Imagine that a new regulation meant that your organisation had to develop the ability to verify the contents of billions of orders annually, in dozens of countries. Of course, it’s not enough for the system to be effective – it’s also got to be secure so that the public can trust it. Oh, and if you could do it while containing costs, that’d be great.

Tall order, right?

That’s the situation the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations found itself in after a 2011 directive mandated that the contents of every prescription be verified at the pharmacy level, to keep falsified drugs off the market.

There was a time when implementing this kind of program would have required massive local data centres that would struggle to scale, be expensive to maintain and could only be handled by one of the world’s largest companies. Twenty firms bid , but in the end the project went to a small business. A Microsoft Gold Partner, Solidsoft, was the only company to pitch a fully public cloud-based back-office infrastructure, running on Windows Azure with Windows 8.

Thanks to the power of the cloud, the EU’s new European Medicines Verification System won’t require a large, costly investment in physical data centres. Using Windows Azure also means that Solidsoft can handle most of the development itself, instead of contracting out the work, the way a larger competitor would. And the system will be able to scale along with demand.

For years, organisations were faced with false choices between controlling costs and innovating; between ensuring reliability and being able to work with small businesses. Thankfully for EFPIA, the world is changing. Cloud platforms like Windows Azure mean organisations can expect solutions to be cost-effective, reliable and scalable all at the same time – and solution providers of all sizes can be equal to the task.

Learn more about the amazing work Solidsoft is doing with the EFPIA.