Meet our Trainers


All Combined Knowledge Trainers are SharePoint experts in their field including, SharePoint MVP’s. (They must first be qualified to teach in our own World Education Alliance (WEA) training certificate program before training our classes). Our Trainers do not need to be MCT’s ( although many are ) or sit in on any of the other company  classes,  as the Combined Knowledge WEA Train the Trainer program is, in our opinion far superior to any other program available on the market. It also ensures the quality you receive in the classroom is second to none. Our Trainers are not there to just help  you pass the exam they are there to make sure you understand the technology and  make sure you leave the classroom with the  best Practices and real world SharePoint Knowledge. The majority of our students do go on and pass the exams however.
What it takes to become a World Education Alliance Trainer;

  1. All potential WEA Trainers must first attend the full class that they wish to teach.
  2. The Trainer must then deliver a full public scheduled class whilst being evaluated by a WEA Trainer.
  3. The delivery will then be reviewed and course evaluations forms monitored for feedback.
  4. On Successful completion of the evaluation delivery the trainer will then become a WEA Trainer.

This process need to be carried out for each course the trainer wishes to teach. All classes taught by the trainer are then monitored by the submission of course evaluation forms to ensure the teaching quality is maintained to a high standard.


Steve Smith

Instructor, SharePoint MVP and Microsoft Regional Director

Steve SmithMVP
Steve has been working with Microsoft Technology since DOS in the mid 80's and has been a Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1998 Training Windows NT 4, IIS 3 / 4, Exchange 5 and SQL 6.5 and involved in many Beta programs including Active Directory for Windows 2000 and Exchange 2000 as well as the SharePoint betas.
Steve started working with SharePoint in 2000 with the SharePoint 2001 beta and has been delivering teaching SharePoint classes and Education solutions ever since.

Steve develops his own SharePoint and Office 365 Administrator courseware and his passion has always been to share his knowledge with others whilst specialising in Infrastructure technology for on premises, cloud and hybrid scenarios.

Steve is the Co-Founder and Organiser of the UK SharePoint User Group which was created in October 2006 and is also the organiser for the SharePoint Evolutions Conference, The International SharePoint Conference and the European SharePoint Best Practices Conference.

Read more about Steve >

Penny Coventry


Spencer HarbarMVP

Penelope Coventry, MVP SharePoint Server, MCSE: SharePoint 2013 and MCITP:
SharePoint Administration 2010.

Penny is an author and consultant based in the U.K., with more than 30 years of industry experience. She has authored and co-authored more than 10 SharePoint-related books including; Exploring MicrosoftR SharePointR 2013: New Features and Functions, MicrosoftR SharePointR 2013 Inside Out, MicrosoftR SharePointR 2013 Step by Step and MicrosoftR SharePointR Designer 2010 Step by Step.

Penny has spoken at a number of conferences around the world including; TechEd North America, SharePoint Conferences in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK and at SharePoint Saturdays. She is also a keen supporter of the UK SharePoint user group community. Penny has worked with SharePoint since 2001, and when she's not writing, she works as the Product Specialist for Lightning Tools and a trainer at Combined Knowledge.

Information on books written by Penny can be found below, click on a book to find out more:

Spencer HarbarMVPSpencer Harbar


Spencer Harbar is widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost Office 365 and SharePoint authorities.
With over twenty years of commercial experience in the architecture, development, deployment and operational service management of Web based applications and hosting platforms, his broad base of fundamental skills routinely enables the world’s largest organizations to succeed with Office 365 and SharePoint.

Spencer is the only person to hold all four of the advanced certifications for SharePoint; the prestigious Microsoft Certified Architect, the Microsoft Certified Solutions Master for SharePoint, and the MCM for SharePoint 2010 and 2007. He was the content owner, author and instructor for one third of the SharePoint MCSM and MCM programs. Spencer also works with Microsoft on product review, feature investments and delivering field readiness material and documentation for Office 365, PowerShell, Azure and SharePoint.

Spencer is also a strong community advocate, supporting and speaking at SharePoint User Groups and community events worldwide, and helping others through his blog, forums, writing projects and public events. He has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for the last fifteen years.

Spencer represents Microsoft at events worldwide and was a speaker most recently at Ignite 2016, 2015, the SharePoint Conference 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2009. He also presents at other events such as SharePoint Evolutions, European Collaboration Summit and Unity Connect. During the MVP Global Summit 2010 in Bellevue, WA, Spencer demonstrated SharePoint 2010 as part of Stephen Elop's keynote address. Spencer has also presented at Microsoft's internal event, TechReady and numerous Tech Ed events.

In his spare time (not much of it) he enjoys photography, cricket, reading, tennis, golf and Scotch whisky. He listens to the Jazz giants of yesteryear and some young blood, and spends time with family and friends in the beautiful capital city of Edinburgh, Scotland, his home town of Manchester, England, and Zoetermeer, the Netherlands.

