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Splunk, the publicly traded company selling software for analyzing logs from servers and other hardware, has succeeded in getting startup Sumo Logic, which sells cloud-based log-management software, to back off on certain marketing messaging that suggested Sumo Logic offered features that were competitive with Splunk’s.

The news came today in a statement from the Better Business Bureau’s Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, following a complaint from Splunk about statements on Sumo Logic’s website and Twitter timeline.

The move underlines the desire among startups like Sumo Logic and Loggly to go up against Splunk, especially following its entrance onto public markets in 2012. Lots of startups hope to match the capabilities of their rivals and occasionally resort to language suggesting they are comparable or better. The difference here is Sumo Logic is getting called out after Splunk decided to take action.

According to the statement today, Sumo Logic had said it had feature parity with Splunk around several features, including:

  • universal, real-time indexing
  • reporting
  • dashboards
  • monitoring and alerting
  • data forwarding and receiving
  • role-based access controls
  • developer APIs
  • enterprise apps
  • knowledge mapping

Sumo Logic did have something to say for itself:

We respectfully disagree with Splunk’s assertions that the disputed claims are false, misleading, and deceptive, however, in the interest of resolving this dispute quickly we accept [the BBB’s National Advertising Division’s] decision in its entirety and agree to discontinue the advertising of (i) a comparison chart on the www.sumologic.com website entitled “Machine Data Analytics Showdown: Sumo Logic vs. Splunk”, (ii) a blog on www.sumologic.com entitled “differentiators”, and (iii) a post on the website entitled “Sumo Logic vs. Splunk: Top 6 reasons to think beyond Splunk” and have ceased plans to send any emails and social media promotions to prospects and customers containing the disputed materials included in (i)-(iii) above, and otherwise agrees to take NAD’s recommendations with respect to this matter into account in its future advertising.

Earlier this week, Sumo Logic announced that it had brought on a new chief executive, VMware veteran Ramin Sayar. Sumo Logic also said that in 2014 its customer base had increased by more than 300 percent year over year, with bookings going up by 400 percent.


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