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Transitioning to Online Forms and Processes

With the rapid change to remote working conditions, many documents and processes that have been carried out in person and on paper for years are in sudden need of electronic solutions.  A task force, spanning the four major divisions and the President’s Office, was convened to identify options for electronic alternatives for the campus.  A large task, one which will span several months, is focusing on the critical needs of the campus to start; signatures, and converting paper forms to online solutions.   Two major phases of the project have been established:

Phase One

Phase one of this project is underway, with approvals and signatures being piloted by a small group of users.  One of the key applications in this first phase leverages the existing campus-wide contract for the Adobe suite of products.  With Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, paper forms can be converted or modified to online-fillable documents and signed by the form filler using the Prepare Form and Fill & Sign tools. With Adobe Sign, a separately licensed product, documents can be executed with legally binding signatures.  Two additional solutions currently available to assist with the transition are OnBase and Smartsheet. Additional information on each application can be located in the matrix below.

Phase Two (Completed July)
The task force on electronic forms and e-signatures has completed their task. The team evaluated three software applications and is recommending Etrieve by SoftDocs, which is a solution that combines electronic forms and workflow components into one platform built specifically for educational institutions. The contract was approved by the Board in July.


    • Before choosing a tool

      This may be a good time to revise & update your forms and processes. Evaluate if the information you are collecting and steps you are taking are all essential to completing the task

      • Requirements: Evaluate if signatures are truly needed, or if the same outcome could be accomplished by a general acknowledgment on the form
      • Contents: Does your form contain two sections, like an initial submission and then a response from an evaluator? Consider breaking this into two separate forms.
      • Storage: What happens to paperwork now after it is turned in? Is it kept in a file? Do other people need access to it? Consider how you will process and keep digital submissions. Establish a shared network storage location that is backed up, and can be accessed by others if needed. **Ensure sensitive and personal data is collected and stored appropriately**
      • Options: Please read through all the options/tools listed on this page
    • Helping you choose the right tool

       To help you decide which solution it right for you, view the table and flow chart below. (Click the flow chart on the right for zoom-in options.)

      • decision table
      • decision flow chart

       **If needed, custom workflow solutions are available. Workflow Designer is used to create workflows that tailor the signing processes to fit your specific business requirements. Please submit a Project Request to have your workflow solution designed and implemented.

      ** Use Adobe Sign Mega Sign feature.

Available Tools:

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a complete desktop solution for working with PDF documents and should already be installed on your Mt. SAC computer. Use this application to convert your existing paper form to a fillable PDF with the “Prepare Form” tool.  The “Fill & Sign” tool can be used if you need to sign/approve a PDF.  The Fill & Sign tool should not be used if you need a legally binding signature.

Adobe Sign

Similar to other signature platforms such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign is a cloud-based e-signature service that allows the user to send, sign, track, and manage signature processes using a browser or mobile device. It is part of the Adobe Document Cloud suite of services.
Adobe Sign should only be used if you require legally binding signature(s). A license is only needed to request signatures, anyone (inside and outside Mt. SAC) can sign without having a license.


Smartsheet is a cloud-based application used for collaboration and work management. It  can be used to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, share documents, and collect data, based around a tabular user interface. In addition, Smartsheet offers the ability to create forms with conditional logic to ensure the questions are relevant to each person completing the form. Approval requests can be completely customized and sent individually, or with multiple steps as part of a more complex workflow. 


OnBase is document management system solution, produced by Hyland, and managed by the IT Project Implementation team. OnBase is used by multiple departments at Mt. SAC to store document images and files on a central server. OnBase allows for the scanning, storage, and retrieval of paper documents, as well as the importing, storage, and retrieval of electronic files; it also helps manage workflow by routing documents to queues custom designed for individual departmental needs electronic.

  Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Adobe Sign Smartsheet OnBase
Examples of Uses
  • Invoice approvals for payment
  • Donation Form
  • Mt. SAC Contracts
  • Mt. SAC Email Request Form
  • Requisition back up submission
  • AP/BP change/approval processing
  • E-transcript process
Fees  No fee (Included in Enterprise licensing)  No fee (Included in Enterprise licensing)  $236/per license  No Fee
Additional Information/ Resources 
How to Request Access Download using Microsoft Software Center or contact the Help Desk at X4357 Please complete the Adobe Sign Request Form to get started.   Please complete the Smartsheet License Request Form to get started. Please complete a Project Request Form to get started.