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Cloud-based vs On-premise Email Ticketing Software
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Resolve customer queries inside Gmail

Cloud-based vs On-premise Email Ticketing Software

Aug 18, 2023
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12 min read
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Hiver HQ
Shobhana

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Helpdesk ticketing software plays a key role for any business that delivers support to customers, employees, or suppliers. It’s all about tracking and handling inquiries, making sure they’re dealt with promptly and effectively.

There are two types of software that does all this: cloud-based and on-premise.

Cloud-based or a SaaS ticketing software resides on an external server, accessible online. What’s great about it is the flexibility to tap into it from any location, and the fact that there’s no fuss with buying and managing hardware or software. Plus, it often scales better than its on-premise counterpart, so if your business is growing, this is something to consider.

On-premise ticketing software is all about hosting on your own turf. You’re in charge, but that control demands a good grasp of technology. If your organization’s got stringent security requirements or you need a system that meshes seamlessly with what you already have, on-premise ticketing software might just be your path forward.

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On-premise Email Ticketing Software

On-premise solutions are all about running the system from your organization’s actual site, using the gear you’ve got on hand. Sure, cloud solutions have been grabbing headlines, but don’t count on-premise solutions out. 

They’ve got their place, fitting certain needs like a glove. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses; there are hurdles to clear too. So, let’s dig into what makes on-premise ticketing software tick. We’ll break down the pros and cons, laying it all out with clear explanations and real-world examples.

Advantages of On-Premise Email Ticketing Software

On-site ticketing systems stand out for their dedicated control and ability to offer a highly customized environment, ensuring that organizations can align the software seamlessly with their unique operational needs.

Full Control over Data and Systems

On-premise solutions offer organizations a firm grip on all things related to their data and systems. Think beyond just where the data’s stashed; it’s about setting up how it’s organized, how quickly you can pull it up, what kind of security is in place, and keeping in line with the rules. This level of control can be vital when there are tight data residency or protection rules to play by.

Take a healthcare institution in the U.S., for instance. They’re tangled up with serious data protection laws like HIPAA. An on-premise system might be their go-to choice, making sure all those patient ticket inquiries and gripes are handled just right, sticking to data residency and privacy guidelines.

Customization and Flexibility

On-premise deployment stand apart from a lot of cloud options, which sometimes only throw at you a one-size-fits-all deal. With on-premise ticketing tools, it’s a different ball game. Here you have room for serious tailoring. Need to match specific workflows? Integrate some in-house tools? Or hit those unique performance marks? On-premise lets you do all that.

Imagine you’re running a major global airline. Your flight bookings aren’t simple. There’s a delicate dance with seating arrangements, loyalty rewards, and coordination with third-party travel agents. An off-the-shelf system? It won’t cut it. But an on-premise solution? It’s like having a dedicated crew just for your operations.

Need to change the seating algorithm for more comfort? Adjust the loyalty program to reward your frequent flyers better? Or create a seamless interface with travel agencies? On-premise solutions can make it happen. It’s your airline, your rules. You decide how you want things to fly.

Predictable Costs

Here’s the deal with on-premise solutions: you pay the piper upfront. Sure, the starting price is steeper, but you’re not going to be blindsided by shifting monthly subscriptions. Give it time, and especially if you keep things in tip-top shape, you could see the savings rack up.

Let’s take a city’s public transport system as an example. They might lean toward the on-premise model. Why? It lets them treat the investment as capital, steering clear of those up-and-down subscription fees. That way, they’ve got a handle on stable budgeting, not just for now, but looking ahead to the long haul.

Performance Consistency

The on-premise setup comes with a certain isolated character, and that can spell consistent performance. You’re not at the mercy of things like shared resources, or the tangled web of multi-tenancy issues that cloud models sometimes bring, or even the whims of internet connectivity.

Think about managing the customer support for a major concert venue. It’s the night of a big show, and the tickets are selling like hotcakes. Fans are calling and emailing non-stop with questions, changes, and last-minute requests. An on-premise email ticketing system is your key to staying in tune.

