ServiceKey President: Service Provider Wrongly Accused In Oracle Lawsuit

Calling the service provider itself a "victim," Service Key President Angela Vines Friday told CRN that the company has contacted local and federal authorities and is conducting its own investigation into allegations in a lawsuit filed by Oracle.

ServiceKey, Vines said, has never had any "direct or indirect business relationship" with DLT Federal Business Systems, which allegedly teamed with the service provider in what Oracle has called a "gray market conspiracy to sell support on Oracle hardware to customers with no active support contract with Oracle."

"ServiceKey has never had a business relationship with DLT Federal Business Systems," said Vines. "We have received no monetary gain or monies for any of the alleged activities. We have not previously or currently supported any Oracle hardware, software or application with DLT Federal Business Systems for any of the (federal) agencies mentioned in the claim."

Vines said ServiceKey's only apparent link to the alleged gray market activity is a former ServiceKey employee named in the Oracle lawsuit. That former employee, Vines said, resigned from ServiceKey 17 months ago.

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The Norcross, Ga. based ServiceKey has already contacted local police and the fraud information technology unit of the FBI in an effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible, said Vines. "We want to find out what happened here and get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible," she said. "This comes as a shock to us. We have been wrongly accused and we are doing everything we can to protect our integrity and let our customers know that we are a victim here as well. The best thing we can do is respond aggressively. We are going to conduct our own thorough investigation. It is going to become clear very quickly that we were not involved in this incident."

Several calls to DLT Federal Business Systems, a Wilmington, Del. corporation, were not returned at press time. DLT refers to itself on its Web site as a "rapidly growing systems integration organization implementing cutting edge technology solutions from HP, IBM, Cisco, EMC, Dell" and other vendors to provide over "100,000 IT products via numberous contract vehicles."

DLT Federal Business Systems is not affiliated with DLT Solutions, number 36 on UBM Channel's VAR 500 list of top solution providers in North America, said a DLT Solutions spokesperson.

Oracle, for its part, would not comment on ServiceKey's claims that it has been wrongfully accused in the lawsuit.

Oracle filed the lawsuit on February 17 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The lawsuit alleges that ServiceKey and DLT Federal Business Systems conspired to "steal and distribute copyrighted proprietary Oracle software code."

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As to the specific Oracle allegations that ServiceKey credentials were used to download an "excessive number of items" from the Oracle service system, Vines said the service provider has "no knowledge of such events and our company does not have the technical mechanisms or infrastructure to enable massive downloads referenced in the lawsuit."

ServiceKey said it was unaware of the Oracle allegations until the company received the Oracle lawsuit this week and is now reaching out proactively to its solution provider customers assuring them that the service provider will continue to maintain the highest level of integrity and services standards.

"We are continuing our business in the same ethical manner we have always conducted ourselves," said Vines. "We are contacting our customers and letting them know the facts." She said she has been "heartened" by the strong support the company has already received from solution provider customers.

"We appreciate their support," she said. "We want them to know we are the victims here and we are working to resolve this as quickly as possible."

Vines said she is confident that the facts will come out with regard to the lawsuit and ServiceKey will move forward as a "reputable service provider assisting the solution provider community in growing their services revenue."