There are contractual bases for all commercial transactions at SerNet. As many as possible are based on the German Civil Code (BGB) without additional individual contractual effort. This applies in particular to the individual transactions for purchase or leasing. In the case of continuing obligations, on the other hand, SerNet concludes contracts with its customers using different general terms and conditions (T&C), which can be roughly divided into three groups:
Contracts according to EVB-IT
Many of SerNet's customers are public sector institutions and the EVB-IT is therefore the contractual basis. That is why the standard contract for services at cost is linked to the EVB-IT Dienstleistung - even if the customer is not a public institution. This allows SerNet to offer all customers the same contract template, which consists of only 2 pages of contract details, to which the GTC are attached. Software transfer is also preferably concluded according to the EVB-IT Softwareüberlassung Type A or Type B.
Contracts according to SerNet Terms & Conditions
Contracts for work, where SerNet owes a result and not only the effort, are concluded with the standard T&C of SerNet. These contracts always consist of a contract jacket, a service description and the T&C, which have not changed since February 2002 and thus also reflect the reliability of our services and contracts.
At the instigation of SerNet or the customer, additional contracts must be concluded depending on the content of the contract. This can be a contract for commissioned data processing (AV contract) in accordance with the data protection regulations of the GDPR, an agreement on the minimum wage, compliance with environmental standards and much more. For international customers, further contract components are added, for example, on tax law or export regulations.
SerNet's standard support contract explains our services and agrees on pricing during and outside of business hours:
- Support: Installation, administration, configuration, operation
- Consulting: planning, conception, consulting, training
- Development: Software customization and development
Budget contracts are a special feature of SerNet: SerNet offers that customers can agree on fixed budgets that are either paid in advance (with a corresponding discount) or worked off on a time-and-materials basis. SerNet then takes over the monitoring of these budgets and never bills for services over and above the budget framework.
Currently, the "EVB-IT Dienstleistung" in the version of April 1, 2018" are valid and can be downloaded from the CIO of the Federal Government.
In contrast to the support contract, in which SerNet owes only the effort (albeit properly according to the state of the art), the maintenance contract of SerNet is a contract for work, from which SerNet owes the customer the result. Accordingly, warranty law and other aspects from the BGB apply.
Accordingly, not only the services are rendered carefully and value is placed on compliance with standards, clean documentation over the entire period of the customer relationship and an exemplary accounting system with hourly records. Already in the contract we proceed carefully and in detail and describe the services as precisely as possible in implementation provisions regarding SerNet's services and the customer's obligations to cooperate.
The time frame of the contract with start of contract and termination provisions are clearly described in the general terms and conditions - even though SerNet is very accommodating in most cases in the event of modification or discontinuation of services and also holds its own suppliers accountable for achieving maximum customer orientation.
Even if companies and even some authorities are grumbling about the tight corset of data protection in the GDPR, we at SerNet consider the regulations and rights to informational self-determination to be an important social advance that we support and want to promote compliance with.
However, when it comes to personal data, and there in particular the risks of digitized processing, it may be that we process such data the customer on behalf - for example, in the support of mail servers, databases or archiving solutions.
The law prescribes the DPA for these cases - the contract for commissioned data processing. In addition to the definition of general regulations, the documentation of the TOM is the most important part of the AV contract: these are the Technical-Organizational Measures that SerNet will comply with in a binding manner to protect customer data.
The secured management of Internet domains under the most important endings .DE, .COM and .EU and beyond is an important service provided by SerNet. It includes not only the reservation as such and the protection against loss of a domain name, the replacement of which can be expensive and time-consuming and can lead to very problematic interruptions of availability.
SerNet also manages the DNS servers, i.e. the online databases of the Domain Name System, in which all resources of the customer are listed, where a name should point to an IP address or a service provider in the network. DNS records point to web servers or mail servers, contain a lot of information about cloud systems. They also inform about rules of encryption or coordinate information about certificate creation and much more.
If a customer wants to manage its DNS servers itself and has the necessary technical competence to do so, it is given the corresponding access by SerNet. The transfer of this responsibility is recorded contractually, because this means that SerNet no longer provides an important part of the security services and the customer must explicitly agree to this.