Jira Service Management vs Zendesk: What’s Best?

Posted on 08.23.2021
Written by Brody Larson

Things you’ll learn

Jira vs Zendesk? Did you know that over 25,000 extraordinary companies like AirBnB and Spotify to news organizations such as the Daily Telegraph are all on the Jira Service Management platform?

Simply put, when it comes to Jira Service Management vs. Zendesk, Service Management is a dominant force!

As always, if you’d like to compare Jira Service Management vs. Zendesk and other platforms like Freshdesk and more, please schedule a free consultation below, or learn more about our Jira consulting services. Want to learn more about Jira Vs Zendesk?

Comparison Overview

Jira Service Management and Zendesk are two of the clear leaders in the customer service management space. Both of these tools offer request tracking, interaction between customers and agents, reporting, customizability and are scalable for most organizations. 

One of the clear and most obvious differentiators between these two tools is the pricing structure. Where Jira Service Management includes all of their best-in-class features in their Standard offering, the Zendesk Suite has a more tiered pricing model, with limited features at the lower levels.

Jira Service Management Overview

When it comes to licensing Jira Service Management, you have two main options; Cloud and Data Center. This guide will focus on both Jira Service Management offerings. Jira Service Management is a SaaS-based enterprise-grade Service Management solution that scales way beyond standard Zendesk and Freshdesk platforms.  Like all Software as a Service (SaaS) based platforms Jira Service Management is licensed via a subscription model and is hosted and supported by Atlassian, with no additional hosting expenses to consider. However, for those companies that have high-security needs, or specialized performance needs, there is a self-hosted option that can be attractive to certain organizations such as those in Aerospace, Defense and Healthcare. Send us a message.

Jira Service Management can support both internal and external customer business models and is an ideal fit for companies with leaner Help Desk or Service teams that desire to focus their attention on efficiency, process improvement, and traceability. Jira Service Management accomplishes this and adjusts to businesses as their use cases, needs, and teams change.

The Jira Service Management software runs on the base Atlassian Jira core framework and architecture. Service Management is modeled after a plugin architecture that is individually licensed. As a subscriber or buyer of this solution, you essentially obtain the core Jira framework along with Service Management. However, Agile project management, SCRUM boards, and other Jira features are not enabled and you will need to license Jira Software independently of Jira Service Management in order to obtain traditional Scrum and Project Management features.

Features We Love Within Jira Service Management

  1. Issue Types & Request Types: Out-of-the-box configuration of best practice issue and request types to get your team and customers on the same page. Update based on your specific use case if necessary.
  2. Queues: Focused, flexible, customizable list views of the most important requests for your teams to work on.
  3. Workflow & Approval: Easily build off of Jira’s default ITSM workflow to build in automated approval or customer-facing transitions.
  4. Field Configurations: Hide, show and prepopulate various different types of custom fields to ensure your agents are getting the right information from customers.
  5. Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Track your team’s response time, resolution statistics and more with custom SLAs and reports.
  6. Customer Portal: Receive requests via email or direct your customers to a customized, external portal where they can submit, comment on and track all of their requests.
  7. Knowledge Base Integration: Jira Service Management seamlessly integrates with Atlassian’s core document collaboration solution, Confluence, to suggest documentation to customers and agents, and allow agents to quickly document new processes directly from Jira.
  8. Marketplace Extensibility: There are nearly 1,000 compatible Apps to extend Jira Service Management to fit any use case.

Zendesk Overview

In 2021, Zendesk announced their new, revised, Zendesk Suite, combining their different service offerings into one major offering. The Zendesk Suite combines their Support, Talk, Chat and Guide products into one tool for service teams. This is what they refer to as an omnichannel solution, as an integrated customer service platform. Zendesk is strongly focused on the customer experience offering in their support products, pulling in requests from various channels, such as email, phone, social, and more. 

Price Comparison

At the lowest plan and user tier, Zendesk is $1 per agent per month cheaper than Jira Service Management, but unlike Zendesk, JSM offers a tiered pricing structure, reducing the cost per agent as you scale up to increased agent counts.

Jira Service Management Pricing Structure

StandardUnlimited support projects, with customer portals, SLAs, reports, configurable requests and workflows.1-3 $20 Flat, 4-15 $20/agent, 100 $15.75/agent, 250 $12.30/agent, 1,000 $6.83/agent, 5,000 $5.37/agent
PremiumIncludes asset and configuration management, as well as incident management and global automation. Also includes Sandbox environment.1-15 $45/agent, 100 $39.90/agent, 250 $31.56/agent, 1000 $17.64/agent, 5000 $11.33/agent
EnterpriseUnlimited number of sites and includes Atlassian Access for SSO.Contact us
*Enterprise Plan is only available as an annual subscription.

Zendesk Pricing Structure

Support TeamIncludes basic support features.$19/agent/month
Support ProfessionalIncludes CSAT surveys and SLAs.$49/agent/month
Support EnterpriseIncludes multiple ticket forms, custom permissions and a Sandbox.$99/agent/month
Suite TeamIncludes all basic features, limited to a single help center.$49/agent/month
Suite GrowthIncludes multiple help centers and a self-service portal.$79/agent/month
Suite ProfessionalIncludes SLA management and custom reports.$99/agent/month
Suite EnterpriseIncludes a Sandbox environment.$150/agent/month

Next Steps: Jira Vs Zendesk?

Thinking Jira Service Management might be a good fit for your service organization, but not entirely convinced? Our team of experts can help you evaluate Jira Service Management, Zendesk and more. Learn more about our Jira consulting services. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to send us a message.

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