OTRS Alternative: OTRS vs Jitbit Helpdesk

We get asked about the differences between Jitbit Helpdesk and OTRS ("Open-source Ticket Request System" a free and open-source (GPLv3) ticket management system) quite frequently. So, we wrote this article to clear things up and point out why Jitbit is a great OTRS alternative.

You might also want to check the other ticketing systems price and feature comparisons.

Ease of use

Both Jitbit and OTRS are help desk software apps, but they are completely different products.

The primary focus of Jitbit is simplicity and ease of use. Don't get it wrong, Jitbit is still a powerful app with all the features you may need - like email & web support, knowledge-base, integrations, attachments, reporting, automation engine and many more.

OTRS focuses on customization and flexibility and comes with a 300-page admin manual, and you can't just jump in and start using it. Your admins and techs have to get some training first. In fact, they provide online training seminars but keep in mind that prices on them start at 2$k per attendee.

Jitbit, as we said before, is a simple to use OTRS alternative. You can sign up for our hosted version in 30 seconds, invite your team and start helping your customers in 3 minutes. Compared to OTRS (the paid version) our features might look limited at first, but you'll probably find everything you need as you dig deeper.

Hosted vs On-premise

Jitbit offers both hosted and on-premise versions. The on-premise version comes with a free trial that is not time-limited but has some feature restrictions. The hosted "SaaS" version runs in the cloud and managed by us, you do not have to ever install anything. The features between the two versions are identical.

OTRS is "on-premise" only, it's free and open-source but you have to pay for support. You will need a Linux-stack to install it and, according to many reviews, it's not an easy task. The free version includes only the essential features, but that's still plenty.


With OTRS if you want a full-featured solution, you have to go with the "Business Solution™". OTRS pricing starts at $4,995 per year for ten agents. Plus you can choose to purchase initial consulting and implementation – it starts at $3,570. They also offer OTRS Business Solution™ Managed – an alternative to a hosted solution. They install and set-up OTRS for you on their servers, but it's pricey. The prices for the managed version start at $500+ per month with an additional one-time set-up fee of $1999.

In comparison, besides not having a free version, Jitbit is much cheaper than OTRS. We don't have any hidden costs too – no set-up fees and lifetime support is included with any purchase. You can check the hosted version prices here and the on-premise prices here.


Jitbit is built on ASP.NET MVC framework and C#. It's fast and secure. You will need a Windows server and an SQL Server (a free Express version will work). Jitbit also comes with "setup.exe", so the installation usually takes a couple of clicks. You can also choose the hosted version and not bother with your servers at all.

OTRS works on Linux servers and is written in Perl. You will need a Linux system administrator to install and maintain it. But it operates on an open-source stack (Apache and MySQL), so you do not have to spend money on software licenses.

As we said in the beginning, these are two very different products with a different vision. If you want a great easy-to-use app for you email support needs, consider Jitbit. If you want endless flexibility or you have to use Linux servers, look into OTRS. Just make sure that you have the resources to setup and maintain it.

Jitbit is not going anywhere

With open source software there's always the risk that the people behind it will lose interest. Jitbit will stick around. As of 2017 we've been doing this for almost 11 years, we're not going anywhere.

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