IT management, MSP

Atlassian JIRA Service Desk: Zendesk Alternative?


Atlassian continues to enhance its JIRA Service Desk platform. As a result, some pundits think the platform is set to compete more aggressively against IT service management and ticket management platforms like Zendesk.

Atlassian launched JIRA Service Desk back in 2013 to "build a modern flexible service desk for technical support teams." Fast forward to present day and key adopters include IT, customer support, marketing and HR departments, the company asserts.

Eager to build on  the platform's momentum, Atlassian today launched multiple JIRA Service Desk enhancements -- including:

  • Filter queues by organization. User can now scan queues by the organization that submitted them and assign team members who are familiar with that organization’s needs. ChannelE2E says: That sounds like a service provider push to us.
  • Customize service level agreements (SLAs) by organization. Some companies have different requirements for SLAs. Now users can customize SLAs by organization. ChannelE2E says: Another key service provider feature.
  • Pull reports by organization. If a client or company wants to get visibility into how a service team is helping them, users can now pull reports by company. ChannelE2E says: IT service providers certainly value customer-centric reporting...
  • Additional enhancements include: Personalized customer emails. Also, Confluence integration to link to a knowledge base. To us, that sounds similar to how MSPs are linking their RMM and PSA systems to IT Glue documentation capabilities.

Amid the upgrades, JIRA Service Desk will likely compete more aggressively against ZenDesk and, ComputerWorld predicted.

JIRA Service Desk: Installed Base Size?

It's difficult to pinpoint JIRA's installed base. Atlassian has a range of software products, and the company's total customer count was 61,000 organizations as of June 2016, up 25 percent from June 2015. Moreover, the company added about 3,500 net new customers during its most recent quarter.

Atlassian is perhaps better known for its Hipchat collaboration software. And the company faces plenty of competition in the IT service desk market -- from names like ServiceNow, Zendesk and plenty more. In the MSP sector, competition from PSA (professional services automation) platforms with ticket management capabilities also is intense.

Still, Atlassian's JIRA Service Desk is rapidly gaining partner integrations. And the company is in growth mode. In its most recent quarterly results announcement, revenues were $127.6 million -- up 39 percent from the corresponding quarter last year. Atlassian's next quarterly results are set for announcement on Oct. 27, 2016, the company says.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.