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Novus Leisure is one of the UK’s largest bar, club and restaurant operators, an industry leader within the sector with sites dominating London’s West End and City.


With brands such as Tiger, Balls Brothers, and Tank & Paddle, Novus Leisure is a group of around 50 unique bars and restaurants comprised of around 1250 users.

As part of Novus Leisure’s IT strategy to move to cloud technology, the 25sevenIT team (25SevenIT was acquired in 2018 by Timico) recommended migrating all users to a new email platform, Microsoft Office 365. This solution had the added benefit of supporting the cloud-based Dynamics CRM system Novus had already deployed for their business.

The original IT infrastructure consisted of two Microsoft Exchange servers and with the volume of data and users required for migration, the 25sevenIT team proposed a hybrid solution. The hybrid solution would enable rich, full feature functionality across both legacy and cloud services to ensure business continuity and functionality throughout the migration.

The Solution

The Office 365 Hybrid deployment was relatively new to Microsoft UK and the 25sevenIT team worked closely with the Microsoft consultant team to design the deployment.

The installation was undertaken wholly by 25sevenIT and information was fed back to the Microsoft consulting team to pass on the information to support hybrid deployments going forward.

As part of the migration, a new Enterprise Agreement was reached with Microsoft to provide Novus Leisure with the most cost-effective solution going forward, licensing both Microsoft Dynamics CRM online and Microsoft Office 365. This process also brought the added benefit of a license audit by Microsoft being completed to the satisfaction of all parties.

ADFS was deployed to support single sign-on to the cloud-based Office365 deployment. This consisted of two servers deployed internally and two servers deployed in the perimeter network to support the ADFS service. These servers were made highly available, as standard, to mitigate any server failures, going forward.

More than sixty email domains were verified and migrated as part of the migration and a global recipient policy update was required across all users.

With the continued requirement for Novus’ mail filtering at MIMECast, the 25sevenIT team worked with Microsoft to configure the required Office 365 mail flow connectors between their cloud solution and MIMECast effectively. Mail flow was proven, and the deployment was prepared for live use.

"The guys at 25sevenIT have been fantastic – they quickly understood the specialised needs of our business and were making improvements from day one. I highly recommend the 25sevenIT team and would be happy to talk to any prospective customer about the exceptional level of service we receive and the positive impact it has had on our staff and our business. We can now concentrate on moving the business forward rather than worrying about our systems."

The Result

With 1250 users and around 2500 endpoints to manage, the 25sevenIT team were able to utilise automation to update mail clients as they were migrated from on-premise to the cloud. The migration was seamless for all users and undertaken across a 3-month period.

This resulted in a global migration of over 1.2TB of mail data to the cloud whilst maintaining business continuity throughout.

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