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Dawn McClure
IT Project Manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Not user friendly out-of-the-box but is fun to use and is very stable

Pros and Cons

  • "It's my understanding that the initial setup is straightforward."
  • "It's not the easiest software to use. It's not user-friendly out-of-the-box."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for tasks such as work charts, network diagrams, and process flows.

How has it helped my organization?

Process flows are probably the task we do the most. It's just how she diagrams, how a piece of software or a process should work. It's improved our organization.

What is most valuable?

It's pretty basic and fun to use.

You can go to YouTube and watch training videos. There's lots of information online about the product.

The solution can scale.

The product is quite stable.

It's my understanding that the initial setup is straightforward.

What needs improvement?

It's not the easiest software to use. It's not user-friendly out-of-the-box.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about 20 or so years. It's been two decades; it's a long time.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is excellent. It never breaks, and I've used it for 20 years. Its performance is reliable. It doesn't crash or freeze. There are no bugs or glitches. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so with relative ease.

We have around 200 people who use it in the company.

As of right now, we do not have plans to increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fine, as long as you can get a hold of someone. that can be tricky.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to this solution, it's unlikely we had a different product. It was 20 years ago, and therefore it's been a long time.

How was the initial setup?

I didn't directly deal with the initial implementation. We have a team in-house that handles deployments. I can't speak to what the process was like or how easy or hard it was. Likely, setting it up was pretty straightforward and deployment takes a day. At least, that is my understanding.

We have a dedicated team that handles deployment and maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We have our own in-house team that can manage the implementation. We did not need the assistance of an integrator or consultant.

What was our ROI?

After 20 years of using the solution, our company has definitely seen an ROI. I don't have exact details, however.

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

We have an enterprise license. We renew it on a yearly basis. We don't pay any extra fees and we partner with the Gartner group to help us when we have to renegotiate.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using the latest version of the solution. I can't speak to the exact version number.

We use both cloud and on-premises deployment models at this time.

I'd advise any company considering using the solution should first have a Microsoft team in place.

I'd rate the solution at a five out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VS
Senior Director, Digital Engg. & Enterprise Arch. at a pharma/biotech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Very intuitive and simple to use; user interface could be simplified

Pros and Cons

  • "Simple to use and very intuitive."
  • "Portability from Visio to PowerPoint and vice versa could be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

We are end users of this solution. I'm a senior director of the company and a digital engineer.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has helped us get our life cycle diagrams right and show the accountability across groups. It affects the business process sometimes at a very high level. Although it's not a BPA tool, a management tool, it has been utilized in some of those aspects and has been helpful to draw the handoff and the handshake across teams and across roles as we draw the life cycle diagram. With the various tools that come out of the box, it's been pretty helpful to get that in a pictorial fashion as it makes it easier to explain.

What is most valuable?

I like that it's simple to use and a very intuitive solution. The tools that it provides out of the box are pretty good. The out of the box categorization of flow charts helps. Its ability to take it to PowerPoint is easy as well. 

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see the portability simplified from Visio to PowerPoint and vice versa. With other products coming on the market, Visio is losing a little ground and as a result, I mainly use PowerPoint now and Visio much less. The user interface could be simplified enabling non-technical people to use it. There's something about it that makes it complicated to use. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for a few years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a pretty stable solution, I haven't had any issues around it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't seen any issues from a scalability perspective. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have previously used Confluence, PowerPoint and Precio, which have similar features in terms of what they're trying to do. They may not be out of the box, but you end up drawing it yourself. Visio is really a complementary solution as it merges when you're drawing deeper  solutions, more technical and when you're wanting clip art and pictures. It's being more in that space rather than really drawing technical stuff.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to understand your objectives, understand who the audience is and your needs. You can then make a call as to which solution suits. It's not an easy solution for non-technical folks and is generally used by technical staff in technical IT departments within corporate companies. I started as a technical person so haven't had issues with it. I really like that it's easy to draw stuff out. You don't need PowerPoint for a standalone diagram that you have only from a collaboration perspective, like the confluence etc. If you're doing a standalone diagram, trying to communicate the message in a visual format, Visio is great. 

