Checklist: Trial/POC

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:

  1. How long will the trial continue?  Does the customer have an option to extend the trial?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. Is the customer paying for the trial? Can the customer deduct the trial payment against the charges for a purchase of a full deployment?
  5. If the trial involves the use of any supplier hardware or other equipment, who is responsible for any loss or damage during the trial?
  6. Does the trial involve the processing of the customer’s personal data, and require data processing terms to be agreed?

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