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HelpSpot HelpStar Kayako Web Help Desk Zendesk
Website www.helpspot.com www.helpstar.com www.kayako.com www.webhelpdesk.com www.zendesk.com
Year
Founded
N/A 1988 2001 1999 2007
Server
Location
Hosted-US/Local Hosted/Local Hosted /Local Hosted /Local Hosted
Trial
Version
45-Day Video Demos Only 30-Day 30-Day 30-Day
Help
Desk
Solution
HelpSpot HelpSTAR Enterprise
Web Portal (End User)
Kayako Fusion SolarWinds Web Help
Desk
Zendesk Enterprise
Live Chat No No Yes No Yes
Features –
Pros
 Robust system of
Reports
 Can be customized
 support apple-
android-BlackBerry-
Windows Phone
 workflow
management
 Mobile version
 used by various
reputed universities in
USA
 Scalable
 Good reputation of the
company based on
Internet reviews

 Web portal
functionality
 all updates &
upgrades are
included
 offers training
seminar and tutorials
on key functions
 user forums for
communicating
feedback from end
users and other
helpstar users
 Services to help
consult and orientate
planning and
implementation of the
HelpSTAR staff users
and how to measure
& analyze
effectiveness and
 All subscriptions
include Kayako
helpdesk, technical
support, automatic
updates to your
helpdesk
 Distributed backups
and 24/7 multi-point
availability monitoring
 Free transfer of data
from another helpdesk
vendor to Kayako
 Unlimited number of
end users (your
customers) can be
registered
 Academic pricing -
40% discount for
eligble academic
organizations (unclear
what constitutes
 Available on the App
Store, along with
Chrome and Safari
extensions
 Supports Exchange,
IMAP and POP -
service requests via
email automatically
generate tickets
 Technicians can be
assigned and
reassigned by sending
an email
 Reporting tools with
charts/graphics, real-
time billing data,
automatic emails w/
reports sent to a list of
addresses
 Jobs left incomplete for
X number of hours can
 Robust &
Comprehensive List
of features
 Heavily integrated
communications
(multi-channel
communication via
social media to one
central ticketing hub)
 Robust but sleek
ticket tracking system,
view & layout
 Custom & advanced
report tracking
features

System/
Items
HelpSpot HelpStar Kayako Web Help Desk Zendesk
impact also
websession training
 Web-Based
Consulting from
Helpstar

eligibility)
 Mobile interface -
compatible with
Android, iPhone/iPad,
BlackBerry, Windows
Phone
 Custom ticket fields
for different
departments
 Own personal domain
 Unlimited control over
code and editing
 Can post news and
updates via your
support interface and
collect specific
information via your
ticket submission
process by building
custom forms
 Customers and clients
can send emails to
your various
departments that you
setup OR they can also
use your website
interface to submit
tickets
 Can assign tickets to
various people in your
organization and still
keep track of the
trigger an alert on cell
phones or the software
itself
 Custom web forms
with unlimited fields
 Messages tab for
school-wide updates
(if Destiny goes down,
etc) that people can
check before sending
 Highly searchable with
a wide variety of fields
for techs to filter by
 FAQ tab on the client
version with the ability
to automatically
display related FAQs
based on their request
type before a request is
submitted
 Knowledge Base - as a
tech completes a
request, they can
submit it to be
included in the
knowledge base of
common issues
 can upload multiple
different highly
specialized customer
surveys, to be
triggered based on the
System/
Items
HelpSpot HelpStar Kayako Web Help Desk Zendesk
customer by chiming
in when needed

type of request

Feature –
Cons
 Documentation just on
line
 No representative
service in Canada
 Language of
implementation only
PHP

 Difficult to judge cons
considering very few
of its features are
properly demonstrated
on the website -
although it seems like
there is potential for it
to be very robust and
customizable....it's
poorly sold on the
website
 3500 companies which
have adopted it

 Poor customer service
reviews
 Doesn’t monitor social
networking for
problems
 Lacks unlimited forum
spaces - has something
called a "knowledge
base" instead
 Varying prices for
system upgrades on
monthly plan
 One time downloads
include only 6 months
for support and
upgrades
 Many reviews discuss
several bugs and slow
process to fix them -
"Feels like beta
version"

 Cannot monitor
systems
 Remote support for
Apple only
 Limited apps for
mobile use (RIM and
Iphone)

 Relatively expensive
 Not hosted in Canada
– ONLY US & EU –
no plans to expand to
other countries

Notes  Contains a number of
APIs allowing full
integration with
external systems
 Does not require
specialized hardware
 A very solid support
 More of a SharePoint
like solution – doesn’t
focus solely on client
services – might be
interesting to look at
as an option against
SharePoint
 The cons with regards
to reviews seem to
paint the service in an
unpolished product –
may be worth looking
at but waiting may not
be ready for our needs
 Demo interface looks
promising
 UI for clients
 Asset Management
option to help track PC
inventory
 Very robust, simple
and intuitive
 Not in Canada but, it
would be a good idea
to ask and see if we
could host the server
ourselves but pay for
System/
Items
HelpSpot HelpStar Kayako Web Help Desk Zendesk
app for the customers

deployment
 Website offers limited
insight into the
features
 Canadian office
located in Oakville
yet. their
features/setup/implem
entation
 Not enough details
about their reports and
ability to export but
looks good upfront
Selected
Clients
Mayo Clinic, NFL, Red
Cross, Thomson Reuters,
United Way, University of
Michigan
Canon, Marine Credit
Union, Summit Credit
Union
FedEx, HP, MTV, Pearson,
RBC, US Dept of
Homeland Security,
WordPress, Warner
Brothers, Toshiba
Extensive Client List
available on site
University of Toronto
(Student Life, DFCM,
OISE, Political Science
Dept, UTM)
According to its website,
Zendesk has more than
30,000 customers as of
2012, e.g. OpenTable, Sears
Canada, UCLA Dept of
Psychology, Xerox.
Cost 1 - 4 Licences $ 299 each
5 Licences $1,399
10 Licences $2,599
20 Licenses $4,599

Annual Support:
$69/User
Discount is available to
Academic and Non-Profit
institutions.
Customized pricing

Local Server Installation
and Maintenance costs
Hosted Solution:
 $49 staff/month

Local Server:
 US$999 one-time for 10
users
 US$1,799 one-time for
20 users
 Plus US$320 12-month
product updates and
support

Discount may be available
to academic institutions

Local Server Installation
and Maintenance costs
1 to 5 users: $695
6 to 10 users: $690
11 to 20 users: $685
21 to 30 users: $680

Local Server Installation
and Maintenance costs
$99 user/month (Billed
annually)

System/
Items
HelpSpot HelpStar Kayako Web Help Desk Zendesk
Est. 1
st

Year
Budget
(10 Users)
Hosted:
10 Licenses @ $2,599 + $690
(Support)
Total: $3,289
TBD

Local Virtual Server:
$1,000 (Server Setup)
$500 (SQL License)
Hosted:
10 Users @ $49/month x 12
months
Total: $5,880

Local Virtual Server:
$999 (System License)
$1,000 (Server Setup)
$500 (SQL License)
Hosted:
10 Users @ $690/Year
Total: $6,900

Local Virtual Server:
$TBD (System License)
$1,000 (Server Setup)
$500 (SQL License)
Hosted: $11,880