Meet our Trainers
All Combined Knowledge Trainers are SharePoint experts in their field including SharePoint MVP’s and they must first be qualified to teach in our own World Education Alliance (WEA) www.worldeducationalliance.com Training certificate program before training our classes. Our Trainers do not need to be MCT’s ( although many are ) or sit on any other companies classes as the Combined Knowledge WEA Train the Trainer program is in our opinion far superior to any other program available on the market and ensures the quality you receive in the classroom is second to none. Our Trainers are not there to just making you pass the exam they are there to make sure you understand the technology and they will make sure you leave the classroom with Best Practices and real world SharePoint Knowledge, most of our students do go on and pass the exams however.
What it takes to become a World Education Alliance Trainer.
- All potential WEA Trainers must first attend the full class that they wish to teach.
- The Trainer must then deliver a full public scheduled class whilst being evaluated by a WEA Trainer.
- The delivery will then be reviewed and course evaluations forms monitored for feedback.
- 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.
Steve Smith (MVP-SharePoint Server for 6th consecutive year) is the owner of Combined Knowledge in the UK and Combined Knowledge Asia Pacific providing Microsoft SharePoint Technical Training courses, Consultancy and developing SharePoint adoption and usability tools. Steve also founded the World Education Alliance along with Bill English of Mindsharp in order to provide consistent premium Training, education and adoption services and content across the globe educating some of the world's largest SharePoint implementations.
Steve is well travelled spending much of last 30 years travelling in the US and South Asia for the companies he owned and worked with including achieving his first qualification with Microsoft technologies on Windows NT 4, IIS 3,Exchange and SQL 6.5.
Although tinkering with computers since early teenage years Steve has specialized with Microsoft's Infrastructure systems since 1996 and been involved in many Microsoft Beta programs including Windows 2000, Exchange 2000 and SharePoint 2001/2003/2007 and 2010. The last 10 years however has seen a majority of his time with SharePoint and running the Combined Knowledge SharePoint IT Pro and Infrastructure courses in the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific. Steve is a Co-Founder of the UK SharePoint User Group www.suguk.org and Co Author of the SharePoint 2007 Administrators Companion from MS Press.
Steve lives in South Leicestershire, England with his wife and 3 children and can be contacted at
Penelope Coventry, MVP SharePoint Server and MCTIP: SharePoint Administration 2010, is an author and independent consultant based in the U.K., with more than 30 years of industry experience. She is the author of SharePoint Designer 2010 Step by Step; co-authored SharePoint Foundation 2010 Step by Step and has written chapters for the SharePoint 2010 Administrator's Companion and SharePoint Foundation 2010 Inside Out.
When she is not writing Penny works on large SharePoint deployments. She is currently working on a migration project that is moving from a dedicated BPOS SharePoint Online implementation to Office 365. Penny has spoken at a number of conferences including TechEd North America, SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference and SharePoint Best Practices Conferences, as well as user group meetings and SharePoint Saturday.
Information on books written by Penny can be found on the links below:
Spencer Harbar is an enterprise architect who helps organizations implement and drive value from solutions based upon Microsoft SharePoint.
With over sixteen years of commercial experience in the architecture, design, development, deployment and operational service management of Web based applications and hosting platforms, his broad base of fundamental skills routinely enables Europe’s largest organizations to succeed with SharePoint.
Spencer delivers enterprise content management and portal systems architecture, design, development and deployment solutions, application security best practices, threat modeling and the implementation of highly available Windows Server based hosting platforms. He is also pretty handy with single-pixel GIFs.
Product expertise includes SharePoint, MCMS, IIS, SQL Server, Commerce Server and BizTalk Server, Windows Security, Active Directory, Identity Integration Server and High Availability.
Spencer is one of 46 people worldwide currently to hold the Microsoft Certified Master for SharePoint 2007 certification, and is a Microsoft Certified Master Instructor for the Enterprise Content Management, Web Content Management, Excel Services and Security elements of the SharePoint MCM.
Selected clients include Barclays Bank, ScottishPower, Microsoft, The Royal Bank of Scotland, BP, Unilever, HBOS, Scottish Enterprise, British Airways, The BBC, Centrica, NHS, Clifford Chance, SCVO, The Automobile Association, Ballie Gifford, Shell, British Sky Broadcasting and BASF.
Spencer is also a strong community advocate, as Vice President of the International SharePoint Professionals Association, supporting and speaking at the UK SharePoint User Group and helping others through his blog, forums and public events such as the SharePoint Conference. He has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for the last ten years.
He also continues to maintain www.mcmsfaq.com, a Content Management Server resources portal. In 2006, Spencer co-authored Enhancing Microsoft Content Management Server with ASP.NET 2.0, and he frequently assists other community contributors with their writing projects.
