Case Study: Ei Group

Ei Group plc (now renamed) is the largest pub company in the UK, with over 3,000 properties, predominantly run as leased and tenanted pubs. Ei Group plc is headquartered in Solihull, West Midlands.

  • Service Areas M365, Azure, Fresh, Professional Services, Managed Services, Digital Transformation
  • Industry Consumer Services
  • Organisation Size 2000+ employees
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months to complete digital transformation


users migrated to Microsoft 365


invested in the project

Ei Group required robust and reliable technology to position it for future growth and a forthcoming acquisition.

The business has always been committed to providing its publicans with exceptional levels of service and support, its people with a great place to work and its suppliers with a trusted partner to do business with.


The group faced the challenge of digitally transforming its business. In 2018, the company updated its IT strategy with the aim of instilling a cloud-first mindset and approach through the business. However, on-premises infrastructure and expensive and outdated technology meant it had become increasingly complex and costly to manage.

Ei Group set an objective to modernise and standardise its existing Microsoft enterprise technology, increase security and maximise investment from existing licences. The business also aimed to boost employee retention by increasing satisfaction through better communication, collaboration and engagement.

Simplifying the end-user device management model made upgrading its technology a top priority before the 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.

The organisation also wanted to reduce its dependence on Microsoft’s Group Policy Active Directory in favour of a modern cloud-based management system. A further aim was to move from an on-paper to a digital shift management system to improve the business’s stock management processes.


Content+Cloud 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 a set of 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 with them to build a system centre configuration manager instance. This could be used to deploy Windows 10 to its 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.

“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 at Ei Group


The migration of 600 Ei Group employees to Microsoft 365 was completed on budget and to deadline, enabling increased cooperation and minimised integration points.

Ei Group achieved its overarching objectives, in line with its refreshed strategy, supporting its ambitions and growth.

The business saw a 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.

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.

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.

Products and Services taken

  • Microsoft 365 strategy, roadmap and envisioning session with Microsoft
  • Windows 7 to 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