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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.
JM
Computing Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Allows us to program in VBA and is easy to use out of the box

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that you could program in VBA is most valuable."
  • "We need the place and route capability for the lines when we have a database. I use it for architectures, and between the boxes, there are lines or interfaces from one tool to another. I wish those lines could be easily drawn without having to place them mechanically. I wish that there was some kind of place and route capability, so I just press a button, and all the lines get drawn."

What is our primary use case?

I wrote some Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripts in the background to graph with my stencils and use the database at the back. In general, I'm using stencils, and I'm using Excel database in the background. With those tables, I am able to grab the data out in the stencils, and then I place it Visio. So, the main drawing area is in Visio, but it uses data in the background.

I am not using its latest version. I am using one version back.

How has it helped my organization?

I use it for computer architecture. I make diagrams of various engineering domains such as mechanical systems engineering and electrical systems engineering. It is used for that purpose, and we're able to better organize our architectures to pictures.

What is most valuable?

The fact that you could program in VBA is most valuable. 

It is easy to use out of the box. It requires little training, which is readily available. You can learn things easily.

What needs improvement?

We need the place and route capability for the lines when we have a database. I use it for architectures, and between the boxes, there are lines or interfaces from one tool to another. I wish those lines could be easily drawn without having to place them mechanically. I wish that there was some kind of place and route capability, so I just press a button, and all the lines get drawn. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for at least 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is definitely good. It works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales, but there is a limit. There is only so much that you can do with the nature of it.

We don't have any intentions to increase its usage, but it is used as a standard tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

I did use Microsoft technical support before but not necessarily for Visio. In general, they're pretty prompt.

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

In general, I have been using Visio.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward to deploy. It probably took hours in reading instructions and so forth.

What about the implementation team?

It was an in-house job.

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

We have an enterprise license. I'm not sure what the cost is. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Visio a nine out of 10. 

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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Learn what your peers think about Visio. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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AT
System Analysis Chapter Area Lead at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
A good BPM and UML tool which offers stability, scalability, ease of use and is intuitive with the UI

Pros and Cons

  • "What I like most about the solution is that It's quite easy to use."
  • "I would like to see Visio become some kind of enterprise architecture, which it is not."

What is most valuable?

What I like most about the solution is that It's quite easy to use. In our case we do not consider it in this exercise since we wish the components to be logical and not just to have the drawings in one diagram or another.

What needs improvement?

It is difficult for me to point to which areas of the solution need improvement as most of my people are using it and I have had little hands-on experience with it in the past few years. 

An issue I wish to see addressed is the ability to go beyond just drawings for separate systems to that of having logical architecture described on the price level. Certain disadvantages in the solution make this difficult. 

I would like to see Visio become some kind of enterprise architecture, which it is not. Instead, it serves as a BPM and UML tool at which, so I understand, it is quite good.

The solution addresses a different kind of removal system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have personally been using Visio for several years, although not professionally. I use it exclusively in an intuitive fashion and for drawing diagrams. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Of course the solution is scalable. This depends on how a person designs his infrastructure and if he makes use of his work solutions.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had experience with technical support. 

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

While I don't recall the exact price I do recall that it was quite high.

What other advice do I have?

My recommendation to others is that the solution should offer different tools. In line with the person's particular requirements he would need to make a choice. The pricing should be lower. What I do like about Visio is that it's quite intuitive in respect of the UI. In this regard it is similar to other Microsoft products. But, sometimes people need just the road to Tango, rendering the use of Visio unnecessary. It depends on the goal of what the person wishes to achieve. 

Taking into account that Visio is good enough and quite easy to use, but carries a higher than desired price, I would rate it as a nine out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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NE
Sr. IT Project Manager at a university with self employed
Real User
Top 5
Stable with a good interface but not included with the Office 365 Suite

Pros and Cons

  • "The interface of the solution is very good. It's easy to navigate."
  • "The solution should be included in Microsoft Office 365. For some reason, it's not. It should be bundled in with everything else."

What is most valuable?

The interface of the solution is very good. It's easy to navigate.

We've found that the technical support has been pretty helpful overall.

The project management and the business process are both very good.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward.

The stability of the solution is very good.

What needs improvement?

The solution should be included in Microsoft Office 365. For some reason, it's not. It should be bundled in with everything else. If they did, clients and customers would benefit a lot.

Just because you have technical support for other Microsoft products does not necessarily mean you will have it for Visio.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for ten years at this point. It's been a decade. It's been a long time. However, currently, I only use it occasionally.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. It's reliable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's been very good over the years. That said, I haven't used it as much as I used to recently.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Not too many people use the solution in our organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

While we do have technical support for other products, we don't have any for Visio

That said, in general, Microsoft does offer very good technical support. We just done get it for this product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's straightforward and pretty simple. However, I myself have a lot of experience with Microsoft. I've been working with Microsoft for 25 years and have handled fairly sizable products in the past.

What other advice do I have?

We use an older version of the solution. We don't use the latest one. It might be either the 2015 or 2016 version.

We're customers and end-users. We aren't consultants or resellers. We don't have a business relationship with the company. We are big clients, however. We have a volume license.

Overall, I would rate the solution seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jim Hawkins
Process Improvement Consultant/Business Analyst at Sherpa Consulting
Consultant
Top 5
Straightforward to use, the templates are helpful, and it does everything that I want it to do

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a very straightforward product and I don't think that anything needs to be simplified."
  • "I would like to see the project planning element improved, although it won't happen because Microsoft deliberately made it worse."

What is our primary use case?

I am working as a business analyst and I used Visio for process mapping.

What is most valuable?

I like Visio because you basically do anything you want.

