Choosing the Right Tool: Jira Service Management vs Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the leaders in the help desk software market. But what happens when another leader like Atlassian’s Jira software 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 Management vs Zendesk? Let’s find answers together.

Before you jump into the article, take a look at the visual comparison of Jira Service Management vs Zendesk:

Zendesk vs Jira Service Management: Making the Right Call

Zendesk vs Jira: A Short Review of Both Tools

A Short Review of Jira Service Management

Before diving into the Jira vs Zendesk comparison, let’s take a look at both platforms separately. Jira Service Management is a powerful IT service management (ITSM) tool that offers a wide range of features and functionalities. With its user-friendly interface, customizable workflows, and robust ticketing system, Jira Service Management makes it easy to manage and resolve IT issues efficiently. The platform also includes automation capabilities, real-time reporting, and integration options with other popular tools.

Jira SM Tickets

All open tickets in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

Compared to Zendesk, Jira Service Management has built-in support for agile development, ensuring seamless collaboration for your teams. Stay connected on projects with the complete mobile app suite. You can even manage user access to customer data and other important information with the role-based user management system.

Exploring Zendesk: A Brief Overview

Zendesk is a versatile customer service and SaaS support solution designed to handle support issues and tickets from various channels. With its self-service portal, you can seamlessly integrate live chat, email, phone, and social media interactions.

Slack Side Conversation Zendesk

Using Slack for side conversations in Zendesk. Source: Zendesk

It also enables you to organize your customer support team into different departments, ensuring smooth collaboration across roles like sales, marketing, and technical services. Zendesk is your all-in-one hub for efficient and effective customer support.

Jira Service Management vs Zendesk: The Background

Jira Service Management was launched in 2013 as another product by Atlassian that complements popular issue tracking platforms. Built with IT Service Management in mind, Jira assists businesses with incident, problem, and change management. In just a few years, Jira Service Management managed to acquire giants like X (aka Twitter), Square, NASA, Spotify, Cisco, Vistaprint, LinkedIn, Sotheby’s, Puppet Labs as customers. As of now, more than 20,000 companies have chosen Jira as a service desk for their support teams.

New queue in Jira Service Management

Source: Atlassian

Zendesk started 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. It's possible to use Zendesk Support as a standalone or purchase the Suite to take advantage of the Guide (self-service), Talk (call center), and Chat (live messaging) functionality. Recently, Zendesk added features for ITIL practices so that companies can focus on both internal and external services, just like with Jira Service Management.

Deciding between Jira vs Zendesk

Zendesk vs Jira Service Management: What do They Have in Common?

As we compare Zendesk vs Jira, it's important to note that both offer essential features such as ticket management, SLAs, automation, knowledge bases, reporting and analytics, integration, customization, collaboration tools, and a polished user interface.

Jira Service Desk ticketing

The ticket menu and possible actions for agents in Jira Service Management

While Zendesk and Jira Service Management share many common features, they also have some differences in terms of their target audience, pricing, user interface, and additional functionalities.

Zendesk ticketing

The appearance of Zendesk Support ticket with all the details on the case. Source: Zendesk

Knowledge management: Jira vs Zendesk

Among other features, Zendesk vs Jira Service Management offer knowledge base integration, which is also possible to customize according to your personal needs. Both customer service systems provide various features for knowledge-based content creation, management, search, and analytics.

Confluence interface

The main dashboard in Confluence for managing the knowledge base. Source: Atlassian

In Zendesk, you'll have to purchase a separate product called Guide to be able to provide self-service options. In its turn, Jira Service Management offers it as an integration with another product called Confluence.

Zendesk Guide view

Agent interface in Zendesk Guide. Source: Dribbble

Multichannel support in Zendesk and Jira

The same situation is with multichannel support. You can link any of your company's accounts from email to social media and receive customer queries right in the system. As well as you don't have to sort them out by hand or jump between thousands of tabs.

Conversation in Jira Service Management

Conversation with the customer in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

Both customer support solutions get the job done without the headaches for your customer support staff. Zendesk and Jira offer native support for various channels that allow communication with customers through their preferred channels and ensure quality customer service.

Messaging in Zendesk

Messaging in Zendesk. Source: Zendesk

Automation capabilities

Either using Zendesk vs Jira, you’ll notice numerous options for your support team to eliminate mundane tasks and make the support process as automated as possible.

creating automation rules in jira service desk

Creating a new automation rule with Native automation in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

But it doesn’t mean that your customer support will become less humanlike. No, pre-defined ticket responses, customer search history, ticket prioritization, routing, customer service portals, and even more will only simplify a huge part of your agents’ workflow.

Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk automation

Creating a new automation rule in Zendesk. Source: Youtube

Reporting & Analytics in Zendesk and Jira

Both Jira Service Management vs Zendesk offer wide reporting and analytics options, which help your team easily identify the main trends in customer behavior and change the customer support approaches accordingly.

Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk reporting

The reporting dashboard in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

Use any way you like from the available - from analytics of any part of the workflow to customer satisfaction ratings. The dashboard with all the key data will always be on hand for analysis. Anyway, the main purpose remains the same - to assess and breed customer service quality.

reporting dashboard in zendesk explore

The reporting dashboard in Zendesk Explore. Source: Zendesk

Agent experience

Customer support essentially starts with supporting your staff. Either with Jira or Zendesk, your agents can easily resolve tickets, interact with customers in a high-quality way, and feel valued in their daily workflows and as customer support professionals. This is possible because both customer service solutions provide centralized platforms for smoothly managing and tracking customer inquiries in one place.

Customer support issues in Jira Service Management

Work on customer support issues in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

Zendesk and Jira also offer customization options for defining automation rules, triggers, and conditions, reducing agents' manual effort. In addition, self-service options like knowledge bases, machine learning capabilities, and AI-driven tools will only enhance your agent's experience.

The Zendesk Agent Workspace

The Zendesk Agent Workspace. Source: Zendesk

SLA Reporting

Continuing our Zendesk vs Jira Service Management comparison, another important point is the availability of SLA reporting on both platforms. Why? Because your customers should always be assured of the services they pay for.

SLA goals in Jira Service Management

SLA goals report in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

Your team should know which tasks are key at the moment. Whether you choose Zendesk or Jira Service Management, you'll have that feature available at any time of day or night.

The Zendesk SLA statuses

The Zendesk SLA statuses in views. Source: Zendesk

Zendesk vs Jira: integration capabilities

Both Jira and Zendesk have extensive add-on ecosystems. Using Jira Service Management, you get access to 1,800+ add-ons from the Atlassian Marketplace. Zendesk, in turn, offers over 500 apps from its marketplace.

Lastly, both help desks have an open API that seamlessly integrates other solutions into your business. Both Zendesk and Jira integration possibilities are equally good, considering the wide range of applications they’re supporting.

Atlassian Marketplace

The Atlassian Marketplace. Source: Atlassian

Zendesk Marketplace

The Zendesk Marketplace. Source: Zendesk

Zendesk vs Jira Service Management: Key Differences

Jira Service Management and Zendesk are two industry-leading customer service management platforms, each with its own differences and benefits. Let's take a closer look at both platforms' most notable features, pricing models and their target users to determine what makes them unique.

How is Jira Service Management Different

jira service desk vs zendesk

Most notable features

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 Atlassian products. Among the features that make Jira Service Management stand out of the crowd, we would name:

  • Asset management options. With dedicated asset management tools at hand, Jira can help you work most cost-effectively by managing both your software and hardware. Agents can link assets to their requests and, thus, get more context about the issue right from the ticket.
  • Enterprise-level data center. You can keep all the information safe from corruption and loss and don’t have to worry about running out of storage space. Your data will be secure as well as compliant with any policy of your company. Moreover, the Jira data center will always satisfy your needs as it scales as your company and customer base grows.
  • Filtering capabilities. In Jira, they enable you to set up and view custom filters. Make the workflow even more convenient using these filters you created beforehand and share them within the company or even outside of your organization. You can even create lists of your favorite filters, export the search results in many formats, and have the search results emailed on schedule.
  • Project management. Create your projects and assign tasks for each team member to simplify the process, spare costs, inspire teamwork, and keep up with the timelines. Also, the project management system in Jira Service Management is highly customizable. So, you can be sure about the max adjustment of the tools to any step of your team's workflow.
  • Server and cloud versions. Jira Service Management cares about its users' comfort. So, it made the system available in both on-premise and cloud versions. Each one has its own pros and cons. But, this also allows you to choose a more comfortable form for running your business. To trust your service desk to the professionals or to control everything yourself - it’s up to you.

Digging into the Jira SM pricing model

Jira Service Management Pricing | Help Desk Migration Blog

Jira Service Management Data Center Pricing

The pricing is based on the number of agents. For smaller teams up to 3 agent accounts, they have a free plan with 2GB of storage and Community Support. While for larger teams, you will have to pay a $22.05/agent per month. Jira offers a 7-day free trial of Standard or Premium plan as well as on-demand product demo.

For Jira Service Management Data Center, pricing is also based on the number of agents you have. Hosting a fully functional copy on your hardware is free for 30 days.

Although comparing Zendesk vs Jira Service Management, Jira provides discounts for Academic Data Center subscriptions and Community Data Center subscriptions.

Jira SM’s types of users

Jira Service Management is the go-to solution for IT support professionals who crave more than just an ordinary ticketing system. It empowers your development and other teams by ensuring seamless collaboration with the right support professionals. Enjoy a wide range of ITSM features such as asset management, change management, incident management, and request management with Jira.

Jira Service Management Triggers

Automations in Jira Service Management. Source: Atlassian

However, for small to mid-sized businesses in need of straightforward help desk software to handle basic customer or employee issues and track customer experience, Jira SM may offer more complexity than required.

How is Zendesk Different

Unlike Jira Service Management, Zendesk provides omnichannel products, various integrations, and Professional Services. These specific services offer existing customers options to a) introduce a new channel; b) fine-tune features and functionality; c) modernize the customer experience processes; d) move customer data from any help desk solution.

