12 min read
Sep 08, 2017
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Top 7 Alternatives to OTRS for Small Businesses

If you regularly use OTRS, but are wondering about the other options out there, look no further: here's our guide to alternatives to OTRS.

Ankita SinghAnalyst

The surest way to make your existing customers happy and to acquire new ones is to focus on each and every aspect of serving them better. Addressing customer queries, complaints and other related issues are some of the best ways to do so. A good ticketing and help desk software solution helps to address the concerns of your customers in the most efficient way possible.

Open Source Ticket Request System (OTRS ) supports customer service, help desk, IT service management, and sales in managing incoming inquiries, complaints and other related issues. However, there are several other help desk and ticketing solutions that are easier to use, cost less and are more suitable for small and mid-size businesses.

This article aims at offering some other alternatives to OTRS to help you choose one based on your need. Check out the section below to read about different ticketing and help desk solutions, and their strengths pertaining to a set of parameters.

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OTRS offers a free version called OTRS free, but the flexibility and customization of features is only available in the business version of OTRS. OTRS Business Solution's basic package starts at $4995 per year, which gets you 10 agents (the pricing works out to $42 per agent, per month). You'll also have some additional costs for implementation, training and consulting. You can check out detailed pricing on the pricing page with some discount options for professional and enterprise version.

OTRS Business Solution Managed offers its silver package at $50 for 10 concurrent agents with an additional cost of $60 per month for the monthly package. It offers some discounts on on-site consulting visits, OTRS trainings on-site and more. There are also detailed pricing plans for Gold and Platinum categories (starting from $ 33 and $ 21 respectively).

Alternative: Deskero

Deskero is a good alternative to OTRS when it comes to pricing as it offers more comprehensive pricing plans for growing businesses. The pricing starts from a free version for the first agent, and costs only $4 per additional agent per month, second agent onwards.

The grow plan comes with additional features including full APIs for $12 per agent per month. The most popular plan, as per the website, for businesses costs $30 per agent per month and includes a complete help desk system.

A reviewer on GetApp writes, "After searching for days for a customer software solution that was affordable but that could also cover all my needs, I finally bumped into Deskero. Deskero doesn't bundle up tons of features you don't need and then have you pay a high price, instead they have different levels of features for the same solution where you can start with a basic solution, and once your business grows you can upgrade to have more features. Highly recommended if you are looking to pay for what you need, and if you are looking for a powerful and user-friendly solution."

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Business Size

OTRS says it has 150,000 installations across organizations globally. While it is being used across industries that include education, telecom, manufacturing and IT, its price range and features are more suitable for large enterprises.

Alternative: Zendesk

Zendesk is a good helpdesk solution for growing businesses as it offers a free trial which is great for small scale and mid-size businesses. Its essential version starts at $5 per agent per month and the team version starts at $19 per agent per month which makes it affordable for growing businesses.

One of the case studies on Zendesk website quotes, "Since becoming a customer in July 2011, Zendesk Support has helped scale Box's customer service through periods of explosive growth and as they've expanded channels of support. In a few short years, Box's User Services team has grown from 17 to 215 agents, now grouped into multiple tiers supporting customers by email, web, phone, live chat, and self-service."

Dustin Laun, Senior Advisor of Innovation, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has also said, "If Zendesk can successfully scale within big government you can be successful with enterprises of any size."

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OTRS integrates with third party applications like SAP, Salesforce, and SugarCRM. But, you can also explore options like Zendesk that offer great integrations with ample of applications that makes it possible for your business to scale its processes over time.

Alternative: Zendesk

Zendesk offers the highest number of integrations as listed on GetApp. It can integrate with 272 applications including JIRA, Slack, QuickBooks, and MailChimp.

A GetApp reviewer writes, "There are lots of integrations and the reporting/analytics allows me to keep track of how we are doing compared to the industry standard. Since we are an expanding company ZenDesk has allowed us to constantly meet our customer demands without the normal growing pains."

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Mobile App

OTRS is compatible with all Apple devices running on iOS 7.0 or above, but it doesn't have an app for Android. The App Store does not have enough reviews to help users to make a decision.

Alternative: Cayzu

Cayzu is a good OTRS alternative that rates well for its Android and iOS apps, with 4.6 stars in Google Play and a 4+ rating in the App Store.

One Android user says, "Nice solid app. I really like this software all around. Very helpful programmers." Another user says, "Great way to stay on top of your tickets while on the go."

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User Reviews

OTRS has positive user reviews on Capterra. However, the reviews are not enough to gauge the average user opinion accurately.

Alternative: Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk has 652 reviews on GetApp and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. Many users appreciate its integrations, customer support, and usefulness for connecting with customers.

Mykola Bashlakov writes, "A complete set of features. Has everything our business needs, backed by an easy and powerful API that we use for the integration within our back end system. Zoho doing well."

Another GetApp reviewer says: "Zoho Desk is a great SaaS tool that we are using to get the requests from our clients. The best thing is; it is very easy to manage tickets by automation rules so agents can see their tickets in their system automatically. We have Zoho CRM also so it adds a great value that we can integrate CRM to Desk."

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OTRS offers configurations as per the growing business needs. It is also available in more than 35 languages which makes it ideal for expanding in multiple locations.

Alternative: Freshdesk

Freshdesk offers comprehensive pricing plans that support business growth and expansion.

GetApp reviewer, Vivek Khandelwal, Founder at Datability Solutions wrote, "Great pricing structure. Amazing customer support onboarding is simple."

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User Training

OTRS offers an OTRS academy with trainings, certification program, e-learning modules and further trainings.

Alternative: HappyFox

If you're a learner that needs guided training and support, then your search should end at Happyfox. It offers free webinars, videos and infographics on specific features, recent updates, best practice and more. You can also schedule a demo with a HappyFox helpdesk specialist.

A GetApp reviewer says, "…It also has a built-in knowledge base, end-user support portal, and community forum. Overall this is a very good tool to have and can be recommended also."

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Ease of implementation

OTRS is known to be difficult to configure for the first use. As one reviewer wrote, "some of the terminology in the system configuration isn't very user friendly."

Alternative: Deskero

Deskero has been noted by users for its ease of implementation, allowing employees to get started right away. One GetApp reviewer says: "One of the simplest installation processes - Everything ready up to 5 minutes - Good principles of design."

Another GetApp reviewer had a similar experience, "We introduced Deskero in our company with the purpose of tracking all customers requests (calls, emails, tickets, etc.) in a single, easy-to-use software. Deskero accomplished all this: it is extremely easy to use, it has several functions that we use daily and make the difference in saving time (for example importing tickets from email addresses and sorting them between agents giving precise rules). The customer support is efficient."

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Ongoing support

OTRS provides support through website, email and on phone. The website offers demos and trainings to make the support process easier. The security advisories and release notes also serve as touch points for the customers to understand the product better.

Alternative: HappyFox

HappyFox is one good alternative to OTRS because it has its own customer support center where you can submit tickets and look through forums for common customer questions.

One GetApp reviewer notes: "I have used happyfox for the past 9 months and have found the software simple to use. The support staff at happyfox are excellent, they respond quickly and competently."

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Best for regular updates

OTRS has a security and release notes page which features all the updates and releases. There, you can find detailed info about bug fixes, update information, browser support and more.

Alternative: LiveAgent

LiveAgent has a support section that offers demo on getting started to technical support in the form of FAQs and assorted modules on integrations, features, alternatives and more. It also has video tutorials and forums for users to update them about best practices and software updates.

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