Bitrix24 is a software suite that aims to be a one-stop-shop for everything you’d need to run a business. It has tools for communication, collaboration, project management, CRM, helpdesk, and building websites.
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Bitrix24 has one of the largest arrays of tools that we’ve seen, but how does it compare to the best helpdesk software providers on the market? That’s what we set out to discover in this Bitrix24 review as we take a look at its pricing, features, support, and ease of use.
Plans and pricing
Bitrix24 can either be self-hosted on-premises or you can subscribe to a cloud account. The great thing about it is that it includes a free cloud plan that has a 5 GB cloud data storage limit, but no limits on the numbers of users. It also includes quite a lot of the features that are available in the paid plans.
The rest of Bitrix24’s paid cloud plans are split into two brackets, Special and Business. They vary in price from $19/month for two users for the Start+ plan up to $159/month for unlimited users on the Professional plan. These are the prices you get if you pay annually, and it’s 20% more expensive to pay month to month. If you pay biannually, the price is reduced by 30%.
For the most part, you get more features and storage as you move up through the plans, but there are two special plans, CRM+ and Project+, which are the same price and have the same amount of storage–$55/month and 50 GB–but Project+ includes more users and fewer features.
At the top end of the pricing scale, the Professional plan has no limits on users and 1024 GB of storage.
For on-premises plans, prices start at $1490 for 12 users and go up to $59,990 for unlimited users. Those prices get you a license key that is valid for a year. After the year is up, some features and tech support won’t be available, but you can purchase upgrades that go from $1500 up to $35,000.
Bitrix24 groups its tools into five categories: contact center, communications, tasks and projects, CRM, and websites.
Contact center is the helpdesk category and supports multiple channels including phone, email, website forms, live chat, social media, and popular messenger apps like Skype, Telegram, and Viber.
Each of these channels can have its own separate queue and routing rules, as well as canned replies to common questions and bot support.
Comprehensive reports will give you data about activity by channel, average response times, client satisfaction, and supervisor ratings, and you can also create your own custom reports.
As we mentioned, Bitrix24 can be installed on-premises with full access to the source code, giving you the ability to customize it as necessary. It also comes with many integrations to other popular apps like Slack, Xero, Google Drive, and Office 365, and if one doesn’t exist for what you want, you can create your own using a REST API.
Interface and in use
Bitrix24 is available as a web app for desktop and has free mobile apps for Android and iOS.
When you first log in, you’re presented with your dashboard, which has a lot going on, making it hard to know where to start. It’s not helped by the default background image of clouds in the sky, which many of the white text elements on the page very difficult to read. This was particularly the case with the hidden menu items that you access by clicking on More—which is where you find the link to the Contact Center. You can remove the background image or choose a different one, but we had to search help articles to find out how to do it.
With many helpdesk solutions that we’ve reviewed, once you’ve logged in, you can pretty much get to work immediately. But with Bitrix24 we needed to read quite a few help articles and watch some video tutorials to get a handle on how to use it.
Some parts of the UI were a bit confusing too. For instance, when we visited the Contact Center page and clicked on Live chat, the text said the chat page was available at the link below, but there was no link. We eventually found the link elsewhere.
Bitrix24 is certainly very customizable, but it may take quite a bit of getting used to, with many visits to help articles required along the way. It’s also not the fastest helpdesk app we’ve used, with some pages and panels that slide in taking a while to load.
If you’re in need of technical support for Bitrix24, you’re going to need a paid plan. Free plans are limited to self-help resources like Bitrix24’s own helpdesk articles, video tutorials, and free weekly webinars. Access to helpdesk articles is available from the help widget on your account dashboard after you’ve logged in, or from the Bitrix24 website itself. There is also a live chat widget on the Bitrix24 website, but it’s only for sales inquiries.
Bitrix24 has more than ten years of experience in securing web applications and has a number of measures in place to keep your data secure. It uses Amazon Web Services for storing business data, and accounts can be secured with two-step authorization so that they aren’t accessible if passwords are stolen.
Bitrix24 also has its own proactive web application firewall that blocks the vast majority of attacks, uses independent data centers and redundant clustering, keeps daily backups, and maintains high levels of office security.
Although not unique, there aren’t many providers of helpdesk software that also provide the same range of business tools as Bitrix24.
HubSpot is one that does, with free CRM software together with paid software for support, marketing, sales, and managing website content. Subscriptions for each of HubSpot’s individual software products can be purchased individually, or you can buy bundles for all of them which range in prices from $50/month up to $4200/month.
Freshdesk is another that offers helpdesk and CRM software. The helpdesk software comes with a free plan for unlimited agents, and paid plans that range in price from $15/agent/month up to $99/agent/month. Sales CRM capabilities are offered through the separate Freshsales product which integrates with Freshdesk.
If you’re after a single provider for nearly every software tool a business could need, Bitrix24 is a great choice. But it certainly isn’t for complete novices and will likely require some investment in time and training to get the most out of. The performance of the web app itself also wasn’t the best we’ve encountered.
Pricing, however, is quite reasonable, and you don’t have to worry about ballooning costs if your business expands and you need to add more users, as there are plans with no user limits.
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