Spencer represents Microsoft at events worldwide and was a speaker most recently at Microsoft Tech Ed Developers EMEA, 2007, SharePoint Best Practices Conference 2009, and the SharePoint Conference 2009.
Spencer is also an instructor for Combined Knowledge, EMEA’s premier SharePoint training provider.
In his spare time (not much of it) 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 and his home town of Manchester, England.
Brett Lonsdale is a SharePoint Developer specializing in the Business Data Catalog, Business Connectivity Services, Aggregation of SharePoint Lists/Libraries and SharePoint Permissions. Brett is the co-founder of Lightning Tools Ltd famous for its product BDC Meta Man. Brett spent 2 years living on Anna Maria Island, FL but now lives back in the UK in Welford Northamptonshire. You can often find Brett on twitter @brettlonsdale, hosting with co hosts Nick Swan and Rob Foster on the SharePointPodShow.com and on his blog www.brettlonsdale.com. Brett has also authored the SharePoint 2007 Developers Guide to the Business Data Catalog which is available from manning.com/lonsdale.
Rob Pratt has over 10 years of training/consultancy experience helping companies to make the most of their IT systems. His training experience has included delivery of technical sessions in products such as Windows Server, Active Directory and Exchange, Web and Database design, VB, VBA, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator and the full Office suite from Office 97 to Office 2007.
After delivering training on many different applications Rob has now settled down to specialise in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. Rob currently spends much of his time teaching Nintex Workflow 2007 and Nintex Workflow 2010, online and in the classroom, he 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 (MCSD, MCSD.NET, MCSE, 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 and 2010 courses for Combined Knowledge and Mindsharp for the past 6 years.
Gary has also spoken about SharePoint at a number of User Groups has contributed courseware modules for both Microsoft and Mindsharp. He is currently writing content for SharePoint 2013.
Custom solutions include:
- Intranet branding and customisation
- Document management and policies,
- Records management including custom email routing and auditor control
- Business Data Management and Reporting using custom workflows and PowerPivot reporting
- Highly customised Search with custom refinements and links opening individual document pages
Gary has developed solutions for organisations such as Accenture, EasyJet, Cambridgeshire County Council and Capita including several charities.
Matt Hantom has over ten years’ experience as an IT trainer and Business Applications Consultant across a broad range of Software applications including the entire MS Office suite with special interests in MS Project and Excel, Crystal Reports, Visual Basic for Apps, C Programming and SharePoint.
Matt has been involved in a variety of Government based projects including the Home Office, the MOD and the British Army REME.
Matt’s experience includes undertaking a project for the development and consultation with the British Embassy in Rome, Italy IT department for conversion and migration to office 2007 from 2003 and training for all the consular staff from the various regions of Italy in Rome for all MS Office applications to include all courseware and core syllabus developed and delivered.
Matt has also helped numerous other organisations with their Office and SharePoint projects to include Lockheed Martin in their roll out of SharePoint for End Users, as part of this Matt designed custom training sessions focused on meeting the individual needs of the Users, Matt also assisted Alliance & Leicester in the development of a bespoke Content Management System utilising Rhythmyx, TROVE and Adobe PageMaker. Matt also devised a three day course covering all the components of the Alliance and Leicester intranet design incorporating soft skills. Home Office - HTML development for extranet which was utilised at all consulates around the Globe.
SharePoint is now Matt’s main area of interest and Matt is heavily involved in the development and delivery of the Combined Knowledge SharePoint course portfolio, delivering sucessfull courses to a variety of organisations and clients of Combined Knowledge on both a public and private basis.
Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife and two boys.
Jacqui has over 15 years' experience in software applications training and courseware development.
Prior to her current role in Combined Knowledge Jacqui has spent a large amount of her career working for a major utility company on 5 consecutive projects. The projects ranged from the major national roll out of a mobile workforce solution to core systems and compliance training. This involved training all levels of staff from field workers to Call Centre employees and management on company bespoke applications. Jacqui has also delivered training on all the Microsoft Office applications in various companies and organisations including the NHS.
Jacqui has now decided after delivering training on many different applications to specialise in SharePoint.
Chris (BSc), previously a SharePoint Administrator for 3 years is now a trainer for Combined Knowledge.
Chris trains our Power End Users with a long term goal of training administrators and developers. Whilst training and studying SharePoint, Chris also develops our End User Adoption solution, contributing content for the product and finding ways to improve its functionality. He has worked on projects with businesses involving large scale SharePoint implementation and has written a course for the new Nintex Forms 2010 product.
Providing IT support and in house training for his previous company, he has 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. He also has a keen interest in development and in the not so distant future would also like to branch off into the world of SharePoint development.Chris lives in Leicester, UK and has an enthusiastic and entertaining approach to training.
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.
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.