Press release

OTRS Founder Launches Open-Source Alternative to Zendesk

· Meet Zammad, a revolutionary new development by Martin Edenhofer, the founder of the well-known OTRS ticketing system. Released today, Zammad presents a new solution that is based on Open-Source software and freely available for download.

  • Edenhofer launches newly developed helpdesk and support system with interesting features
  • Ideal for start-ups, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Intuitive web interface that can be used without any need for expensive training
  • Free download for dedicated setups, also available as a cloud-based solution

In our widely digitalized world, fast and effective customer service becomes more and more important and now also needs to consider communication via social media channels. Meet Zammad, a revolutionary new development by Martin Edenhofer, the founder of the well-known OTRS ticketing system. Released today, Zammad presents a new solution that is based on Open-Source software and freely available for download. Users can choose to obtain the actual source files, an installation package, or a Docker image if they wish. Alternatively, there is also a commercial, cloud-based solution that does not require any self-managed installation.

Zammad has a web-based interface and works with every recent browser. It offers all the features one would expect from a modern support-ticketing system. In addition, it is extremely easy to use - without the need for extensive training - thanks to its powerful user interface. The web application bundles various messages from different communication channels to appear in a single place, so that customer service or support staff can easily respond to any incoming requests via e-mail, phone, webchat, Facebook, or Twitter, or forward them to their colleagues. A useful dashboard provides up-to-date service status information and indicates existing tickets, solution progress, and previous actions taken. The customers can also access this information and see the status of their own requests. The user interface of Zammad was developed with the award-winning usability experts of Zeughaus - Winners of the European Design Award 2015 in Gold. The design is truly revolutionary in that it breaks with some traditions in order to improve usability and user experience. As a result, there is “no more chaos” in the support inbox - a phenomenon experienced among many small and medium-sized businesses that use other solutions.

Offering far more than an ordinary ticketing system

The web interface of Zammad is very intuitive to use as it builds on familiar usability patterns that have become common in the everyday browser and tablet use: Tickets and tasks can be organized into tabs and assigned to individuals or entire teams using drag & drop. Zammad also supports multi-tasking in that several support agents can work on one or more tickets at the same time. A real time-saver is the intelligent full-text search, which retrieves previous tickets and related data within a fraction of a second. If the browser application is closed, the entire state of current entries and ticket data will be preserved, which facilitates the perfect workflow for support staff, whether they are in the office or on the go. In contrast to existing systems, most functionality is accessible through key shortcuts and can be automated with macros. This increases efficiency and is particularly great for power users.

„With Zammad, we have developed a new solution that truly liberates customer service from much of the baggage that traditionally comes with existing ticketing solutions. The functionality is more readily and easily accessible for users and administrators alike and as it is Open-Source, the software is freely available for everybody to download and use“, says Martin Edenhofer, founder and CEO of the Zammad GmbH. „Zammad is mainly aimed at small and medium-sized organizations with up to 25 support staff. We will keep updating and adding features to Zammad on an ongoing monthly basis, and are planning to release an enterprise edition of the system in 2017.“

The Zammad GmbH managed to get as its first reference customer the well-known Linuxhotel company: „We used to manage all inquiries from our course participants using a normal e-mail inbox – whenever there was an increasing number of bookings we often lost track of things after just a few days.“, says Ingo Wichmann, CEO of the Linuxhotel in Essen, Germany. „Thanks to Zammad, we can now service incoming requests a lot faster and much more reliably than before. Within short time, we noticed a significant increase in customer satisfaction, and our support cost was going down at the same time.“

Zammad can also adapt to multi-language environments: Users can create or modify translations of interface components directly within the system and then also share them with the user community.

Feel free to explore the full list of Zammad features.

Using the latest technologies

Zammad is based on current web technologies such as WebApp/HTML5, WebSockets, and REST for the front-end as well as Ruby on Rails for the back-end. Thanks to the comprehensive REST API (Libraries for PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript are already in development), Zammad can be integrated into existing system environments without hassle. Solutions that can be integrated into Zammad include Asterisk, FreeSWITCH,, GitHub, GitLab, Nagios, Icinga, and Slack.

Source code is owned by a charity

The source code of this software is owned by the „Zammad Foundation“ foundation, available under the Open-Source GNU AGPLv3 license, and accessible on GitHub. This means the code can be used and further developed by anyone, free of charge.

„We wanted to make sure that the source code of Zammad remains free to use for all time“, says Edenhofer. „Our experience tells us that this objective can be best achieved with a charitable trust as the owner.“

Server-Hosting in a certified data center in Germany

Customers who cannot or do not want to install Zammad on their own infrastructure can simply rent the helpdesk and support solution as a cloud-based service. This service uses a certified German data center that employs the latest security technologies. All data handled will be fully-encrypted from the point of saving.

Prices and availability

Zammad is Open-Source software and available as of today, downloadable for free at (Source code, RPM package, or ready-to-run Docker image). The software can then be installed on dedicated server systems. There is also a hosted cloud solution that is offered directly by the Zammad GmbH. This is licensed based on the number of users and the range of functionality required. Available packs cost 5 Euro (Starter), 15 Euro (Professional), or 35 Euro (Plus) per calendar month. For more information, visit the Pricing Page.

About Zammad

Zammad is a helpdesk and support system – available as Open Source software, free of charge. The user interface of Zammad has been developed in cooperation with the award-winning usability experts of Zeughaus and overcomes traditional conventions to fundamentally improve usability and user experience. The ticketing system aligns with familiar usability patterns that are now common in the everyday browser and smartphone use and is therefore extremely easy to use, even for technical laymen. Zammad has been developed by the experienced team around Martin Edenhofer, who previously invented the successful ticketing system OTRS, released in 2001.

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