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Ei Group: positioning for future growth

Ei Group, the largest pub company in the UK, set out to modernise and standardise its existing Microsoft enterprise technology, increase security and maximise investment from existing licences.

Positioning for future growth and a forthcoming acquisition

Ei Group has more than 3,000 properties, predominantly run as leased and tenanted pubs, making it the largest pub company in the UK. In order to continue its growth, it needed robust and reliable technology


Microsoft 365
Professional Services
Managed Services
Digital Transformation


Leisure and Hospitality

Organisation size

2,000+ employees


In 2018, Ei Group updated its IT strategy with the aim of instilling a business-wide cloud-first approach. However, on-premises infrastructure and expensive, outdated tech made it increasingly complex to manage.

Ei Group sought to modernise its existing Microsoft enterprise technology, increase security and maximise investment. The business also aimed to improve the employee experience with better communication, collaboration and engagement. Simplifying the end-user device management model made upgrading its tech a top priority before support for the technologies could cease.

With no cloud presence, Ei Group was not getting the most from its Microsoft 365 subscription. Crucially, this included the security suite, which carries valuable features for a geographically dispersed business with a rapidly growing estate.


Advania began by assisting Ei Group in defining a starting point and managing its complex list of workstreams. We then developed a strategy, a roadmap for timely execution and KPIs to measure success. As the UK’s leading Microsoft partner, we identified where Ei Group could better leverage its existing Microsoft subscription and access support services.

We worked together to build a system centre configuration manager instance. This could be used to deploy Windows 10 to current devices, which could be co-managed with Microsoft Intune. We established that most of the group’s existing policies could be replaced using this software. This enabled the business to retire a lot of its surplus legacy configurations.

Our teams also designed a Windows Autopilot service to simplify the group’s device deployment process. This was created to make the onboarding process consistent and easier for new recruits.


  • The migration of 600 Ei Group employees to Microsoft 365 was completed on budget and to deadline, enabling increased cooperation and minimised integration points.
  • Significant reduction in travel and admin time for field-based users, and as a whole, the group was able to operate through the global pandemic without any alterations to its IT systems.
  • A host of new Windows 10 features became available to users, including Windows Hello for Business, which simplifies sign-on and reduces the need for passwords.
  • Ei Group achieved its overarching objectives, in line with its refreshed strategy, supporting its ambitions and growth.
  • Employees were able to leverage Microsoft’s full range of cyber security features and could safely retrieve company data and documents across multiple devices and locations.

Products and Services

  • Microsoft 365 strategy, roadmap and envisioning session with Microsoft
  • Windows 7 to Windows 10 device upgrades
  • Microsoft 365 deployment, upgrading from Office 2013
  • Transference from Exchange on-premises to the cloud
  • Microsoft Teams implementation
  • Replacement of legacy laptops with Microsoft Surface devices
  • Communications, sponsorship and in-house training

"At Ei Group, we launched our updated IT strategy in 2018 with a view to becoming cloud-first in our approach. The vision we set was ‘we want our colleagues to work anywhere, any time and on any device with up-to-date and relevant content’. We have not looked back since. User adoption has been fantastic and everyone has been hugely complimentary of the new hardware, systems and services now available to them."

Leigh Milton

Head of IT Systems and Development

Ei Group

Our Impact

Take a look at some of the results that stood out for Ei Group.


months to complete digital transformation


users migrated to Microsoft 365

£ 0

invested in the project

Let’s find out how we can help you

Whether you’re facing similar challenges to peers across your industry, or you have a unique need for something different – speak to us to find out what we can do.

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