I rate this solution a seven out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,407 professionals have used our research since 2012.
NR
Lead Process Improvement Manager at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Very flexible, easy to use, and stable

Pros and Cons

  • "We are all familiar with it, and it is easy to use. There is a lot of flexibility, and you can add shapes if you want."
  • "It would be nice if there is a database behind it. We have looked into this functionality, but all of the other solutions that have a database are very locked down, and you have to use them their way. You can't define your own stuff. For example, we have a system X, and I want to define system X myself and have it available. If I am ever going to make a change to system X, I want to pull up all the drawings that are associated with system X. I want to be able to search and pull all those drawings. Visio should have the ability to capture metrics associated with each step in the process. For example, based on a specific time, I should be able to link the data to a spreadsheet, which is kind of like the data analysis on the process."

What is our primary use case?

As process improvement professional I map out current state processes either at the value stream or swim lane level, at times both. With current state I identify pain points and bottlenecks do root cause analysis, identify possible solutions, and make recommendations on which ones I think would be the most effective. Then incorporate them into a proposed future state. 

How has it helped my organization?

Once we developed custom templates and shape libraries it provided a common look and feel that our stakeholders have come to understand, which is helping them to develop a continuous improvement mindset. 

What is most valuable?

We are all familiar with it, and it is easy to use. There is a lot of flexibility, and you can create custom templates with standard shapes. 

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if we could develop a custom database. We have looked into this functionality, but all of the other solutions that have a database are very locked down, and you have to use them their way. You can't define your own systems, tools, and inputs etc. For example, if we have systems that are used in multiple processes, and we want to know what processes use those systems we should be able to query the database for processes that include a specific system. A uses case could be system X being phased out so we need to know what processes will be impacted, so that we can ensure that those processes are all taken into account in any decisions to replace that system.

Additionally, Visio should have the ability to capture metrics such as demand, work time, cycle time, .. for each step in the process. Then those metrics should be able to be linked to a spreadsheet to enable data analysis that remains aligned with the process map so that changes remain aligned between Visio and Excel. Other systems attempt to provide this functionality, but the spreadsheet functionality is not as robust as Excel. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are no scalability issues. We are a nationwide company, and there are around 5,000 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never had to contact them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I never used another solution long-term, but I have evaluated various and continue to see Visio as the best option. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. It has been around for so long. All of us have used it before, so it is not like it was new to us. 

What was our ROI?

Good. 

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

Most other tools are expensive.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was already using Visio for years before evaluating other options.

What other advice do I have?

I advise standardizing the file naming conventions so it is easier to find what you need when you need it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
reviewer1498125
User at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
A stable and flexible solution for drawing a variety of diagrams

Pros and Cons

  • "Visio is stable."
  • "The application grid seems to be unreliable which makes simple tasks complicated."

What is our primary use case?

We mostly use this solution for process management and for diagram modeling. Functional diagrams or BPMN partition diagrams — that's all. Some nice drawings for presentations.

Almost all of our employees use bundled Microsoft products and because they have no administrative rights, they cannot install additional programs. We use Visio to present our diagrams to our employees as it's too complicated to explain how to use our services over and over. If we had a BPM platform and a diagram modeling solution, we would not use Visio.

Within our organization, there are roughly 100 people that use this solution.

I am not sure if our company has plans to keep using Visio — it's not up to me. If we were to stop using it, I wouldn't miss it.

What needs improvement?

To me, Visio doesn't really stand apart from similar solutions that I have used. When it first came out, it was quite a progressive product. As it's simply for drawing and painting diagrams, lines, flowcharts, the price is too high. I do not understand why this product is not included in the Microsoft Office package.

I personally wouldn't buy Visio even if it were 10 times cheaper because I only use it at work for diagram modeling; it's not a unique product anymore. 

It's both stable and flexible, but many features are complicated. The application grid seems to be unreliable which makes simple tasks complicated. It's not very easy to make diagrams the way I would like them to look.

It should be easier to convert to other vector graphic file formats. Auto error-correction features would also be a big help. If you have a diagram and you scroll your mouse too far, you'll lose your diagram. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for nearly two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Visio is stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We contact them from time to time. I am satisfied with them.

What about the implementation team?

My boss signed a decision and an IT support unit installed Visio. It only took a couple of minutes. There were absolutely no problems regarding the installation of the product.

