We first met founders Mike and Anna Skvortsov in Summer 2019, during their initial search for an app development partner. The goal was to develop an MVP that would allow hoteliers to offer modern tipping options to their customers. Mike and Anna realized there was a major gap in the market. The world had changed, and with less cash carried by hotel guests, tips for cleaning staff was decreasing. They were convinced that mobile tipping was the solution, and if their new product didn't fill this gap, another would.
Ultimately, a competing developer was chosen - one that was, at the time less expensive than the proposal from 3Advance. This was a major disappointment. We believed in the mission, and the founding team, but we accepted the decision. While we wouldn't be around for the ride, we stayed in touch and watched in the wings as the first apps were launched and the first hotel customers onboarded.
By 2022, Béné was hitting its stride and gaining serious traction, securing contracts with hotel flags including Wyndham and Motel6. But as customer acquisition thrived, the platform itself was causing problems. The MVP, while functional, was hitting problems with scale and maintenance. This came to a head in when Béné was informed that the 3rd party system on which their MVP was built had been acquired, and they would need to develop a replacement platform ASAP.
A mantra at 3Advance is that we value advice over sales. What goes around comes around. Even if we're not directly serving them, Paul, our CEO always makes time for founders who ask. This has happened consistently over the years, and after offering support at some challenging points previously, when the Béné team made the all important call in November '22, we answered. It was time to engage.
Within just one month, we launched a low-code interface to manage the backend operations. Meanwhile, our backend team redesigned the cloud infrastructure and began work replacing the MVP system with more sound and scalable Serverless infrastructure. Through monthly, agile sprints, we designed a new tipping experience, replacing the native apps, with lightweight, responsive web apps that streamlined the tipping process. We also made much needed improvements accessible web application for managing hotels and staff.
Within six months, the 3A team had replaced and improved the entire Béné system, vastly improving the user experience as well as the underlying technology. The greatest challenge lay in meeting the aggressive uncompromising timeline. Our team fought tooth-and-nail, and prevailed! Data migration and transition occurred as scheduled before the July 1st shutdown. It was a major success. None of Béné's hotel customers, hard-working staff or tipping guests experienced even a minute of downtime, leaving Béné with regained control of their destiny.
Since this relaunch in June 2023, we have continued to work with our friends at Béné Tipping. Growth has continued and our relationship is as strong as ever. We have advanced, Anna and Mike have advanced, and with increased tipping for service workers across these hotels, many more have advanced too. In 2024, the forward momentum continues as together we're rolling out an additional revenue model that further monetizes the fantastic service that Béné provides in the hospitality industry.
"What impressed me most is their ability to integrate with our organization and business model. The team quickly grasped and internalized the intricacies of how we service our clients."