Zendesk Integrations

(Jack) #1

Trying to connect Zendesk with Discourse to allow SSO – is this possible?

Alternatively, curious if anyone has feedback on the pros/cons of the Discourse Community versus the Zendesk Community?

(Republic Wireless) #2

We use SAML with Zendesk and Discourse.

The Discourse forum has a lot more moderation capabilities than the Zendesk forum. Also, Zendesk has no indication of who is talking to whom, no trust levels, points or any other incentives to post. Zendesk. Zendesk has a long way to go to have a strong participant focused forum.

(Jack) #3

Out of curiosity, is this your community? https://community.republicwireless.com/

(Jack) #4

Correction, looks like this is your new community :slight_smile: https://forums.republicwireless.com/

(Republic Wireless) #5

It is our old community on Jive we just switched to forums.republicwireless.com on discourse.

(Jack) #6

Are you using Zendesk for your knowledge base? Or only support tickets?

(Republic Wireless) #7

Right now just tickets but in a few weeks we will start using it for kb. It is all in Jive right now.


Hey @Sean_R! Newbie here. :wave:t4: My company is currently using Zendesk for both KB and Community, but Zendesk just announced that they are not working on any new features at all in 2018. So I’m in the process of researching alternative platforms and stumble up Discourse. This platform is pretty awesome and I am highly considering the switch.

I’ve been digging into the Discourse Community for any Zendesk integration resource I can find, but I figured I should also just ask you directly. Could you possibly share your experience migrating your Community from Zendesk to Discourse?

Looking forward to your reply. Thanks!

p.s. If there is a Zendesk to Discourse migration guide in here that I overlooked, please point me in the right direction.

(Republic Wireless) #9

While we have used Zendesk for ticketing for a long time, we never used it for Forum/Community or KB. We split over from Jive moving our Forum here and our KB to Zendesk. So I am only familiar with migrating from Jive. I will say that the Discourse team is very adept at migrating from almost any API and knowing the Zendesk API as well as I do, it should not be hard.

Having explored the Zendesk Community capabilities, Discourse is a major improvement.

I have been putting together requirements for a full Zendesk Discourse integration but that will take time.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #10

Could you please elaborate on that? Is there a link you could share?


@erlend_sh - first comment under this


Looks like @mikechristopher beat me to it! :slightly_smiling_face:

(Lo) #13

Hey @Sean_R! Any new insight or updates here? Our team has been looking at whether we want to migrate to ZD Community since we use them for everything else, but since they’re not focusing on any improvements, I’d rather stay on Discourse.

We were hoping, however, that we could find a way to pull Discourse data into ZenDesk so we can compile data/reporting in one place. Is this an option with what you’re working on?


(Republic Wireless) #14

Still thinking through requirements regarding integration. Would love to work with other users to come up with full requirements.

Their forums are not very good. No threading so nobody knows who is talking to whom, no real back-end controls, no usernames, no merging, hiding or trust levels. It is not viable to even a moderately active community.

We were mostly focused on extending support to our users through private message, linking posts to tickets or creating tickets from posts. What you want may be able to be done by simple web-hooks.

I think there should be a plugin in Discourse and a channel app in Zendesk. I just need to flesh this out more before going to the community to sponsor a build.

(Lo) #15

Thank you so much for the response @Sean_R! Glad to hear more feedback on their forums. I was initially interested but am really happy on Discourse (now that I’m comfortable with it :wink: ).

I’d be happy to help give ideas, but I have to warn, I don’t have a great tech brain - I worry most about content. But we’re looking at very similar things to you all. I believe we have the plug in, but it’s not as intuitive as we’d hope and I don’t believe it allows for the best reporting either.

Let’s stay in touch - keep me updated on your progress or if you need any insight :slight_smile:


(Mark Finnern) #16

Are you familiar with the wiki functionality in discourse?

What is your reasoning for using Zendesk as your Knowledge Base and not use the Discourse?

What I would like to see is the community improving the documentation and them being recognized and rewarded for doing so. That seems to be doable within Discourse.

I would like to see tight integration between Zendesk and Discourse as well, Mark.

(Republic Wireless) #17

Yes, I am very familiar with it.

We follow a strict KCS knowledge creation environment so that means the KB must be tightly integrated into the process that agents work. Also being discussion centric Discourse made very good design choices for that need but it does not translate well for our subscriber needs. We also use some bot automations to better help customers while they wait and some pretty intricate link reporting to keep agents on track.

I agree but I am not sure they want to do things that will fundamentally alter their design to make it better for documentation. They will also need a lot of reporting, and extension to other sites through widgets. I am not sure they will want to change their text formatting to the level of flexibility that marketing will want.

I do think that integrating with companies like Intercom and Zendesk would be beneficial, the devil is in the details and we as paying customers, need to help figure out those details.

For the Intercom and Zendesk Integrations, we should probably write a Wiki on that soliciting feedback about what they should entail. For the new business direction being focused on documentation, we would need a lot of discourse about that.

(Mark Finnern) #18

Thanks for the detailed responds. I agree regarding the Wiki around Zendesk.
In general I would like to see Discourse opening up more with APIs to enable Microservices integration. Here is a good background article about it: Why Microservices Will Become a Core Business Strategy for Most Organizations | On Digital Strategy | Dion Hinchcliffe

Sean I see you are based out of North Carolina, how is the Hurricane Florence impacting you? Stay safe!

(Republic Wireless) #19

We were fine in Raleigh. A bit of wind and rain, but most of our us retained power. They had it much worse towards the coast with flooding.