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When you read product management books, sooner or later you’ll get to a chapter that talks about when to build, when to partner, and when to buy. The takeaway is usually that you can’t be experts on everything and don’t need to build every product or solution yourself. Instead, the smarter approach can be to find great partners who are already experts in a given domain and either partner with them or acquire them.
Mews is lucky to have 600+ integration partners in its Marketplace. In some cases, the knowledge you need to gain to accelerate your roadmap is so vast that you really only have two options: to buy or to build a time machine – otherwise, you’ll spend a long time trying overcome that gap and build a new product from scratch. Bringing the expertise in house makes more sense than building it from scratch.
When I read about the concept of build/partner/buy for the first time, I found myself laughing. At the time, we were an early startup, and it was unimaginable to me that we would ever have the resources to buy another product. We also prided ourselves on being nimble at that time, so we thought building would always be the best, cheapest and fastest way (spoiler alert: it’s not).
But this week, we’ve done it. We’ve gone ahead and brought a new (and already mature) capability into the Mews Hospitality Cloud — a cloud-based POS system from Bizzon, and I’m excited to share with you what this means for Mews and our customers.
Why a POS?
Since the day I joined Mews in May 2014, barely a week has gone by that someone – usually a prospect or a customer – didn’t ask us about a Mews POS. We liked the idea, but we wanted to stay focused on solving the core problem and building an outstanding hospitality cloud. We knew that building a POS from scratch would be a huge effort and that we would have to invest in it heavily, or it would just become a big distraction. Among other concerns, we knew that designing and building the functionality to handle stock keeping would be a giant undertaking.
But the requests for a Mews POS never went away and we found that the topic kept coming up in our sales conversations as well. We began to realize the growth value of a POS for both the property and the guest, and that a loosely integrated system doesn’t cut it given the complexity of the complete hotel experience.
It was key to enabling a guest wallet so the guest wouldn’t have to continually pull out their credit cards or, worse, carry receipts from the restaurant to reception. A POS also gives the property valuable data to understand the guest spending profile and the guest history.
Our POS answer: Bizzon
We hear about, look at, and partner with a lot of different platforms – as you can probably tell from the variety of integrations available in the Mews Marketplace. But when we came across Bizzon, we knew this one was different. We immediately felt a connection to the product – and to the people.
Bizzon challenges the norm of POSs for hotel restaurants and dining services. It built an amazing cloud-based, all-in-one, contactless experience for ordering and paying using QR codes. And they also challenge the standard terminology. Similar to the way Mews refers to bookable areas and time slots as ‘spaces’ instead of the more standard – and narrowly defined – rooms, Bizzon uses the term "objects" to describe the countless different locations where guests can be served.
In the new era of work-cations and hybrid hospitality, where it doesn’t matter where you are and you want to consume any services and products offered, we saw the joining of Mews and Bizzon as being able to elevate the effortless guest experience to a whole new level.
We saw that our visions for the industry are well aligned. Like Mews, Bizzon took a guest-centric approach in creating their family of products with a mobile-first solution that gives the guest control of their food and beverage experience and allows for a frictionless payment experience for everyone.
But they didn’t stop there. Remember when I mentioned the challenge of building a stock keeping functionality part of a POS? Thankfully Bizzon solved for that too with their product that tracks inventory and connects seamlessly to the POS.
Here’s the thing. The Bizzon team has been building their POS relentlessly for six years, with a singular mission of creating a game-changing restaurant management platform. Thanks to their unwavering commitment, they’ve built what I believe is an outstanding product family. They are true experts on hotel POS development and at Mews, we really admire what they have created.
Mews x Bizzon: what now?
We're excited to welcome Bizzon onboard and to support their growth. But most of all we’re looking ahead at the mutual product value proposition in the long term and what this means for helping hoteliers maximize revenue, streamline operations and create exceptional end-to-end experiences for their guests.
As of today, nothing really changes. Mews customers can still use their current POS and can choose from the other POSs available in the Mews Marketplace. One of the things we pride ourselves on is integrating into existing ecosystems and that will continue.
Our vision is set on the long term. We see bringing Bizzon onboard as a strategic step towards creating a truly unified 360-degree frictionless guest experience and improving the way hoteliers manage their properties, including all of its spaces.
Let me use this opportunity to welcome Bizzon into the Mews family and take my virtual product hat off as a tribute to the work they’ve put into their product. I cannot wait to see what we can do together in the long run!
Jiří (or Jirka) is one of the longest serving members of Mews, having been innovating with us since 2014. He's now our CPO (Chief Product Officer) and is as determined as ever to disrupt hospitality with great products.
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