Because when the floodgates open for that top-charting artist, you need to handle those requests in real-time, without any lag or external interference. On-premise makes sure that every email ticket, every customer query, is handled like a VIP guest at a backstage party. 

Disadvantages of On-Premise Email Ticketing Software

On-premise solutions have their strong suits. Still, they’re not without their headaches, especially when you talk about things like initial costs and the ability to scale. Managing and taking care of such systems isn’t a walk in the park, and it can seem like a tall order for plenty of folks out there. It’s robust, sure, but comes with its share of speed bumps to navigate.

High Initial Costs

The price tag on an on-premise system? It can be a tough pill to swallow. Between the hardware, software licenses, infrastructure, and the folks you need to both kick it off and keep it running, it’s a solid investment. 

Take a new e-commerce startup, for example. They’re already juggling all kinds of setup expenses. The cost of an on-premise ticketing system might feel like one heavy lift too many at the get-go. It’s a balancing act, and not everyone can pull it off right out of the gate.

Sometimes, those numbers can stand as a roadblock, especially for the smaller players or those without a big pile of capital to pull from.

Maintenance Responsibility

Owning the infrastructure is like owning the problems that come with it. You’re the one looking after regular software updates, tinkering with server maintenance, sorting out hardware mess-ups, and applying those all-important security patches. It all lands squarely on the organization’s plate, and that means having dedicated IT folks at the ready.

Think about a university that’s rolling with on-premise ticketing for handling their big events. They might find themselves in a tight spot, having to push off a critical system update right when the events are coming thick and fast. That could leave some gaps in the armor, with vulnerabilities just sitting there unpatched. It’s a responsibility that doesn’t take a break.

Scaling Challenges

In the cloud, scaling up can be pretty smooth. A few clicks to adjust a subscription plan, and you’re off to the races. But on-premise? That’s a whole different beast. Scaling up with an on-premise ticketing tool often means getting your hands dirty with real hardware additions, finessing the software licenses, and bracing for possible downtime.

Here’s a scenario for you: an IT service company starts landing larger clients who come with a tidal wave of tickets. Their on-premise ticketing system starts feeling the strain, barely keeping up with the flood. The upgrade path? It could mean shelling out for extra servers and putting up with downtime. Not exactly a flip-of-the-switch kind of deal.

Disaster Recovery Concerns

When it comes to on-premise setups, keeping things rolling even when disaster strikes is a task that calls for precision and forethought. It’s not just about having a plan; it’s about making sure the infrastructure’s there to back it up. You’ll need regular backups, duplicate systems, and sometimes even backup sites in different locations.

Take a hotel chain as an example. Say they’re using on-premise ticketing to handle their reservations. They can’t afford to let something like a simple power outage wipe out or lock them out of all that critical booking info. That means having redundant systems or backup spots at the ready, making sure a single glitch doesn’t throw a wrench in the works. It’s all about having those bases covered.

Choosing to go with an on-premise solution isn’t a snap decision. It’s a delicate balancing act where you’ve got to weigh up your current needs, where you’re headed in terms of growth, the resources you’ve got on hand, and how much risk you can stomach. 

It’s not something you rush into. By getting a solid grasp of all these moving parts, organizations can put themselves in a position to make a choice that’s not just informed but well-tailored to what they really need. It’s about seeing the whole field before making the play.

Cloud-based Email Ticketing Software

Cloud-based ticketing software is parked on online servers outside your door, typically managed by some third-party specialists. So, businesses don’t have to sweat over creating and caring for their own systems. 

This kind of hands-off setup resonates with a lot of people, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a one-way street to Easytown. Like anything else with a power button, it’s got its bright sides and its bumps in the road. Let’s crack open the hood and take a closer look at the nuanced pros and cons of going the cloud-based helpdesk solution. There’s more under there than what meets the eye, but we’ll map it all out.

Advantages of Cloud-based Email Ticketing Software

Let’s dive into what makes a SaaS email ticketing software a standout option for many businesses.

