Visio Review

Provides Key Collaboration With Other Microsoft Applications Like SharePoint and Excel


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for Visio revolves around business process re-engineering, as-is process, to-be-processed, and then time and motion study, value stream mapping, and in collaboration with everything together.

How has it helped my organization?

Visio has improved our organization through an essential collaboration with the other Microsoft applications like SharePoint and Excel. In the earlier days, what used to happen was that a majority of the organization captured all the as-is processes, the time and motion data in the form of Excel and then they used to create process diagrams using other freeware applications. However, collaboration allows easy and convenient sharing with other stakeholders, that is really helpful with Visio.

What is most valuable?

The features I find most valuable are the integration with the other Microsoft applications, specifically Excel.

What needs improvement?

The one particular thing which I would like to see improved is in comparison to other products in the market, and is still lacking in Visio, is publishing on a web application. For example, there is a freeware application business process modeling tool, Bizagi. This tool has a very good interface. It also provides visibility allowing users to publish on SharePoint directly. Then the entire product gets converted into an HTML format which provides a one-click on all the attributes of every task, a detailed description, direct visibility, which I find is still lacking in Visio.

An additional feature I would like to see included in the next release is the implementation of web publishing. For example, for any task or any flowchart diagram that I create, example "talk to the customer." Now using "talk to the customer," return adding attribute like "this is a step-by-step document file that you should follow" or "these are the setup questions that you should follow while talking to a customer."

These documents can be attached to that specific task, and when I submit this on the web, users will get all the description, along with the attachment.

For how long have I used the solution?

Four plus years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As far as the stability of the solution I think it still needs to grow up when it comes to the interface usage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My impressions of the scalability of this solution on a scale of one to five I would rate the scalability a 3.5, with five being the highest.

I know of 50 users working with this tool. Some of them are engineers. For the people who are not technically sound, for them, they find Visio quite complicated so they try to avoid using it. That is still where Visio needs to grow. In terms of user interaction, UX, and user interface. There is some obstructive complexity. 

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I did use previous solutions, like as I mentioned one of them was Bizagi Modeler, which is growing in the market. Currently, I'm using IBM Blue.

The reason why there was a switch from Microsoft Visio was because of the user interface and easiness to UX. It's a complete BPMN solution, however, Visio can be used for multiple purposes. Now depending on the kind of audience, it was quite easy for them to use Bizagi Modeler. That's the reason why I introduced Bizagi Modeler in my organization. 

After switching organizations, I've found that Microsoft Visio was quite challenging and a little too complicated for the users. Irrespective of understanding the complete utilization and the power of the tool, people are switching to different solutions, so we were using IBM Blueworks.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It's quite easy. I worked on a couple of projects which took two or three months to complete because they required extensive organizational level detail, like from top to bottom. Using Visio, it's quite easy and I like it.

What about the implementation team?

The IT team takes care of the installation and deployment of Visio.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing I did a market evaluation. I performed a needs evaluation as the first step in our market evaluation. We considered what kind of solution we wanted and if it was okay to go with a freeware solution or is it right to go with the licensed software. Initially, we were Microsoft Platinum Partners, so that's why we had Microsoft Visio well established in our organization. However, again, when it comes to the kind of usage and along with the maturity of the process that we had, it was a simple move from my end because you're paying for a license and if you do not use the overall potential of it, including the user interface, I think it's not worth to pay for those applications.

What other advice do I have?

The only additional advice I would give, Visio is one very powerful tool in the market. Not just the application, but also its effectiveness to collaborate with other applications. Everyone is using Microsoft applications; it's how you work across platforms, and this collaboration makes life easy.

The individual applications have a lot of functions an features that's the reason why each of these applications is quite complex. You need to understand the functions before getting the full value of this tool.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the best I would rate this product an eight-over ten because it's a tool what works in collaboration with other applications very well. I'm deducting two marks because it's still complicated for the very generic user. The solution should be developed with a variety of end users in mind. It needs to be user-friendly and easier to use for all different kinds of users and user experience levels.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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