Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk: How to Make an Informed Decision

Zendesk is one of the leaders on the help desk software market. But what happens when another leader like Atlassian’s Jira extends its product line and launches a help desk of its own?

Do these companies become direct competitors? How to make the best choice comparing JIRA Service Desk vs Zendesk? Let’s find answers together.

Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk: The Background

Jira Service Desk was launched in 2013 as another product by Atlassian that complements popular issue tracking platform. In just a few years Jira Service Desk managed to acquire the giants like Twitter, Square, Cisco, Vistaprint, Sotheby’s, Puppet Labs as the customers. As of now, more than 20,000 companies have chosen Jira as a service desk for their support teams.

Zendesk has started out in 2007 and was launched as a startup by three developers. The years have passed and today over 40,000 companies including Uber, Slack, Shopify, L'oreal and others use Zendesk as software for customer service.

What do They Have in Common

As we are assessing two leading products it is not discussed that both have all the essential features and polished UI. Among other features, they offer knowledge base integration. Zendesk makes it a part of their pricing plan, while Jira Service Desk offers as integration with their another product called Confluence.

The same situation is with multichannel support. Zendesk offers it out of the box starting from their cheapest plan, while Jira Service Desk as a paid integration with their partner Hootsuite.

Both Jira and Zendesk have extensive add-ons ecosystem. Using Jira Service Desk, you get access to 1,800+ add-ons from the Atlassian Marketplace. In its turn, Zendesk offers over 500 apps from its own marketplace.

Lastly, both help desks have the open API that enables to seamlessly integrate other solutions into your business.

How is Jira Service Desk Different

Besides a hosted solution they offer the on-premise product. After signing up for Jira trial you get free and fully functional service desk.

Pricing model

The pricing is based on the number of agents. For smaller teams up to 3 agent accounts, they have $10 plan/per agent, while for larger teams you will have to pay $20/per agent. Both plans offer equal features.

Although, Jira Service Desk is free for non-commercial organizations and open source projects.

Most notable features

Among the features that make Jira Service Desk stand out of the crowd we would name:

  • SLAs that are easy to modify and configure;
  • automation of routine processes;
  • recommended solutions for users in the knowledge base.

Jira is one platform that serves the needs of development and support teams. What is more, it is a great choice for companies who already use Jira products.

How is Zendesk Different

Pricing model

Zendesk offers 5 plans that differ by the features available. The cheapest Essential plan with the basic features would cost $5 per agent per month (billed annually). To get access to the addons and custom themes users would have to purchase $19 plan and higher.

Zendesk provides free trial for the $49 Professional plan and higher.

Most notable features

Zendesk’s flexible plans and a host of features make it an excellent tool for small as well as large companies.

For your information, here are the most prominent features:

  • community forum;
  • rich branding and customization;
  • benchmark tool that allows comparing your company performance rates against your target or competitors’ rates;
  • over 20 reports and dashboards.


As we see Jira Service Desk and Zendesk are both strong solutions with robust features and both of them have their focus and peculiarities.

Jira Service Desk offers the ability to manage not only customer requests but employees’ as well. Even more, its combination with other Jira products creates a strong synergic effect.

Zendesk, on the other hand, is user-oriented and flexible. In its turn, it offers powerful reporting and analytic tools.

However, the best way to solve Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk dilemma is still to try both solutions yourself. So, don’t be afraid to ask for an extended trial, most companies would do you such a favor especially if you mention that you are trying out their competitor.

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