What is HelpDesk and How it Works?

What is HelpDesk for JIRA?

HelpDesk for JIRA is a tool to build a Customer Support system based on JIRA.

Do you have a lot of customers and a few JIRA licenses? Leave JIRA licenses to issue assignees only, not for reporters.

HelpDesk for JIRA allows customers to create, view and comment tasks, attach files without JIRA license. HelpDesk users are JIRA users too, but not licensed.

How it works exactly?

To make this way of work possible you need just one free JIRA license for so-called HelpDesk SuperUser. Each time when HelpDesk user creates an issue (via mail or via the portal), HelpDesk SuperUser takes one JIRA license and then releases it. HelpDesk needs one license just for the moment of creating an issue (writing new raw in the database). HelpDesk doesn't require a license for filling in new issues fields, for viewing or commenting issues.

More Available Features

When you install HelpDesk for JIRA you get the bunch of features including:

HelpDesk mail handler

Unlike built-in JIRA mail handler, HelpDesk mail handler doesn't place a new JIRA user to jira-core-users or jira-software-users groups.

A new user will be included in the special group for the customers that is able to work with the ira issues indirectly – through the emails and/or using the Customer Portal and My Issues sections.

HelpDesk Customer Portal

Separate custom interface to JIRA database, which include:

  • View JIRA issue interface  (largely repeats native JIRA view issue interface);
  • Create a new issue interface;
  • Issue lists interface. Issues may be separated by tabs. It could be not only issues reported by current user, but it's always issues which current user have permissions on;
  • HelpDesk user sign-up/sign-in interfaces;
  • HelpDesk users profile interface.

Via HelpDesk Customer Portal users may create and watch tasks, write comments, make attachments. They work directly with JIRA database, but with HelpDesk interfaces. 


Note that the HelpDesk app provides only one Customer Portal unlike Jira Service Desk.


Ability to manage SLAs and OLAs


What is SLA & OLA

Service Level Agreement (SLA) defines the responsibilities between a service provider and a client. In the HelpDesk app terms, it's the timeframes to particular action with a task. Usually, the providers have the documented limits for the following:

  • Reaction time (time spent by the 1st line of support to start working with a new issue)
  • Resolution time (overall time spent for the issue resolution)

An Operational Level Agreement (OLA) defines the responsibilities of each internal support group toward other support groups, including the process and timeframe for delivery of their services. For example, the 1st line of support should not spend more than 30m for issue managing to be able to handle all incoming issues. The main OLA tracking purposes is an ability to notice if the task stuck on a team (while the workflow supposes it required to be processed by other teams as well). Using only the SLA you may think everything is OK until the SLA exceeded. Using the OLA and defining the timeframes separately for each team you will be able to reveal the problems long before.

OLA(s) are not a substitute for an SLA. These are two different agreement levels that can be set separately. However, you can set them up in corresponding way to be sure the sum of OLA time won't exceed the SLA time.

Existing Solutions

There are several solutions on the Markeplace related to SLA management and no particular solutions now for OLA management. In some cases, you can adapt the SLA functionality to track OLA, but it may be inconvenient for a user to use as well as for the administrator to set up.

Our solution is HelpDesk for Jira app feature that allows you to set up and manage SLA and OLA easily.


Canned Responses

Create, share and use the canned responses to ease the routine of frequently asked question answering.

...and much more