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Open Source Help Desk

Starting from Scratch: Open Source Help Desk

What is an open source help desk?

An open source help desk or open source help desk ticketing system is an internal help desk used by a company, typically owned by the IT department, that is built on freely available source code. While it is free to use, there are generally high costs associated with building, modifying, and maintaining open source help desk software.

Zendesk provides a safety net and is here to help whereas with open source, there's no support.

A different approach

Help desks are a way for IT departments to manage the process of responding to internal requests for support. They help IT professionals manage workflow and offer internal customers visibility into the progress of their requests for support. Many also include self-service options, so customers can choose to find answers on their own if they’d like. Since they streamline the process of solving technical problems for employees, help desks greatly increase productivity

However some companies choose not to make the appropriate investment in IT, which can extend to not investing in help desk software. This forces some IT departments to use an open source help desk. While this a free option up front, IT must then build the help desk from scratch, costing time and resources. And if something goes wrong or they wish to make an update, they must do so themselves.

Best practices

Choosing a SaaS Help Desk over something open sourced will have a variety of benefits. Most importantly, IT will not have to build one from scratch. Instead, they can begin with something already built and customize as needed. And when there are technical problems they need help with or updates they would like to make, they can work with the provider instead of making changes or fixes themselves.

The right time

Many companies feel the strain of internal support requests and mistakenly assume it will be more cost efficient to alleviate the strain with an open source help desk. However, the costs over time will be much higher, and will lead to decreased productivity. Any company looking to provide great internal customer service should consider avoiding an open source help desk.
An example of an Open API help desk software by Zendesk.

How Zendesk helps

Zendesk includes an open platform and open API, so there's lots of flexibility to make changes and integrate with other systems. Ticket management and tracking are easy, both for the company and customers as Zendesk’s services and success team can help companies customize all of their content. Developers love Zendesk and its open platform, which leads to a “best of both worlds” scenario: they get a trusted solution with plenty of flexibility but don't have to build a help desk from scratch. Zendesk provides a safety net and is here to help whereas with open source, there's no support.

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