We already know that Funko, the Everett, Wash.-based makers of pop culture figurines, are in the business of fun. But does a web reality series about the reimagining of the company’s intranet at the hands of Microsoft experts sound like must-see TV? Turns out it is.
“SharePoint Swoop: The Intranet Makeover Show” offers the inside story of Funko, the rapidly growing consumer products company, and the small IT department that is charged with keeping up with that growth. Funko — known mostly for its Pop! figurines — started with three employees back in 1998 and has grown to close to 600 people worldwide.
The company opened a new headquarters in Everett and went public last fall.
RELATED: How Funko pops out a Pop! Inside the process of creating collectible figures, from idea to product
The series gets its drama by bringing in three Microsoft MVPs — Sue Hanley, Benjamin Niaulin, and Laura Rogers — who are considered top experts in helping companies solve problems with team collaboration and communication. They have three days to help the company modernize its overwhelmed intranet — using the Microsoft platform SharePoint, of course.
The series has a stylized look and feel thanks to the work of Seattle-based video production company Hullabaloo, and Emmy Award-winning outfit that that specializes in branded entertainment, commercials, 360-degree films and documentaries.
Check out episode one below, and the rest on the “Swoop” site:
Mark Kashman, a senior product manager for SharePoint and creator of the show, actually worked with Hullabaloo founder Tracy Dethlefs when the two were production assistants on MTV’s “Real World Seattle.”
“We were looking for a new way to share our customers’ success,” Kashman said in a news release. “It’s a story founded on real day-to-day choices of our customer, Funko, to manage change and leap ahead. ‘SharePoint Swoop’ was a wonderful experience to work closely with Funko and Hullabaloo to produce this new offering from Microsoft.”
Over the course of five webisodes, the experts create a valuable help center within the Funko intranet. They enable repeatable, collaborative workspaces for teams across the company and build their first no-code solution to improve Funko’s shipping process.
“They’re like rock stars. Microsoft found three superheroes for us,” said Funko’s Scott Christensen, the SharePoint project manager, in episode one. “So it worked out great that they would just pop out of the sky. … People make toys here, they don’t build SharePoint sites!”
Here are more details from Microsoft on the team that swooped into Funko:
- Sue Hanley “The Strategist” — “Hanley gets right down to business, asking the right questions to drive the right outcomes. As a business analyst/information architect she specializes in the ‘people side’ of collaboration and knowledge management solutions.”
- Benjamin Niaulin “Your Friend In Tech” — “Ben helps the team understand when to use what. And once the solution is in place, he shows them how to use it. He gives honest and frank insight into using SharePoint, in terms that are user-friendly.”
- Laura Rogers “The Citizen Developer” — “Rogers is great at explaining how to build business solutions that leads to customer wins. She helps work through concepts, innovation and design.