Scalability and Flexibility

Cloud-hosted customer support solutions are known for their innate ability to scale with ease. It’s about matching the needs of the moment without the financial burden or downtime that usually comes with old-school hardware upgrades.

Example: Picture an e-commerce platform hit with a holiday rush. They can immediately ramp up ticketing capacity to deal with a spike in customer queries, and just as quickly scale down when things calm down, all while keeping a keen eye on cost control.

Reduced Initial Investment

The subscription model that cloud-based helpdesk ticketing system utilizes wipes out the heavy front-end expenses tied to buying hardware, acquiring software licenses, and the whole setup process.

Example: Consider a local theater group wanting to manage their season ticket sales. Investing in an on-premise system could feel like buying an entire theater when they only need a stage for one season. With a cloud-based ticketing service, they pay a monthly fee, similar to renting the venue only when needed. It fits their budget and lets them focus on the show, not the overhead.

Discover Hiver’s pricing

Automatic Updates and Maintenance

With cloud-based solutions, the handling of maintenance, security fixes, and software updates fall on the shoulders of off-premise providers. It allows businesses to enjoy up-to-date features and security improvements without lifting a finger.

Example: Consider a mid-sized event management firm, eyes fixed on what they do best. All the while, their cloud provider is in the background, auto-updating their ticketing software, ensuring they’ve got the latest tools, features, and fixes at their disposal.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Cloud-software usually pack a punch with integrated disaster recovery capabilities. With data tucked away redundantly across various places, a hitch at one location doesn’t spell disaster for the whole operation.

Example: Imagine a travel agency hit by a natural disaster at their main spot. No sweat — their cloud-based ticketing system, mirrored across different areas, keeps ticking along just fine. Customers keep getting served, and the business doesn’t skip a beat.

Disadvantages of Cloud-based Email Ticketing Software

While cloud-based ticketing systems offer various advantages, it’s essential to recognize the potential downsides that come with this model.

Potential Data Security Concerns

While the security measures in many cloud providers are nothing to scoff at, putting sensitive data outside can come with risks. The shared environment typical of various cloud solutions might ruffle feathers for organizations needing their data locked down tight.

Example: Think of a financial institution, hemmed in by rigid data protection rules. They might think twice about jumping onto a cloud-based ticketing bandwagon, eyeing potential data leaks or unwanted access with a wary glance.

Network Dependency

Cloud-based email ticketing systems need a solid internet connection. If the internet’s acting up or goes down completely, it can mess with the ticketing system and cause problems with running things smoothly.

Example: Imagine a company that offers online accounting tools for small businesses. They use cloud-based customer support to help clients with their questions and issues. One day, the internet connection at their support center fails. Now, support staff can’t access customer queries, and incoming requests get stuck.

For the small businesses relying on immediate help, it’s like calling for assistance and nobody’s there to answer. The once-smooth support process becomes frustrating and inefficient, all because of a network hiccup.

Potential for Vendor Lock-In

Moving between cloud providers or making a shift back to an on-premise solution isn’t a walk in the park. It becomes especially knotty if the software comes with special bells and whistles, or has a unique way of handling data that’s tied to one specific provider.

Example: Think of a sizable corporation that’s invested in a cloud ticketing system, tailoring it with custom integrations and features. If they ever decide to switch providers or revert to an on-premise setup, they’d be looking at a process that’s not only costly but eats up a good chunk of time.

Customization Limitations

Cloud solutions sure do come packed with features, but when it’s time to dig deep into customization or mesh them with older, legacy systems, you might hit a wall.

Example: Consider an enterprise that marches to the beat of its own drum with a unique workflow or in-house systems. Trying to shape a cloud-based ticketing software to fit like a hand in a glove might be a tough call, especially when you weigh it against an on-premise solution that’s up for customization.

Choosing a cloud-based ticketing solution isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision. It’s a balance of understanding the organization’s unique needs, keeping an eye on the budget, and looking ahead at growth plans. Sure, cloud-based ticketing has its perks with flexibility and cutting down those pesky overheads, but don’t turn a blind eye to potential hurdles.