The templates are useful, for example, because we can implement a project using the BPMN template. It's very good that you have got that option.

This is a very straightforward product and I don't think that anything needs to be simplified.

It integrates with other products reasonably well.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see the project planning element improved, although it won't happen because Microsoft deliberately made it worse. They did not like the idea that you could actually plan a project with it, so they greatly diminished the capability because it was competing with Microsoft Project.

Back in the days before Microsoft got their hands on it, it was quite a capable system for managing small projects. If you were doing something that only had half a dozen people and runs for up to a year or something, Visio was perfectly adequate for doing all of the project planning. Whereas, from what I have seen of it now, you could not project plan making a cup of tea with it. They have completely emasculated the project planning capability.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio since it first came out, perhaps 35 years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it is absolutely fine. I have had no problems with it at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never needed to contact technical support. I've never had a problem.

What other advice do I have?

For anything other than project planning, Visio seems to be absolutely fine and I recommend it. This is an excellent product. As it can do everything that I want it to do, I have not really considered any room for improvement.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

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.
GA
Solution Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Extremely flexible and easy to customize; simplicity is a key feature

Pros and Cons

  • "Great at illustrating advanced topics which helps my team understand what I'm trying to get across."
  • "Lacks stencils for new technologies in the solution."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case of this product is to create diagrams for the solutions I'm designing. Others may use it to provide graphical explanations of complex topics, or even for organizational charts. We have around 20 users in very different roles - IT, processing, design, or those in more technical roles. We are a customer of Visio and I'm a solution architect. 

How has it helped my organization?

Visio helps to depict what's on my mind, it flows between the different components that we're designing. Visio is very good at illustrating advanced topics which helps my team understand what I'm trying to get across

What is most valuable?

The valuable feature is the simplicity of drawing shapes and connecting them. It's very easy to customize and then group the activities so the solution offers a lot of flexibility. It really provides value. 

What needs improvement?

I'd like them to include more stencils for new technologies in the solution. There are plenty of stencils available on the web but it requires researching, downloading, and testing what works. There are some common ones such as when you're working with technologies like Microsoft but it takes me some time to download clip art and try to make them myself.

I would love to see an option to drill down collapsed sections of the diagrams as well as an option to navigate through different pages of diagrams, something that can be more easily summarized, and then go on to the details.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for 10 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution and there's very little maintenance required. We have a software specialist in the company and that person takes care of all the laptops.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, it takes around half an hour. 

What other advice do I have?

This is a very powerful and useful tool. You can create all types of diagrams and I consider it a must-know option.

I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

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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Pete-Fotopoulos
VP of Networking and Infrastructure at NJA LLC
Real User
Top 5
A popular diagramming and vector graphics solution that's easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "Just the fact that a majority of the industry uses it, and you've got third-party templates that were created."
  • "The only downside to Visio is the learning curve."

What is our primary use case?

I use Visio for diagramming configurations.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved the way my organization functions because diagramming is almost similar to mind-mapping. It's a good way to get the message across and for people to understand at all levels.

What is most valuable?

Just the fact that a majority of the industry uses it, and you've got third-party templates that were created. All my vendors have templates for their products and services. It's also easy to use Visio.

What needs improvement?

I would help if they had something like a Microsoft Viewer. They also need to make this available across other platforms and not just Windows.

It would also be nice to have a portal within the product, with some agreement with third parties to get those templates through the Microsoft project portal and not have to go out there and spend time locating the templates. 

The only downside to Visio is the learning curve. Nobody off the street can pick it up that quick, and they have to learn it. They need to get some training, some tutorials, which applies to just about anything these days.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Visio for more than 15 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Visio is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If they allowed cloud deployments, you could scale it laterally or vertically.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is a lengthy process, but it's easy to install. But you have to import your templates, depending on whether you want to use generic ones or specific ones.

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

I think costs are on a per user basis.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise potential users of Visio to explore the third-party templates and not limit themselves to what is provided because it's not enough.

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

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
OS
Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
A standard and easy-to-use solution, but it needs more flexibility

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a standard and easy-to-use solution from Microsoft, and you benefit from the general functions of Microsoft solutions. It integrates easily with SharePoint, which is a useful tool from Microsoft."
  • "It is not flexible in terms of functions and modeling deliverables. When you speak of processes, the program has to describe the activities and the deliverables. You have to tell your robots how to deal with and input something, and you should have something more flexible from this point of view."

What is our primary use case?

We use Visio for mapping all the processes. It is a BPMN solution for us.

We are most probably using its latest version. 

What is most valuable?

It is a standard and easy-to-use solution from Microsoft, and you benefit from the general functions of Microsoft solutions. It integrates easily with SharePoint, which is a useful tool from Microsoft.

What needs improvement?

It is not flexible in terms of functions and modeling deliverables. When you speak of processes, the program has to describe the activities and the deliverables. You have to tell your robots how to deal with and input something, and you should have something more flexible from this point of view.

For how long have I used the solution?

I got Visio just a few months ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't know. At this moment, it is just used to map and see where we are. We are just trying to use this. At this moment, we like it, but we'll see with time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't have to call Microsoft so far, but I might do so in the future.

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

I have used MEGA, and I feel Visio is better than MEGA because it is a BPMN tool, and it is standardized.

I have also used the free version of Camunda. It is a service, and it is easy and very fast, but it is not so well known. 

How was the initial setup?

It is easy.

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

It is a free solution for us. It is integrated with our pack. We are trying to use the solutions that we already have. 

What other advice do I have?

I am not sure if I would recommend this solution. It is not perfect, of course, but it is also not so bad. It is just a modeling system. If you want to go further and simulate the processes, you will have to use other tools. 

I would rate Visio a seven out of 10.

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