While most of these issues can be addressed in a reseller agreement or service-level agreement, many vendors seek to limit their responsibility for the risk of loss from the services they provide much the same way as the typical security provider (smartly) does. Find out upfront if the provider is motivated to get your business and will protect you in the event its acts, errors or omissions result in claims asserted against you by subscribers or other third parties.
No matter what, make sure you've covered yourself in your subscriber agreements so no gap exists between what you're getting from the service provider and what you're providing your subscribers. Be mindful of the clouds: Even the smallest holes in the roof can let in rain during a bad storm.
Eric Pritchard, SD&I's legal columnist, is a partner in Kleinbard Bell & Brecker LLP, Philadelphia, a commercial law firm with a national practice in the electronic security and life safety industries.