What’s the difference between On-premise and Cloud-based customer support software?

Choosing between cloud-based and on-premise email ticketing systems can significantly shape how your organization manages customer interactions, and it’s essential to understand the nuances of both options. Let’s delve into the differences between these two paths to help you make the right decision for your business.

AttributeOn-premiseCloud-based
LocationInstalled and runs on own servers within an organization’s physical location. It is self hosted.Runs on servers in remote data centers managed by third-party providers.
Cost StructureHigher initial costs (hardware, facilities, licensing). Ongoing costs include maintenance, power, and IT personnel.Pay-for-what-you-use model with typically less upfront cost.
Maintenance & UpgradesIT team responsible for maintenance, patches, and software upgrades.Cloud service provider manages maintenance, patches, and software updates.
ScalabilityScaling might require additional hardware or software configurations.Easy scalability; resources can be adjusted based on demand, often in real-time.
CustomizationDeeper customization possible to meet the organization’s specific needs.Possible limitations to customization but many tools and integrations offered.
Data Control & SecurityDirect control over data and security standards. Organization responsible for maintaining security measures.Data stored off-site. Major providers invest heavily in security, but concerns about data sovereignty and compliance can arise.
AccessibilityOften requires connection to the company’s internal network. Remote access might need VPNs or other secure methods.Accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.
Deployment SpeedMight be slower due to the need to configure and set up hardware and software manually.Typically faster as you leverage pre-configured resources and services.
Disaster RecoveryRequires an organization to set up and manage its own backup and disaster recovery solutions.Many cloud providers offer built-in disaster recovery solutions or make it easier to configure.
Capital Expenditure (CapEx) vs. Operational Expenditure (OpEx)Often involves more CapEx due to the purchase of hardware and infrastructure.Typically leans more towards OpEx as costs are spread out over time with a subscription or pay-as-you-go model.
Vendor Lock-inCan be minimal if using standard software and hardware without proprietary configurations.There may be more vendor lock-in, especially if using specialized services unique to a cloud provider. Transferring out might be complex and costly.
PerformancePerformance is often more predictable as the infrastructure is dedicated. However, peak loads can strain resources unless adequately provisioned.Multi-tenancy, shared resources, and network issues can influence performance. But cloud providers often have vast resources to handle peak loads.
Integration CapabilitiesMight require more manual integration with other systems, especially if they’re older or proprietary.Cloud platforms often provide a variety of integration tools and APIs, making it easier to connect with other services.

Remember, the exact differences can vary depending on specific business needs and the particular cloud or on-premise solution being considered. Always consult with your IT team or a knowledgeable vendor to ensure the chosen solution aligns perfectly with your organization’s needs.

Examples of on-premise and off-premise customer service ticketing software

Grounded in traditional IT infrastructure, on-premise ticketing systems offer direct control, ensuring businesses can tailor the software closely to their operational framework. Here are a couple of examples of on-premise helpdesk software.

osTicket: A widely-used on-premise ticketing solution, osTicket allows businesses to handle tickets via email, forms, and phone calls. It provides flexibility and control over data while integrating with existing systems.

ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus (Standard Edition): A comprehensive IT help desk solution, ServiceDesk Plus offers an on-premise version equipped with tools for ticketing, asset management, and IT project management.

Cloud-Based Email Ticketing Software

Delivering versatility through a cloud framework, off-premise ticketing platforms facilitate real-time updates and remote accessibility, appealing to businesses with dynamic and dispersed operations.

Freshdesk:

Freshdesk, as a cloud-based solution, offers a multi-channel support system including email ticketing. Its intuitive interface and automation tools provide a streamlined experience, especially favored by small to medium businesses.

See how Hiver compares against Freshdesk

Zendesk:

This cloud platform specializes in customer service, including email ticketing. Zendesk Support allows organizations to manage customer interactions centrally and scales easily with growth, ideal for businesses looking for ease of use.