This way, they can minimize time to value and deploy with confidence. Thus, the Professional Services fee starts at $8K for setting up one channel. If all you need is secure and quick data transfer, that's quite a price.

Then again, you can consider Help Desk Migration. The automated migration service charges you for the number of imported records, going from $39. In addition, you can consolidate Zendesk instances or merge any other service desk or help desk platforms.

jira service desk vs zendesk

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:

  • Rich customization options. Customize almost every feature in your Zendesk account. Starting from the custom ticket views and the possibility to create various custom fields to the own design of your knowledge base and customer support portals. Everything to give them the idea of your brand.
  • Customer support portal and community forum. Create and customize an in-bound customer portal and community forum apart from the knowledge base so that customers can help each other in resolving common issues. Indeed, this is a huge time-saver for both your agents and customers. For instance, it will significantly reduce the number of repetitive questions. That's because your customers can just save the answers for later.
  • Chatbot system. Another helping hand for your support reps is this small but extremely effective feature. In Zendesk, you can set up a chatbot (as well as customize everything about it). Thus, it will resolve the simplest tasks and create a better customer experience using artificial intelligence.
  • Agent collision detection. The special system enables agents to view if another support rep is working on the issue and how they are interacting with this very ticket. As a result, your team can avoid spending time on the same task. And this is a huge time saver and productivity booster.
  • Real-time dashboards in Zendesk Explore. Zendesk offers the opportunity to view key metrics across all the live support channels - Support, Talk, and Chat. The data refreshes automatically and allows you to get a hold of the most recent information, which is crucial for making the right decision.
  • Benchmark tool. This unique Zendesk tool enables companies to measure their success by comparing their indicators to the competitors on the market. Sounds motivating, isn’t it?

What about Zendesk’s pricing model

Zendesk Pricing | Help Desk Migration Blog

Zendesk offers four plans that differ by the features available and cost per agent per month. The cheapest Suite Team tag with the basic features would cost $55 per agent per month (billed annually). Users would have to purchase a $89 plan or higher to access advanced features, more support, and storage.

Additionally, Zendesk provides a 14-day free trial of the Suite Professional plan or demo version to explore its features.

Note: You can link Zendesk Support for Jira Service Management, which essentially means you’re bringing the best of each platform together. This way, you can create a seamless workflow and unite your support and engineering teams together.

Zendesk’s types of users

In contrast to Jira, Zendesk caters to big brands and corporations with robust AI-powered features and advanced capabilities. It suits enterprises with a global customer base and scalability needs. However, small to mid-sized businesses or budget-conscious organizations may find Zendesk's higher pricing and complexity less suitable. Exploring more affordable and user-friendly alternatives would be recommended in those cases.

Zendesk Automation

Automations in Zendesk. Source: Zendesk

How to Choose Between Zendesk vs Jira Service Management?

Choosing between Jira Service Management vs Zendesk depends on your team's priorities and requirements. Let’s check the specific cases.


Jira Service Management

  • If budget is not a concern, Zendesk is a suitable choice with advanced features and 24x7 support for global customers.
  • It offers impressive features like multichannel reports, branding, analytics, and customizable dashboards.
  • Integration options are abundant, allowing seamless connectivity with tools like Zoom, Slack, Nicereply, Haptik, and more.
  • The robust Zendesk community and knowledge base provide valuable resources for continuous learning.
  • For IT support, Jira Service Management is a solid option tailored to IT needs.
  • It's cost-effective and ideal for mid-sized businesses.
  • Jira Service Management provides a reliable solution for core ITSM functionalities like change management, asset management, incident management, and knowledge management.
  • Its flexibility and customization options allow businesses to adapt to specific workflows and processes.

Making the Final Call Between Zendesk vs Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management vs Zendesk are both strong solutions with robust features and equally good user interfaces. However, each of them has its focus and peculiarities. In essence, Zendesk and Jira Service Management are two different platforms.

Jira Service Management offers the ability to manage not only customer requests but those from the employees as well. Even more, its combo 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 real-time reporting and analytic tools.

However, the best way to solve the Jira Service Management 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.

And if you are looking for data migration to one of these platforms (or any other help desk system), just drop us a line, and we'll make sure to get you started right away!

FAQs: Jira Service Management vs Zendesk

Both solutions are great in their respective fields. Jira Service Desk is better for organizing and managing projects when Zendesk is more suitable for end-user communication.
Yes, it can be. Jira Service Management includes all features of Jira Service Desk with richer ITSM capabilities.
Jira Service Desk is designed for customers to submit their requests to a support team. Jira, on the other hand, provides features to operate projects and teams.
Jira Service Desk offers its users an intuitive portal to choose the services they need or track their tickets’ progress. Plus, Jira workflows can increase team efficiency.
You can install the Jira integration on Zendesk to encourage collaboration between support and product teams. For example, your customer can report a bug in a ticket in Zendesk. Then your agent files a bug in Jira.

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