Legal contract analysis is an invaluable skill required in today’s market system. No, organization, institution or business entity can solely exist on its own. This means that all organizations enter into agreements with other entities, which are documented in a legal document. The main aim of the legal document is to ensure any party that contravenes any or all parts of the agreement could be legally pursued in a court of law. Another aim of a legal contract is for referencing the terms and conditions as stipulated in the agreement. One such legal contract is one between CSU Chico Foundation and the client college pertaining to the provision of SAP services. It is of paramount importance to analyze carefully a legal contract before entering into agreement. This is to ensure all the pertinent interests are protected and no party takes is disadvantaged by the contract.
Attributes desired by the client university
The client university desires to be serviced with system maintenance services. Since SAP is an online application system used on a daily basis, system maintenance is paramount to ensure it runs always on optimal levels. SAP is not a product such as a car or premises where the user can execute maintenance procedures. It can be considered a service such as internet or pay television where the provider is in the sole position of carrying out maintenance procedures (Abramowicz, 2008).
On careful analysis of the agreement contract between the two parties, it is evident that this requirement is adequately protected. The agreement contract indicates the foundation has lost responsibility of implementing system maintenance procedures for the entire system. The agreement further states the maintenance of the system will be carried out during non-prime hours. These hours are taken to be from 12:00 midnight up until 8:00 AM. The timings are set on foundation time zones.
The client also expects to be serviced with a customer help support centre. Since the university is bound to encounter some hic ups while operating the software, the university expects to be furnished with a help support desk where it can take all its queries. The university also expects the support desk to be within reach and operating within working hours. It is also expected that the foundation is to respond to the queries with urgency as soon as is reasonably possible.
On proper examination of the contract, it is evident that this requirement is adequately protected. The contract states that the foundation will provide a help desk to the client university. This is however only limited to the university’s faculty only. The contract outlines the hours of service delivery for the help desk to be from 8:00 AM up until 5:00 PM. The timings are set on the foundation time zones. The agreement stipulates the foundation to avail telephone services with voicemail. The telephone calls made are to receive correspondence within two hours. This is however, stated to be within the normal working hours, which are taken to be from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The client university expects to be serviced with remote access avenues since the service is not hosted onsite. The foundation hosts and provides the services at its locations. This means that most of the information is to be communicated via the internet. The client university therefore expects the foundation to service it with the relevant remote access avenues where the services can be accesses.
The agreement contract stipulates that it is the responsibility of the foundation to provide the client university with the SAP graphical user interface. If this ends up being insufficient, the foundation will provide an internet browser. This will be executed under industrial technology systems. The foundation could either provide an internet browser via enterprise portals. This is however restricted to a minimum of two.
The client expects the foundation to avail the system when it is required. This is of course after making the agreed upon payments. This therefore requires the foundation to provide the system the whole day and throughout the week. This is necessary, as it is cumbersome to provide the system on request. The client university also expects to be serviced with user accounts for the authorized personnel. This is necessary to ensure data integrity as only legitimate persons will have access to the system. This also ensures maximum flexibility for the end users.
The agreement contract stipulates the foundation is to avail the system to the client university throughout the period of tenure. The foundation is to avail the system for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This is inclusive of the application uptime. However, the system will not be availed during the scheduled maintenance. The foundation is expected to avail the system for a period not less than twelve months in a year. The agreement further stipulates that the foundation is to provide technical support during the normal working hours. Normal working hours in this case are taken to be between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM foundation times.
The client university expects to be oriented through the set up and shown how it works. This is to prepare adequately for the efficient utilization of the service. The agreement indicates that this requirement is adequately protected. The agreement contract states that the foundation will prepare the Client University for Courses as they have been outlined by the university. The agreement contract however is not specific whether the foundation is required to run procedures to instantiate data sets for class exercises. The agreement contract goes ahead to state the foundation has the sole responsibility of ensuring the availability of user accounts and authorizations for the end users. The foundation will also ensure data integrity by providing authorization procedures such as passwords to authorized personnel only (Loos, & Fettke, 2007).
The client university expects all the operations to be carried out during reasonable working hours. This is because since it is the client, some of the operations could greatly disrupt normal running of the business. Careful analysis of the agreement contract indicates this interest is not properly protected. The agreement states most of the hours to be taken in terms of foundation. If the foundation and the client university were in different time zones, this would greatly hamper the smooth running of business in the client university. For instance, the agreement contract indicates the help desk will only be available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM foundation time. If during this time, the client university is usually closed, then the help desk will be irrelevant.
Attributes desired by the foundation
The first attribute desired by the foundation is that the client university makes all the relevant payments in due time. The foundation is mainly a profit making entity. This means that it expects to be paid for the services it provides to meet the cost expenses and additional profit on its capital. On careful analysis of the agreement, we find that the client university is bound by the agreement to make proper payments to the foundations in accordance with the amount and manner that is agreed. The agreement goes ahead to state that the foundation has the permissions and authority to terminate the hosting services if the client university fails in clearing the arrears (Aalst, 2005).
The foundation expects to be serviced with details of the calendar and scheduled classes. This is inclusive of the hours of operation. This is necessary so that the foundation is able to make consideration of proper SAP software to provide to the client university. The foundation needs to be serviced with the calendar for scheduled classes to deliberate on when and how to provide for the SAP services. On analyzing the agreement, it is evident that this requirement is protected. The agreement states that the foundation shall be serviced by the client university with the calendar of the scheduled classes. This will be inclusive of the instructor information and course outline.
The foundation expects the client university to come up with a workable curriculum for the courses to be offered. This goes to the extent of testing the exercises to ensure they are relevant and correct. Since the foundation is simply a host university, it does not come up with the courses, curriculum or academic material for testing students. The foundation therefore expects the client university to have come up with courses and syllabuses with properly testes student exercises. The foundation expects this to have been completed prior to the beginning of the program. The agreement contract indicates that this requirement is adequately protected. In addition, it states that it is the sole responsibility of the client university to develop the required curriculum. This also includes the testing of the student exercises before they are used (Roze, 2002).
The analysis of the agreement indicates that most of the requirements by both parties have been put into consideration. The only cause of disagreement is the setting up of the time zones with respect to the foundation time. This could end up rendering some of the services and procedures irrelevant as they could be availed during times when they are least needed. For instance, carrying out of maintenance procedures during peak hours would greatly hamper most of the activities in the client university.
Aalst, W. (2005). Business process management: 3rd international conference, BPM 2005, Nancy, France, September 5-8, 2005: proceedings. Wayne, PA: Springer Science & Business.
Abramowicz, W. ( 2008). Business information systems: 11th international conference, BIS 2008, Innsbruck, Austria, May 5-7, 2008, proceedings. New York, NY: Springer.
Loos, P. & Fettke, P. (2007). Reference modeling for business systems analysis. New York, NY: Idea Group Inc (IGI).
Roze, C. ( 2002). SAP BW certification: a business information warehouse study guide. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.