor, AWS
- Balanced: Oracle, Salesforce, Crossbeam
- Customer Favorable: Freshworks, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud
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2. No Deal Breakers
Not all risks are created equal. Even if a contract shifts only a single risk to the buyer, the contract still may not merit certification if that risk is material enough. Examples of these types of Deal Breakers include exclusivity, complete disclaimers of liability, etc. Accordingly, TermScout will not certify a contract if it contains any of the following Deal Breaker clauses,² which TermScout identified by reference to market data and input from prominent buy-side and sell-side legal experts from TermScout’s Innovation Advisory Council:
Vendor Disclaims all Liability
Restriction on Customer’s right to compete
There is one or more restrictions on Customer’s right to solicit
Restrictions on Customer’s ability to procure similar products or services
Vendor receives broad usage rights in data provided by Customer
Customer assigns some work product or other IP to vendor
Vendor is not obligated to protect customer’s confidential information
Contact our client solutions team today.
Everyone says their contracts are great, now you can prove it with third-party validation. Certified Contracts can Reduce Negotiations by up to 30%.