Networked Help Desk: An Open Standard for Better Customer Service

Today, we announced Zendesk Ticket Sharing, a feature which allows your company to share its support tickets with any other company also using Zendesk. This addresses the issue that many companies simply take as a necessary evil: that a single support case can often cross multiple companies, but customer support software does not.

Zendesk Ticket Sharing

With Zendesk Ticket sharing, a support agent can share a ticket with the support team of their partners, vendors, and any other company they do business with. It is built into Zendesk and works immediately starting today. But Zendesk Ticket Sharing is only one piece of the puzzle.

Today also marks the start of the Networked Help Desk open standard. Along with our founding members — Atlassian, New Relic, OTRS, Pager Duty, Pivotal Tracker, Service Now, and SugarCRM — Zendesk is endorsing this open standard that will allow any help desk, sales team, or customer facing department to share tickets with any other team no matter which software platform they use.

Networked Help Desk

Companies who otherwise work closely together often use disparate systems to perform tasks such as project management, customer relationship management, or customer support. And yet, the customer issues they deal with often need input from multiple partners. Because each software solution operates within its own silo, this leads to a lot of workarounds and extra work.

Let’s say a customer asks about the time-frame of a certain product release which is dependent on one of your suppliers. You need to reach out to that supplier to provide an answer. But, because you use Zendesk and they use another support system, you need to start a second conversation via a different channel, such as email, wait for their answer and then relay the information back to the customer.

The goal of Networked Help Desk is to create a seamless communication stream among multiple partners and suppliers to deliver an awesome customer experience. Using the example above, your agent can simply share the ticket directly with your supplier, no matter if both companies use the same platform or not. Instead of two conversations with you in the middle, there is now only one. When your supplier updates the ticket with their time frame, both your agent and the customer are updated.

Whether you use software for bug-tracking, for your help desk, or for your CRM needs, you can benefit greatly if those systems can share relevant info. The goal of all customer support is to answer quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently. But keeping all our customer conversations disconnected from one another slows things down, complicates the conversation, and often keeps the right person from answering the question.

Imagine, for instance, if your company’s email provider couldn’t communicate with the email service of your business partner. Or you had to have a separate email system for every business with whom you communicated. That wouldn’t work at all. Business conversations cross company lines and our email services can accommodate that.

Customer support conversations cross those lines too, of course, and we need our customer interaction, support, and management software to reflect this.

How it works develops & delivers an open standard API to deliver seamless support across disparate products & systems.

If you develop cloud-based software, then this open standards organization is for you. Members’ products may include ticketing systems, bug trackers, development trackers, knowledge bases, CRM software, and more.

To learn more and join the effort, go to By sharing tickets, you’re opening up collaboration with other help desks, companies and software; breaking down the walls of the help desk silo.