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. It is another product by Atlassian that complements popular issue tracking platform. In just a few years service desk from 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. It was launched as a startup by three developers. Today over 40,000 companies including Uber, Slack, Shopify, L'oreal and others use Zendesk as a 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 as a part of their pricing plan, Jira Service Desk as an 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, Jira Service Desk as a paid integration with their partner Hootsuite.

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

Open API of both help desks 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. Signing up for Jira trial you get free and fully functional service desk.

Pricing model

The pricing is based on agents. For smaller teams up to 3 agents, they have $10 plan/per agent. Larger teams pay $20/per agent. Both plans offer equal features.

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:

  • configurable SLAs that are easy to modify;
  • 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. 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 customizable 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 as for small as well as large companies.

Here are the most remarkable features:

  • community forum functionality;
  • rich branding and customization opportunities;
  • benchmark tool that allows comparing your company performance rates against your target rates or your competitors’ rates;
  • oiver 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 functionality to manage not only customer requests but employees’ as well. Its combination with other Jira products creates a strong synergic effect.

Zendesk on the other hand, is user-oriented and flexible. It offers powerful reporting and analytic tools.

The best way to solve Jira Service Desk vs Zendesk dilemma is to try both solutions. 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 also trying out their competitor.

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