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

Personally, I think the price of this solution is too high. I need this product for my work. I have also bought Office 365 for myself, for my personal office. But if I want to work at home, I can't use Visio due to the price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No. But currently, we are in the process of studying other business process management solutions, including Microsoft Dynamics. 

What other advice do I have?

In the near future, I would like to see an updated product with diagram usage in BPM systems.

I would recommend Visio to other companies if money is not a problem. Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AC
Founder at AC Lean
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Extremely agile, user friendly with many useful templates

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very agile and user friendly with a lot of templates."
  • "Lacks the ability to analyze the different relations between activities, positions and roles."

What is our primary use case?

I analyze and model processes for optimization. We are customers of Visio and I'm a founder of the company, working as a process consultant.

What is most valuable?

It's a very agile product because I can map and model a process extremely quickly. It's user friendly and there are a lot of templates I can use that are really useful. I like very much that I can publish the different models I've created with my clients and they can view the entire process, it's really useful. It provides a lot of advantages because you can see the inefficiencies visually, and it's really easy to analyze and to detect different inefficiencies in order to improve the process.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to be able to extract different data from different relations between the objects I create and I'd like the ability to analyze the different relations between activities, positions and roles. Visio can't give me this functionality. I would also like to be able to introduce more information in each object. For example, to include some codes or name or description of the activity, to be able to introduce more data in the object. To have this information in the objects would be great. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From my clients' perspective, it's really scalable. It can be used in any type of company. I think it's really useful for any person that is working for a company with a wide range of processes. I'm the only person in my company who uses it and I'll continue to do so because it's so user friendly. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used Aris for a short period of time several years ago. It was a good experience but a more expensive solution. I'm evaluating it again and depending on the conditions the company offers, I might start using it again. I can keep using Visio even if I start using Aris as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very easy. With 365 it's very fast. It's good. I think I was able to deploy in 30 minutes. I did it myself although I was in contact with the chat bot at the beginning to ask some questions.

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

I pay a monthly fee to Visio.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend the product and I think it's very useful for any person that works in a company where you need to visualize the process you work in and to analyze ways of improving. 

I would rate this solution more highly if it was easier to extract data but for now I rate Visio an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AB
Data Center Design Architect at a tech company with 201-500 employees
Reseller
Top 20
A stable diagramming tool with a useful grouping feature

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that once you create what you need, you can group that, at least within that drawing, and you have access to that new stencil object or that custom object throughout that drawing."
  • "The auto-routing feature could be better."

What is our primary use case?

I build either diagrams for solutions or use Visio to create illustrations for slide decks and white papers.

What is most valuable?

There's a much better library of stencils than there used to be. But I still have to create many composite objects to illustrate a software-defined data center or software-defined networking. I like that once you create what you need, you can group that, at least within that drawing, and you have access to that new stencil object or that custom object throughout that drawing.

I do know that Microsoft has extended the ability of Visio to interact with other Microsoft applications. I know you can use Visio elements in spreadsheets and Excel. I know that doing a copy and paste from Visio into a PowerPoint slide is very easy and clean now. It used to be a nightmare.

What needs improvement?

The auto-routing feature could be better. Around 2018, the auto-routing of lines was pretty close to perfect, but it's started to go downhill from there. Keeping the lines attached to endpoints while you manipulate how they run and how they interact with other shapes or near other shapes is becoming very tedious. I would like them to give us the option of opening up the rules for auto-routing and make checkbox selections of what rules we want to apply and what rules we don't.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Visio for about 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Visio is stable. It's gotten to be much more robust since Microsoft took over. It used to freeze or crash with very complex drawings, and I haven't had a freeze or a crash in years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think it's scalable. I don't think I challenge what it can do the way I used to. I think Microsoft has probably improved how it uses memory, or they may have solved some memory leak problems because I did not have any issue with the size of a drawing. 