Here’s why Hiver is the best Zendesk Alternative

Does Microsoft offer a ticketing solution?

Microsoft offers a ticketing solution called Dynamics 365 Customer Service. It is a cloud-based solution that offers a wide range of features, including ticket management, collaboration, and reporting. It can be integrated with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Power BI.

Here are some of the key features of Dynamics 365 Customer Service:

Ticket management: Dynamics 365 Customer Service allows you to create, track, and manage customer tickets. You can also assign tickets to agents, set due dates, and track the progress of tickets.


Collaboration: You can collaborate with other agents on tickets. You can share notes, files, and chat with other agents in real-time.


Reporting: You can generate reports and track the number of tickets, the average time to resolve tickets, and the satisfaction of your customers.


Integration: It can be integrated with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Power BI. This allows you to use the features of these products in your customer service workflows.


Dynamics 365 Customer Service is a good option for businesses of all sizes that need a comprehensive ticketing solution. It is especially well-suited for businesses that use other Microsoft products.

Does Google offer a ticketing solution?

Google does not offer a ticketing solution as part of its Google Workspace suite of productivity tools. But it does offer a collaborative inbox. 

Google Collaborative Inbox has emerged as a tool designed to foster collaboration among team members. While it appears to be a promising solution, especially for teams working in Sales and Customer Support, a deeper look reveals a set of limitations that may hinder its efficacy. 

Its complex and unfamiliar interface leads to inefficiencies and risks of lost emails as your team switches between Gmail and this inbox. Seamless email syncing, essential in customer support, can be easily disrupted, resulting in unhappy customers. The platform makes internal or cross-functional communication cumbersome and often relies on endless email threads. 

If you’re using it for customer support, knowing the status of emails can be a mess, and there’s a chance that team members might duplicate work, appearing unprofessional. The system forces more email exchanges even for basic internal communications, slowing down teamwork. Without insights into key metrics like response time or ticket closure, managing sales or support through Google Collaborative Inbox is like driving blind. 

Overall, the tool lacks the features necessary for efficient collaboration, leading to widespread challenges in navigation, synchronization, communication, tracking, and productivity.

The Best Google Workspace Alternative

Here’s how Hiver addresses the shortcomings in Google’s Collaborative Inbox:

  • Email Support: Manage shared inboxes like support@ or info@, assign ownership to emails, and have complete visibility over who is working on what email. You can also track the resolution status of every query, whether ‘open’, ‘pending’, or ‘closed’, and use Tags to segment customer queries for quicker access.
  • Knowledge Base: Empower your customers to self-serve and reduce repetitive queries by building, hosting, and monitoring a centralized library of help articles, answers, and guides.
  • Voice: The Hiver-Aircall integration lets you manage voice support right from Gmail, including initiating calls, receiving calls/voicemails, and logging them.
  • Collaborate Effectively: Loop in team members using @mentions, avoid duplication with Collision Alerts, and craft responses in real-time using Shared Drafts.
  • Set up SLAs: Prioritize conversations based on urgency and importance, ensuring timely resolutions.
  • Automations:Automate routine tasks like assigning emails and tagging conversations. Utilize AI bot Harvey to close non-actionable messages and provide intelligent template suggestions.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Measure performance to gain insights and identify areas for improvement.
  • Integration: Enhance productivity by integrating with apps like Asana, JIRA, Salesforce, Slack, and Zapier.
  • 24×7 Live Support: Benefit from priority assistance by a dedicated, empathetic, and proactive support team.

No more dealing with limited functionality or awkward interfaces. Hiver brings collaboration into Gmail, providing a seamless, powerful experience managing shared inboxes.

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Shobhana has been recognized as a 'Top Customer Support Voice' by LinkedIn. Her expertise lies in creating well-researched and actionable content for Customer Experience (CX) professionals. As an active member of popular CX communities such as CX Accelerator and Support Driven, she helps professionals evaluate tools for their support team and keeps a keen eye on emerging industry trends.

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