Before committing to a purchase and full deployment, a prospective customer may require a trial or ‘proof of concept’ (POC) of the supplier’s technology. Although a trial will be limited in both duration and scope, many of the implementation, licensing, data processing and liability issues that apply to full deployment will also apply to a trial.
Issues to consider when negotiating a trial/POC agreement include:
- How long will the trial continue? Does the customer have an option to extend the trial?
- What is the scope of the trial? Is the trial limited to a testing or staging environment, or is the customer entitled to deploy the technology in a live, production environment?
- Will the customer provide the supplier with formal feedback during or following the trial? Will the supplier be entitled to use data from the trial and/or customer feedback for marketing purposes?
- Is the customer paying for the trial? Can the customer deduct the trial payment against the charges for a purchase of a full deployment?
- If the trial involves the use of any supplier hardware or other equipment, who is responsible for any loss or damage during the trial?
- Does the trial involve the processing of the customer’s personal data, and require data processing terms to be agreed?