Visio Review

Intuitive and doesn't take much time to make a complete and sophisticated flow chat from end to end


What is our primary use case?

We primarily use Visio as a flow chart software solution.

What is most valuable?

The application makes plotting and flowcharting very easy and very user-friendly. It is intuitive and doesn't take any time to make a complete and sophisticated flow chat from end to end. We are considering shifting completely from iGraphics to Visio Pro for office 365. I'm good in Visio, but I'm not an expert in iGraphics, so more comparison is necessary to define which solution is better.

The main feature of Visio and Autodesk that makes it attractive is that using Visio for just a week or two, people found that it's easier and more user-friendly in terms of flowcharting. The shapes library is much easier, the integration between Visio and other Microsoft Office tools is instantaneous. 

The concerns were that Visio did not have all the necessary features. In iGraphics, for example, you may add a command in the flow charts and add a note for a specific activity. When exporting it into a PDF, these notes get mentioned with the chart number so it's very easy to refer back to each note. It is a bit more efficient for reference without any extra effort. This was one of the features that they were missing in Visio.

iGraphics has a compulsory function which creates a complete reference and a complete library of all the processes related to my enterprise, my organization, in certain shapes or hierarchies. It's very handy and very easy to reference.

This is not as straightforward in Visio. Visio can compensate for this and have these processes in the same hierarchy. It is just related to collaboration. I can check the changes in the processes and models using the tracking feature.

What needs improvement?

There are not a lot of things that need to be improved in Visio from the user's perspective, but maybe some functions are missing. For example, migrating flow charts from iGraphics should be easier. When checking on some forums, some users mention data converters — so that may be a possibility. But it is not an official Microsoft solution for migrating the igx or the iGraphics flow charts to a Visio flow chart. It's a drawback, and it's a very big drawback. If we are not going to use Visio, the lack of integration would be for this reason. It's a show stopper for us right now.

The function that isn't integrated in Visio is having a share point. If I'm going share with somebody who's more knowledgeable about a particular aspect of a workflow, they have to know how to use the share point. This is a drawback. iGraphics doesn't need that. It's much easier.

More centralized integration would be desirable, but I believe that's not the direction Microsoft is taking with the product. If everybody moved to a cloud-based environment, a more centralized solution that catered to users to cut extra processes and functions, Visio would be perfect. 

In short, integration and easier migration would be beneficial.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Visio for seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable and has been since we implemented it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's easy to scale. We have not implemented permissions so that may be more complicated. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We didn't have to use it yet. We were considering a different support contact in order to find the solution to migration.

How was the initial setup?

It's easy to set up. It's all straightforward, like any Microsoft installation.

What was our ROI?

I'm not involved in the financial decisions, so I can't calculate the actual value in return on investment. However, it saves time in training.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing is related to the number of Microsoft licenses being served.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

iGraphics was the solution which was in place, but the support contact with iGraphics ended. Because we needed to have a new contact and iGraphics is very expensive, we started to check other solutions for the flow charts. Many were also expensive. But Visio was the most cost-effective.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Visio as an eight out of ten on a very conservative scale. It is an 8 for ease of use, efficiency, and flexibility. It's not 9 of 10 because it lacks integration functions.

If you have a team that is not sophisticated or oriented to flowcharts, or if you don't have a lot of time to train these people, I guess Visio comes in handy as a very easy solution. When I started to train people on Visio, it didn't take more than two or three days. 

Even people who use iGraphics for years don't know all the features or know that they exist. 

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