TEC Certification Report – CEM AX HR and Payroll for Microsoft Dynamics AX Review

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Originally posted on Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC)

CEM Business Solutions: Enhancing Dynamics AX for Global Enterprises

This report on CEM Business Solutions was conducted by Raluca Druta, research analyst at TEC. Druta takes a deep-dive into their CEM AX HR and Payroll for Microsoft Dynamics AX, it assesses the system's overall functionality and addresses key highlights.

TEC product review report cover image

About CEM Business Solutions

Established in 2003, with its global presence in 12 international locations, CEM Business Solutions is a Microsoft Gold certified Independent Software Vendor (VAR) for the Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

CEM is ISO 9001-2008 certified and holds a CfMD certification—the highest level of certification that Microsoft provides for software. CfMD certification (Certified for Microsoft Dynamics) entails third-party testing by at least three groups to ensure the product works seamlessly with AX and achieves what it claims. Additionally, this certification indicates that 10 clients have given CEM Business Solutions a positive referral/endorsement.

CEM has also obtained a number of Microsoft Dynamics awards, the most important of which is Best Implementation Partner, earned three years in a row. The independent software vendor (ISV) is also part of the Microsoft Partner Counsel, a member of the Microsoft Dynamics AX Program, and is also involved with the Microsoft Advisory Board and the Microsoft Enterprise Product Group.

CEM’s sweet spot is wide: while it focuses on companies with 200+ employees, it is essentially vertical agnostic, with more than 300 customers in 19 industries. The company boasts a robust financial profile.

CEM has enhanced human resources (HR) and payroll capability of Dynamics AX by adding processes and functionalities across workforce planning, recruitment, talent management, project management, and integration. These additional processes and functionalities transform Dynamics AX into a truly complete HR solution.

CEM offers a full range of products and services:

  • End-to-end product add-on for HR and payroll for Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP.
  • Implementation services using the Sure Step methodology developed by Microsoft for Dynamics products. The average implementation is an efficient 4 months, and most implementations are completed on time.
  • Software support services, which ensure that customers fully utilize the features and benefits of CEM AX products.
  • Training services are unfolded in three phases for each implementation. The vendor also offers a train-the-trainer program.
  • Customer support delivers post–go-live services 24x7.

CEM AX HR and Payroll has been deployed over 40 times across multiple domains, including health care, e-commerce, finance, retail, and education. With its pioneering initiatives, CEM AX HR and Payroll drives the system toward better employee interactions and error-free compliance reporting.


CEM AX HR and Payroll has been designed to complement Microsoft Dynamics AX, enhancing and augmenting—rather than overwriting—AX’s out-of-the-box functionalities. While some Dynamics AX modules such as recruitment and performance management have been enhanced by CEM, others, such as applicant portal, and union and certified payroll, have been added from scratch.

Specifically, CEM AX HR and Payroll provides HR professionals with Microsoft Dynamics AX extended capabilities that cover:

  • Recruitment
  • Applicant portal
  • Onboarding
  • Training management
  • Performance management
  • Succession planning
  • Offboarding
  • Time & attendance management
  • Compensation management
  • Benefits administration
  • Union and certified payroll
  • Reports and dashboards

TEC Analyst Observations on CEM AX HR and Payroll

Microsoft has intentionally created a partner-based model for its Dynamics AX solution, supplying the core functionality upon which VARs, such as CEM Business Solutions, add extended functionality for specific business requirements.

The pairing of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CEM AX HR and Payroll is a good fit for companies that need to extend their HR processes through the entire hire-to-retire cycle, while adding flexibility and collaboration between HR executives and team managers. It is a suitable solution for organizations of 200+ employees and can be implemented globally.


From a recruitment perspective, CEM AX HR and Payroll adds more than 25% extra functionality to the already existing recruitment features in the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform. One of the most important additions is the Vendor Management System Portal, which helps companies handle contingent workers through staffing agencies. This type of application is not covered at all by Dynamics AX ERP. Similarly, CEM AX HR provides out-of-the-box recruitment analytics and reporting that can monitor the entire recruitment cycle—a capability not supported by Dynamics AX.

The Core HR module in CEM AX HR and Payroll offers very robust payroll functionality, as well as extensive government and compliance reporting.

CEM AX HR also adds comprehensive career development functionality, especially in the areas of succession planning and career development analytics, where it allows users to track the performance of high-potential employees and find the best matching positions for them. CEM AX HR includes very good support for talent readiness planning—a key component of career development and succession planning technology.

Learning management is an area where CEM AX HR complements Dynamics AX with from-scratch modules such as classroom training management, blended learning, performance support, and e-commerce support. CEM AX HR offers a well-defined learning management system to its customers, who place learning at the core of their talent management strategy—i.e., beyond basic training and certification tracking.

Performance management is a set of functionality that has been enhanced by CEM to the AX platform—with from-the-ground-up capabilities such as learning plans and performance management planning. CEM AX HR enables companies to manage and monitor employee performance against competency levels and individual and company goals. The solution supports performance appraisals and employee surveys/exit interviews to leverage data from two perspectives: the employer and the employee. Performance data is sent to the compensation management module for compensation planning and modeling. CEM AX HR offers important capabilities in this module including compensation award administration, compensation planning, and user balances.

CEM AX HR enhances the workforce management capabilities of Dynamics AX with data intelligence—workforce forecasting and workforce gap analysis are two data analysis features that help companies better assess present and future labor trends including skills and competencies supply and demand, while resource availability reporting helps with accurate scheduling. Additionally, CEM offers dashboards that deliver real-time insights into workforce metrics, demographics, and standard as well as custom reports.

CEM AX HR and Payroll provides a well-developed complement to the core HR functionality of Microsoft Dynamics AX, and is a suitable solution for organizations wishing to extend their HR-related capabilities. The graphs on the following pages illustrate these extensions in detail.

The full report on CEM AX HR and Payroll and Dynamics AX, including detailed functionality graphs, is available here on the TEC website.

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