SaaS - The "Service" is important

I really hate when you find a brilliant piece of software, something that will help aid in your daily productivity, and then find out you can't use it because of mismanaged business practices. For a while now at Newstex we've swapped between multiple logging solutions, until we had finally landed on SplunkStorm. SplunkStorm was designed to be the SaaS version of Splunk, all cloud-based, allowing us to push all of our logs directly to it and not worry about managing servers, or upgrades to software. It just worked, and it worked pretty well. When they finally announced pricing, we were quick to jump on board. We picked up 500GB worth of logging to keep our logs around for 30 days. It did graphs, post-mortem analysis, and even allowed us to post-process messages after they had already been sent to the system. We could get Analytics out of it without a problem, and they even added support for Alerting (although in beta).

Then the business team got involved

Unfortunately Splunk is a public company, and they decided that SplunkStorm wasn't going to be supported anymore (I still have several outstanding support emails from months ago that will never be responded to). You can't pay for any more they 50GB of storage (which is now just free). It's a "lite" version, and you also can't get Alerts added to new projects. We quickly exceeded the 50GB/month storage quota, but couldn't get an upgrade without going to "SplunkCloud". 

In theory, this was a great idea, Splunk Cloud was just Splunk run as a Service, not a modified version. That meant we could get an API into the system, and integrate with third party services like Tableau. This was great, we thought, so we started the process to see what it would take to get the service.

Splunk does not want to sell to small companies

They advertise themselves as the "Enterprise" logging solution, and they don't want to sell to "small fish". They say they want new clients, but they aren't willing to work with you. The worst part about it was they have absolutely no idea what a remote company is. They passed us off from salesperson to salesperson because they couldn't figure out "who's region we belong to". The first person we talked to wasn't going to help us because he wouldn't get credit for a sale.

Competition among employee's is good for the company, bad for the customer.

I just wanted to buy

We didn't care who got "credit", we wanted to buy. We were ready to give these people our money, $10k/year (which was higher then we really wanted to spend, but it's the cheapest they would give us). We wanted to know where to sign up, they had no idea what that meant. Their system only worked by sending a P/O, and they could only bill annually.


Over a month later

4 weeks went by, still with very little idea of what was going on. We asked to bill quarterly, they didn't respond for another week or so. Finally at the end of the month, we get a response from someone who was ready to talk about sales, but still hadn't gotten final approval to bill us quarterly, just that they were "working on it".

Too little, too late

At this point we'd decided to switch and check out the new Loggly Gen2 systems. We're still in the process of switching over, but the sign up process was painless. We could fill out a few sliders to configure exactly how much we wanted to spend, and enter a credit card and you're done. That's a SaaS system. We did have a small hiccup in the beginning because we had an old account, but a quick tweet got their response within a few minutes, and a resolution within a few hours.

So we're back to Loggly, at least for now. Why? not because Loggly's software is better, but because the SERVICE they have is better. Loggly started as the service for small companies, and they get it. In a small company every resource is important.
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