We have tested JIRA, ZenDesk, Desk, Kayako and even Redmine - and none really gave us what we needed, a flexible yet extremely easy-to-use support system - handling hundreds of support tasks every day by a handful of experienced support staff.
Does Atlassian plan to develop and release a "JIRA Support system" any time soon? JIRA is to extensive, with dozens of fields here and there, and - well, its too complicated for agile support staff as JIRA is more directed towards development issues.
We've made Jira work very well as a "light" support system - it's just a case of configuring it to only use the fields you need in a support environment in the support projects.
Using it for support alongside development has some significant benefits - developers able to get involved in support in the same system they're using for development, users able to see development activity, support staff being able to reference support, development and project information in the same place. And so on.
1. Not with plain JIRA. This should help - https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.javahollic.jira.jemh-ui
2. There are some workarounds by having 'if' conditions in the velocity templates at https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JRA-161
Also this plugin claims to have email templates - https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.keplerrominfo.jira.plugins.jjupin
Thanks for the extensive replies. We are not there where we want to spend time adding if's and such (we just want a system we can easily configure and get started with) and so, after heavily testing the last couple of days we have decided to keep on to Kayako for a little longer and see how JIRA evolves in terms of the above "issues".
Ok, two remaining issues before we are able to select JIRA as our support system;
1 - User count. We want each user to get a user account created when sending in issues, so that they can watch the issue status when logged in to JIRA. All technical details are set, however the license cost per user would kill us. Are there any way to not let certain customers be counted on the license plate?
2 - Emails. Email notifications are needed in lots of ways, however the email templating system doesnt seem well prepared for easy customization across projects and such - and having to modify "core" template files in a rather complex system is difficult. Are there any solution for easier email template management?
Other than that we are ready to go I think. The permission scheme in JIRA isnt straight-forward, however I think we have got a rather good grip on it now.
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