SMB reseller Solidsoft has won a multimillion-euro deal to operate a new EU-wide pharmaceutical verification system powered by Microsoft Azure.
The Microsoft VAR fought off competition from 19 other global bidders for the deal over a 12-month period. The firm will deliver the technology entirely through the cloud, which it claims is enabling smaller firms to win huge deals.
The European Medicines Verification System (EMVS) will see more than 10 billion medicines across the EU encrypted with an individual identification code which will be scanned at the point of dispensation and verified thorough Microsoft's Azure cloud platform. The European Stakeholder Model (ESM) – the body that put forward the tender – claims the new system will combat the growing problem of counterfeit drugs sold across the continent.
The exact value of the contract is as yet unknown and will depend on how involved each country wants to get with the scheme, which has some optional elements, but it is expected to amount to many millions of euros, claimed the duo.
Solidsoft has doubled its headcount in the past 12 months, now employing about 100 staff at its Basingstoke base. The firm's chief executive Garth Pickup said cloud technology is a key enabler for SMBs to take part in huge deals such as this one.
"The cloud has changed the dynamics of large IT projects such as this forever," he said. "The almost limitless scale provided via the Microsoft Windows Azure platform means that this massive project can be delivered... at much lower cost than on-premises.
"It is a very exciting time to be a service provider, being able to take on massive projects of this nature and win against larger competitors by using the power of Microsoft's cloud."
Mark Smith, director for health life sciences at Microsoft UK, agreed that cloud technology gives SMBs a chance at bigger deals.
"Through the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft enables innovative companies – regardless of size – to take on large and critical projects... in a reliable and secure fashion," he said.
"Microsoft is delighted to be working with Solidsoft on a project of such importance to the health of the 500 million citizens of the European Union."
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