Steve Smith

Education / Entrepreneurship



Hi, my name is Steve Smith based out of the UK and I am the founder of Combined Knowledge in the UK and CEO of Mindsharp in the US and I have been a collaboration and infrastructure specialist for the last 30 years.

My company's primary goal since 2003 has been to focus on creating and building customized courseware, solutions and products that work together to enable companies to have a complete education and adoption methodology when deploying Microsoft collaboration products be it on premises, Cloud or Hybrid.

Our current development focus is building productivity, training, support and helpdesk apps that integrate with SharePoint online and on premises as well as Office 365 Apps using Azure AD applications and Office Add-ins. we already have several apps in the market with over 750,000 subscribers.

I am also the founder and organizer of the SharePoint Evolution Conference as well the UK SharePoint User Group since 2006 and have been a Microsoft MCT since 1998 and a SharePoint MVP since 2006, speaking and keynoted at many Microsoft and community events over the last 10 years.

Talk to me about: SharePoint,Hybrid,Office365,Productivity, Adoption,Training


Over the last 30 years I have seen many challenges for companies as technology has progressed but none so challenging and exciting as the current landscape. I see companies struggle to decide if they should remain on-premises with legacy infrastructure or should they move 100% to a hosted service platform like Office 365 removing some of the legacy control and management issues. But that brings with it another set of issues like skills gaps, adoption and data migration not to mention data protection. But not every company wants the evergreen world for everything so they look at hybrid solutions and this adds its own challenges with questions around identity management, connectivity and what systems go where. But hybrid brings control and time frames and I think that the next few years will see hybrid deployments flourishing as a natural stepping stone for the business. They can control the skills gap issue by focusing on specific systems and functionality that will shift to a hosted model in say Azure or Office 365. It’s still early for hybrid though, as the business and provider come to terms with building solutions that can maximize productivity yet remaining cost effective.