"I would love to hear the story from the Genesys side," said analyst Frank Scavo, president of the consulting firm Strativa. "Unless there are mitigating factors not mentioned in this lawsuit, it would appear that Genesys has a gun pointed to the head of Lands' End. If this was standard language in Genesys' contract 20 years ago, I have to wonder if other customers have run up against this problem and how they have resolved it."
Whatever the outcome of the case, there's a lesson to be learned for all software customers, according to Scavo.
"Twenty years may seem like a long time when you are signing a software agreement, but when you are signing a software agreement, you need to assume you will reach the end of any license period," he said.
"I would advise buyers to negotiate a perpetual license agreement whenever possible," Scavo added. "I would advise buyers to avoid limited term licenses to avoid situations like the one that Lands' End now appears to be in. If the vendor insists on a limited license period, buyers should at least negotiate the terms of extending the license agreement beyond the termination period."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com