Moving from Zendesk to Jira Service Desk: Why and How?

If your organization is currently using Zendesk for internal and external customer service and request management, but you’re considering switching to Jira Service Desk, you’re not alone. While Zendesk is a great product, many companies have found there are compelling reasons to make the switch.

We’re going to dive into why you might want to consider doing so. Then, we’ll discuss how to migrate your customer service operations smoothly from one system to the other.

Why Consider Jira Service Desk Instead of Zendesk?

Since you’re using Zendesk, you already know about its impressive list of core features:

  • External portal for collecting feedback, bug reports, and feature requests from users
  • Internal portal for feedback from internal stakeholders
  • Ticketing functionality for prioritization and routing of issues
  • Reports and dashboards to support management

Jira Service Desk offers a nearly identical feature set, so you’re not losing anything important when you make the switch. And, while both solutions have some limitations out-of-the-box, they’re also both set up for customization via their respective library of available add-ons and integrations.

In short, both solutions gain high marks from users, even in a head-to-head comparison. So, to decide if Jira Service Desk may be the better option for your organization, you’ll need to consider some more subtle differences.

Designed for IT

Jira Service Desk can operate as a standalone solution or as an add-on to Jira. Atlassian Jira was built from the ground up as a ticketing and project management solution for IT and software development teams. If that describes your company, you’ll likely find some important enhancements in Jira Service Desk that make it the better choice.

One example is the fact that Jira Service Desk’s incident, problem, change, and request fulfillment processes are certified by PinkVERIFY™ out-of-the-box. Zendesk cannot make that claim.

So, if your main activity is IT-related, you will likely find Jira Service Desk to be the best option for you.

The Atlassian ecosystem

As a natural extension of its IT-focus, Jira Service Desk is automatically and seamlessly integrated into the larger Atlassian ecosystem of solutions. That obviously includes not only Jira itself, but also Confluence, BitBucket, Trello, and several others.

Once again, if your organization’s business activity revolves heavily around IT and development, there’s a good chance you’re already invested in one or more of Atlassian’s products. In that case, Jira Service Desk is the obvious choice since its integration with the other solutions will mean faster onboarding, more efficient working and tracking of tickets, a more robust knowledge base to rely on, and much more.

From a DevOps perspective, the simple fact that every ticket created in the system will be accessible by both help desk representatives and developers — without relying on clunky third-party integrations — could seal the deal.

How to Migrate Successfully From Zendesk to Jira Service Desk

Let’s say you’ve pulled the trigger and you’re moving from Zendesk to Jira Service Desk. What challenges can you expect to face? And, what’s the best way to mitigate those issues and facilitate a smooth migration?

Cprime Atlassian Migrations

Challenges of complex data migration

As with any large-scale migration of data between different systems, moving from Zendesk to Jira Service Desk can be a complex undertaking. There are no direct integrations between the two solutions that allow for a simple export-import arrangement that will have you up and running in an hour or two.

There are a number of options available for exporting some information out of Zendesk and importing it into Jira Service Desk, but even those solutions can run into difficulties, especially with large datasets. The main issues you will run into include:

  • Incomplete ticket metadata
  • Loss of ticket hierarchy and relationships
  • Separation of internal and external comments within tickets
  • Complete migration of attachments
  • Proper mapping of the data upon import

The need for manual mapping

That last challenge is one of the toughest to tackle for companies attempting a DIY migration. Basically, unless you’re intimately familiar with the intricacies of data mapping in both Zendesk and Jira Service Desk, you’re almost guaranteed to lose data along the way. Since no direct integrations exist that account for every single field in both solutions, there are going to be some leftovers that have to be handled manually no matter how well you prepare and how careful you are.

The manual side of the process introduces human error into the equation, and it also requires a significant amount of time. Since no one can shut down all productive work while migrating between systems, that time investment can be too high a price to pay.

The combination of complexity, potential data loss, and high cost has led many organizations to seek out professional help when taking on a migration. In many cases, the cost of hiring professionals turns out to be less than you would have spent in delays and error-correction handling it on your own. Perhaps more importantly, it can make an otherwise stressful and frustrating experience much smoother, so your teams can focus on what they do best.

Contact the experts at Cprime today to discuss our full-service data migration solutions, including migrating from Zendesk to Jira.

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Pavel Fomin, Director of Engineering, Cloud Migrations
Pavel Fomin, Director of Engineering, Cloud Migrations