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In software escrow, organizations engage an independent escrow agent to store and protect source code and related intellectual assets of a vendor. If a “trigger event” specified in the escrow agreement occurs, organizations can then obtain these assets from the agent.
Escrow generally protects against trigger events like bankruptcy, ceased operations, and competitor takeovers. In these scenarios, the vendor may cease to support applications the customer depends on, so escrow allows the customer access to the source code to facilitate continued use of those applications.