Brett Lonsdale Brett Lonsdale


Brett Lonsdale is one of the co-founders of Lightning Tools (A provider of essential SharePoint tools and web parts). Brett has specialised in the Business Data Catalog and Business Connectivity Services since 2007 and has authored “The developers guide to the SharePoint 2007 Business Data Catalog” as well as “SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services”. Along with Rob Foster, Nick Swan and Jeremy Thake, Brett co-hosts the SharePoint Pod Show where you can listen to members of the SharePoint community being interviewed on their area of specialisation. Brett has also been one of the organisers for SharePoint Saturday UK over the past three years. In his spare time, Brett enjoys spending time with his daughters Rio and Emilia and his wife Sarah, along with Formula 1 and kickboxing. You can follow Brett on twitter @brettlonsdale or visit his blog on

Rob Pratt


Rob Pratt has over 10 years of training/consultancy experience helping companies to make the most of their IT systems. His training experience have included delivery of technical sessions in products such as Windows Server, Active Directory and Exchange, Web and Database design, VB, VBA, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator and the Office suite.
After delivering training on many different applications Rob has now settled down to specialise in SharePoint. He currently spends much of his time teaching Nintex Workflow 2013 online and in the classroom. Rob also writes most of the course materials used to deliver the Nintex training courses.
Rob has a relaxed training style inviting questions and group participation.


Gary Yeoman


Gary (MCSD, MCSD.NET, MCDBA, MCTS, and MCT) provides consultancy, custom solutions, training, and mentoring on a range of products including SharePoint, BizTalk, SQL Server, Web, and .NET development. He has delivered the full range of SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 courses for Combined Knowledge and Mindsharp for the past 9 years.

Gary has also spoken about SharePoint at a number of User Groups and has contributed courseware modules for both Microsoft and Mindsharp. He is currently writing SharePoint 2013 courseware and developing apps for SharePoint 2013.

Gary strikes a balance between consultancy and training and has been instrumental in implementing custom solutions using various technologies such as SharePoint, InfoPath, Workflow, ASP.NET, MVC, HTML5, JavaScript, Umbraco, WordPress, and Orchard.


  • Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) SharePoint
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) .NET
  • Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA)
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)

Rainer WittmannChris Casingena


Chris (BSc), has been working with SharePoint for 6 years and had been training SharePoint for nearly 3 years.
Chris trains our power end users with a long term goal of training administrators. Whilst training and studying SharePoint, Chris also manages the product development for our support+ solution, contributing content for the product and finding ways to improve its functionality. He has worked on many projects with businesses involving large scale SharePoint implementation and has written  courses for the new Nintex and SharePoint 2013 products. Chris has also worked alongside Penelope Coventry and Olga M Londer as a technical editor for the Step by Step Microsoft SharePoint 2013 book.

Providing IT support and ad hoc training for his previous company, Chris has a good knowledge on a variety of Microsoft systems, SAP, Java products and has qualifications in both desktop and networking. With experience working in both a call centre and also in a IT systems and infrastructure support role, Chris has extended knowledge on supporting SharePoint after it has been deployed. Chris aims to go back to his roots by teaching SharePoint administration and working alongside other SharePoint administrators.
Chris lives in Leicester, UK and has an enthusiastic and entertaining approach to training.

Rainer Wittmann Rainer Wittmann


Rainer (MCSE, former MCT) co-founder and CEO of Spirit EDV-Beratung AG had his first contact with SharePoint back in 2001 when it was called Tahoe. As a long time CorasWorks partner, and a well-known added-value Company in the SharePoint community, Rainer delivered architecture workshops around Europe and Australia to demonstrate the ease of working with modular building blocks in contrast to custom development. 
He’s specialized in the creation of modern responsive HTML5/CSS/JavaScript application that can be consumed by a wide range of devices and are powered by the SharePoint infrastructure.

His fable for reusable modular building blocks drives his passion when it comes to SharePoint Designer.  Although Rainer admits, that going beyond the basics of what SharePoint Designer allows you to do, require some decent knowledge of XSLT, but this knowledge becomes quite handy when you reuse it in other areas of customizing out-of-the-box web parts like content query or core search results.
Rainer lives in Niederkassel, Germany, a small town close to Cologne and Bonn, which makes it convenient to travel as the airport is less than 15 minutes away. When he’s not on-the-road working, his wife Iris and he enjoy motor biking and travelling with a fairly old VW-Bus throughout Europe.

Ben Curry Ben Curry


Ben Curry (CISSP, MVP, MCP, MCT) is a well-known author and enterprise architect specializing in knowledge management, ECM and collaborative technologies. Ben is a Managing Partner at Summit 7 Systems, a company focused on the next generation of Microsoft products.

