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NR
Lead Process Improvement Manager at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
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.
Andrew-Lim
Managing Director at Andrew Lim Consulting
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy-to-use features for creating BPMN diagrams

Pros and Cons

  • "The Data Objects are hyperlinked to the Standard Operating Procedures, Letters, and Forms."
  • "The Auto-Align has improved significantly from the previous release; however, it still jumbles the model if your process diagram has a fair degree of complexity."

What is our primary use case?

I have used Visio Professional to model business process to BPMN 2.0 standard in the Logistic and Insurance Industry. Visio has been an easy-to-use modeling tool for Logistic processes, Complaints processes, Compensation Recoveries processes, Insurance processes, and Finance processes. The modeling of the As-Is process allows process analysis to design an efficient To-be process.

How has it helped my organization?

Visio is used to model and communicate the business process. 

As with all process modeling software when used correctly, it has the following benefits:

  • Swimlanes enable clear accountability and responsibility.
  • The Data Objects are hyperlinked to the Standard Operating Procedures, Letters, and Forms.
  • The Data Store is linked to the CRM/ERP system.
  • The task types assigned to the task enables the identification of improvement opportunities.

What is most valuable?

The ability to create BPMN Diagrams with the Visio Professional, the ability to import Rules from the BPMN 2.0 Rule Set, and Check the diagram according to the BPMN 2.0 rules are the most valuable features.

The Align features are easy to use and keep the diagram neat and tidy as you model the business process with the stakeholders in process discovery workshops. You need to be pretty competent to be able to map the process on the spot.

The access to commonly used features with the right click of the mouse and F8 (Align) are the best features.

What needs improvement?

For older version of Visio Professional, not all BPMN 2.0 Elements are available. 

The Auto-Align has improved significantly from the previous release; however, you may still find the auto align features lacking if your process diagram has a fair degree of complexity. My suggestion is to keep your process model straight forward and use the intermediate Link Event or End Signal Event to break up, simplify or connect the the rest of the process map.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. When working with a complex process model, ensure that your computer has sufficient RAM to support multiple software and multiple displays (three monitors) running concurrently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not applicable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not required customer service or technical support in using Visio.

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

Visio is the first software that I used to start modeling business processes.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution was straight forward.

What about the implementation team?

This solution was implemented in-house through the IT Support Team.

What was our ROI?

The ROI for this solution is hard to quantify.

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

The cost of the software is reasonably priced. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options before choosing this solution.

What other advice do I have?

If you are considering modeling business process to BPMN 2.0 standards, you must purchase the Visio Professional version as the Standard version does not include the BPMN functionality.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
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reviewer1498125
User at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
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.
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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 10
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
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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.
Venkatesh Mulabagilu
Digital Enterprise Architect at DXC
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use for beginners and allows us to import Visio templates, but its visual presentation, support for other formats and integration with cloud vendors need improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very easy for people to start using this tool, and we can import Visio templates that are already published by vendors such as Azure without any issue."
  • "Its integration with other vendors can be better and support for other formats. For example, when we import a JPEG, we cannot customize it. Similarly, we can't utilize the BPML kind of diagrams."
  • "It should natively enable importing diagrams or reference architectures from any of the vendors whose solutions are used by the customer or proposed by solution providers such as DXC"

What is our primary use case?

I use it to create architecture diagrams. 

How has it helped my organization?

It serves purpose to help one get started, but it is not designed to create Modern day Data pipelines or to visualize and Manage Enterprise Architectures.

What is most valuable?

It is very easy for people to start using this tool, and we can import Visio templates that are already published by vendors such as Azure without any issue.

What needs improvement?

a) Its integration with other vendors can be better and support for other formats. For example, when we import a JPEG, we cannot customize it. Similarly, we can't utilize the BPML kind of diagrams.

b) It should natively enable importing diagrams or reference architectures from any of the vendors whose solutions are used by the customer or proposed by solution providers such as DXC

For example: AWS, GCP, VMWARE etc

We can't work in isolation in a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud world. This is a necessity.

c) The tool has to support more collaboration capabilities so that I can co-create architectures  within the organization or with my vendor partners or customers

d) As compared to some of the other vendors like Lucidchart, Visio is quite old-fashioned in terms of visual presentation. It is not up-to-date. Its visual presentation should be improved.

e) Rather than static diagrams, the tool should support API level integration  like SAP Power Designer or EA tool from SAP so that deployment of solution becomes easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for at least five years.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not called their tech support. If I want to know something, I normally find YouTube videos, and I have been able to manage so far.

How was the initial setup?

Its installation is easy nowadays. It is not complex.

What about the implementation team?

I did the installation. 

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

I use Corporate subscription-based model, and the subscription is done on a yearly basis. Of course, we need internal approvals in place to get license.

What other advice do I have?

It is a good tool for beginners or medium-level users. It is also good for those users who have experience in using Microsoft solutions. However, I don't consider it as an enterprise-architecture tool. It is a very generic visualization tool.

I would rate Visio a seven out of ten for its ease of use for beginners. 

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.