I've never reached a limit on the size of a drawing, and usually, autosave is turned on by default. Again, right about the time Microsoft acquired Visio, the autosave function took much longer than it does now. I can also open more additional applications while Visio is running, but it used to hit its limits on that. They have improved its ability to run in the same environment with other big apps.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is getting much easier. The deployment piece was actually just part of my license. The IT team can set up definitions of which engineers get what features in Microsoft. That was completely transparent to me this time.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Visio a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
KD
Senior Design Leader at Koninklijke Bam Groep N.v.
Real User
Top 5
Easier drawing capabilities needed, but integrates well and beneficial stencils creation

Pros and Cons

  • "I think the best part of Visio is that you can import drawings very well into Microsoft Word. For example, if you put the Visio drawing into Word, you can double click on it and it opens in Visio. It is a very useful feature and something which I miss switching to Enterprise Architect. In Enterprise Architect, if I import a drawing into Word it does not open the diagram in Enterprise Architect. This is one of the strongest features and the ability to create your own stencils."
  • "They could improve the drawing function, other solutions provide easier drawing capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

I work for BAM, which is the largest builder in the Netherlands. We have approximately 24,000 employees and we have a centralized IT that provides all products for our company. I use the solution for organizing many different types of visuals graphics. It has the ability to make drawings quickly with links, flowcharts, and organizational drawings.

What is most valuable?

I think the best part of Visio is that you can import drawings very well into Microsoft Word. For example, if you put the Visio drawing into Word, you can double click on it and it opens in Visio. It is a very useful feature and something which I miss switching to Enterprise Architect. In Enterprise Architect, if I import a drawing into Word it does not open the diagram in Enterprise Architect. This is one of the strongest features and the ability to create your own stencils. Additionally, it allowed the importation of AutoCAD drawings which was helpful because I did not have AutoCAD installed on my laptop.

What needs improvement?

They could improve the drawing function, other solutions provide easier drawing capabilities.

The UML drawings are quite limited, particularly the clause diagrams. You need to put a lot of effort to get everything right, compared to some other products I have tried.

In a future release, there should be more features in UML drawings. Generating drawings that belong to UML is quite an effort, everything is very tedious by hand and I prefer the methods which other competitors use which takes the effort away because some elements are done automatically. It requires fewer clicks with your mouse and fewer presses on the keyboard to accomplish the same result.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for approximately 21 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have also used other UML tools and almost all of them are easier to draw in than in Visio.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation is done by our centralized IT team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated Enterprise Architect and have now switched to it.

What other advice do I have?

Visio is that it is a reasonable product.

I see Visio as something similar to Coral Draw, but more vector-oriented. For example, no picture, but vectors. I classified Visio more as a standard drawing program, it tries to be something else. I am drawing more and more diagrams in UML and Visio is not the ideal tool.

If I was going to rate Visio for generalistic drawings, it would be a solid eight. It is a good product, there is nothing wrong with it. However, this is not my main use case.

I rate Visio a five out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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Dwayne McKie
Business Process Manager at a maritime company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Flexible and easy to use, but it should have a better connection to the workflow

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the set of diagramming tools."
  • "The big downside to Visio is that it's very difficult to push the design through to Power Automate, to become a workflow that you can use."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use Visio for creating mind maps and other visualizations.

I also use it for process modeling, but we are searching for a specific business process modeler because Visio doesn't have the full scope of capability that we need.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the set of diagramming tools.

It is quite flexible and easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The big downside to Visio is that it's very difficult to push the design through to Power Automate, to become a workflow that you can use.

The process modeling capability would benefit from a quick modeler tool, such as one where you use a table that is populated using the BPMN 2.0 format.

In the future, I would like to see a connection with the workflow so that you can create your model and then execute it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for about ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is something that needs to be improved.

The models are not linked together, so unless you're using SharePoint or you've defined your own workflow, there is no version control. This makes it more difficult to collaborate, link models, and make sure that everybody is using the latest version. Essentially, you have to build your own framework from scratch in order to do that.

We have about 100 users, most of which are end-users. It requires minimal administration.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had to contact the vendor for support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This was the first proper diagramming tool that we have used.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Our IT department installed it, and I think that it took a couple of hours to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team is responsible for the deployment, maintenance, and providing support.

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

Our license for Visio is including with the Office 365 subscription.

What other advice do I have?

This is a product that I can recommend, albeit for limited use. If you just want to draw basic models and create systems diagrams, and not do anything too clever and link it together, then it will work well because it's quite flexible and easy to use.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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