Ben’s innovative thinking resulted in receiving seven consecutive Most Valuable Professional (MVP) awards from Microsoft for SharePoint Server. In 2014, he received an additional MVP for Office 365. Ben’s philosophy is that the best solutions are inspired by the best ideas and he encourages his team to continuously generate and share ideas. His numerous publications embody his philosophy.

Ben enjoys sharing his ideas as an instructor, both in the IT world and in the underworld — Ben is a certified scuba instructor with a passion for diving. Ben’s other life passions include riding his Harley Davidson through his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama, coaching his daughter’s softball team. Ben is happily married to Kimberly and is the proud father of their children, Madison and Bryce.

Jay Simcox Jay Simcox


Jay Simcox is a respected IT Professional, and educator with 10 years of Information Technology experience. Jay is a Senior Consultant with Summit 7 Systems where his background in network and systems administration, SharePoint architecture and Administration and end user support and training are utilized by government agencies seeking to make better use of the tools they are provided.

Jay is quickly becoming a well-known speaker and educator and has presented SharePoint sessions to local user groups, SharePoint Saturday events and conferences, including sessions at the SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2010. Jay received two degrees from Virginia College @ Huntsville; an Associates in Applied Sciences – Network Engineering and a Bachelors in Management Information Systems. He also holds multiple certifications from Microsoft including an MCSE with a specialization in Security and MCTS in WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007.

Eric Shupps Eric Shupps


Eric Shupps is the founder and President of BinaryWave, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions for SharePoint. Eric has worked with SharePoint Products and Technologies since 2001 as a consultant, administrator, architect, developer and trainer. He is an advisory committee member of the Dallas/Ft. Worth SharePoint Community group and participating member of user groups throughout the United Kingdom. Eric has authored numerous articles on SharePoint, speaks at user group meetings and conferences around the world, and publishes a popular SharePoint blog at

Matt Groves Matt Groves


Matt is the founder and Principal Consultant at Big Sixty, a consultancy specialising in helping clients solve their collaboration, productivity and business process challenges, and to get the most from their technology investments. Matt has worked with SharePoint in various guises since 2001, delivering projects for clients, management and leadership within Microsoft Gold Partners, and virtual roles with Microsoft, he has been involved in the UK SharePoint community since 2007.

Matt's background is deeply technical but he has been far more focussed on the end-user and business aspects of Microsoft technologies for the last few years. Recognised in the industry as a leader in his field, Matt is frequently invited to speak at conferences and sit on expert panels. Matt teaches the Combined Knowledge range of SharePoint 2013/2016 and Office 365 End User driven classes along with delivery of tailored training courses. Matt has a young family and enjoys Carp Fishing, Rugby and Cycling. .

Dominic Moss Dominic Moss


Dominic began his career in the Construction Industry where he spent 15 years working across a wide range of projects, he says he worked on everything from a maternity ward to a mausoleum in that time. Projects he is most proud of include being a member of the project team for Wapping Towerside, a residential development that won the NHBC supreme award in 1986 for being the best managed residential development project in the country. In 1991 Dominic managed the construction of a prestige private house for a client that had a 10 week on site build programme, in just 70 days they went from an empty garden plot to a habitable dwelling. In 1993/94 Dominic took a residential development project from drawing board to the sales campaign and picked up an Evening Standard New Homes Award for the project, Prestwood Gate, Sandridge Road, St Albans.

In 1996 his career changed significantly as he moved into the world of training and consultancy.

He has been using computer based project scheduling tools since 1984 and in that time has seen them evolve beyond all recognition from the intimidating and confusing to the intuitive and powerful tools available today.

Since 1996 Dominic has helped more than 6600 people adopt Project Management techniques and tools to help them achieve more in their working roles. In addition to having real life experience of managing significant projects Dominic also has great in-depth knowledge of the Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management family of products which encompass the Project scheduling tool and the Project Server/Project Online collaboration tools.

His big advantage in helping clients with these solutions is that he can provide real life context to illustrate key features of the tools and also explain their workings in an easy to understand, supportive and encouraging fashion.

In his most recent role he spent 18 months working with GSK on a global integration project that used the power of Project Server to manage and control a large and complex program of work spanning every market in the World. The program was challenging in its own right and made more so by the diverse nationalities and cultures engaged in its delivery.

Dominic is capable of helping clients with the Microsoft Project and Portfolio Management family of products from initial evaluation and proof of concept through to roll out, user training and benefits evaluation. If you have used or are considering using these solutions to better manage your Projects but don’t know where to start help is at hand from Dominic.

Products covered include all versions of Microsoft Project, Project Server 2010, 2013 and 2016 and Project Online.