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


Spencer HarbarMVP

Steve is very well travelled spending most of last 25 years around the  world representing  the companies he owns and working with.  He  achieved his first qualification with Microsoft technologies (on NT 4 and IIS 3) in New Delhi India in 1998 whilst based there for 3 years working for an Engineering company. Steve has specialized with Microsoft’s Infrastructure systems since 1996 and been involved in many Microsoft Beta programs which started with; Windows 2000,  Exchange 2000 and SharePoint 2001.  The last 10 years however has seen a majority of his time with SharePoint. Developing and training Combined Knowledge SharePoint courses and involved in every SharePoint Beta program to date. Much of his time today is spent working on building product and education solutions for companies wanting to make the most out of today’s collaboration products including the new Support+ Application for on demand training and support within Office 365 and On-Prem / Azure cloud hosted applications.

Steve has been a strong community advocate since writing his first public whitepaper in 1998 and always keen to share his knowledge with others. He has been a SharePoint MVP since 2006 and is also one of the founders and organisers of the UK SharePoint User Group Steve lives in South Leicestershire, England with his wife and 3 children and can be contacted on

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 recognized as one of the world’s foremost SharePoint authorities. With over 20 years industry experience in the architecture, development, deployment and operational service of 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 of the Microsoft Certified Master, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master and Microsoft Certified Architect certifications for SharePoint, and is a twelve time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award.

He was the content owner and author for one third of the SharePoint MCSM’s. He is a strong community advocate, supporting and speaking at the UK SharePoint User Group and helping others via his blog, forums and public events such as the SharePoint Conference, TechEd, SharePoint Evolutions and SharePoint Connections.

In his spare time (not much of it) he enjoys photography, reading, cricket, golf, tennis 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

Eric Shupps 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. .