Optimal '22 - The Leadership Summit for Predictive Procurement

Bid Ops is now. Find out why learn more

Why You Need to Attend Optimal 2022

A year ago, Arkestro (formerly Bid Ops) held Optimal. The conference was a recognition that procurement software is a strategic driver for modern business and that AI has become a critical tool for supporting organizations that are under pressure to make better decisions, faster. Optimal wasn’t all presentations, workshops, keynotes, demos, and networking among the 1,000+ participants. As part of the conference, Opti Awards were handed out. These were a celebration of stellar achievement and innovation in the procurement industry. 

If you missed Optimal last year, or were there and benefited from the shared knowledge and experience of fellow procurement professionals, mark March 23 and 24 in your calendar for Optimal ‘22: The Leadership Summit for Predictive Procurement. That is when procurement, sourcing, and CFO leaders from around the globe will be convening in New York City to discuss the strategic issues pressing today’s leading organizations.


What to Expect From an Optimal Conference

Among the topics covered last year were sessions on the power of machine learning to transform sourcing, the business case for sourcing productivity, and the seismic shift caused by subscription culture. 

In addition to the presentations, there were a series of workshops and panels. Among the areas covered with these hands-on sessions were how to select best of breed procurement technologies and best practices for supplier onboarding in digital sourcing operations.

The Opti Awards recognized several notable accomplishments within the industry. Among last year’s winners were BASF for exhibiting innovation in the area of raw materials, UCB for Tactical Sourcing AI Process of the Year, and Holman Enterprises for the category of Tactical Sourcing AI Process of the Year. You can read all about last year’s Opti Awards categories and honorees here. You can also learn details about what makes many of these companies such leaders in procurement innovation through case studies. As an example, be sure to check out this case study on Holman Enterprises.

Want to see first-hand want an Optimal session looks like? Words can’t fully describe the experience of what it’s like to attend an Optimal session or to take in an Optimal keynote. Video does a much better job of capturing the proceedings, and you can view a selection of videos from last year’s Optimal conference here.


How to Get the Most Out of an Optimal Conference

Attending any conference is an investment, and our team has suggestions on how to get the most out of attending. The overall message for procurement teams in attendance is to leverage the knowledge they get at a conference; otherwise, the cost-to-value ratio is too high. 

How do they leverage that knowledge? Here are a few tips on how to do so:

  •   Target your learning by developing a list of sessions you want to be part of, then be sure to take extensive notes
  •   Networking is a big win, but to make the most of the networking opportunity, you should build a list of people you may want to speak to (for example, colleagues or vendors), have an objective for the conversation, and know whether you want to continue with ongoing conversations
  •   Share your notes, summaries, and recordings with your team members


What to Expect From Optimal 2022

Optimal 2022 has an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, including Dr. Elouise Epstein(Partner at Kearney), Joanna Martinez (transformation thought leader and author), Mark Raffan (host and founder of Negotiations Ninja), and Susan Walsh (owner and founder of The Classification Guru). In addition, several of Arkestro trailblazing customers will be presenting. Of course, there will be presentations by senior Arkestro executives, including Founder and CEO Edmund Zagorin and Ben Leiken, Arkestro CTO

Susan Walsh, who will be talking about taxonomy troubles, will be sharing some of her top-secret tips. But you’ll have to be there to find out what they are. According to Susan, “At this event alone, there will be hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of knowledge and expertise, there will be the opportunity to learn from the best and find out what’s current and upcoming in our industry and ask those experts questions. It’s a chance to get ahead of your peers or the competition.”

Mark Raffan will be speaking about predictive negotiation planning and the cost to companies of clinging to the old—inefficient and ineffective—ways of doing things when implementing technology. 

The biggest thing standing in the way of procurement today is clinging to old ways of doing things that are inefficient and ineffective. If technology can dramatically increase productivity and effectiveness and the benefit outweighs the cost of implementation and the cost of doing it the old way, then implementing technology is a no-brainer,” explained Mark.

In addition to the keynote speakers, there will be two days of interactive sessions, CPO & CFO panels, analytics skill workshops, networking, and the ’22 Opti Awards. 

You can see the full list of Optimal 2022 speakers, presenters, and sponsors here.


Optimal 2022: Where and When 

Optimal 2022 will be held on March 23 and 24 at New York’s Fitzpatrick Manhattan Hotel. You can request to attend here.

With factors including inflation, ongoing supply chain disruptions, logistical disruptions, extreme weather events, and the ongoing issue of Omicron, procurement professionals are going to have another challenging year. The case for procurement teams, CPOs and CFOs attending Optimal’22: The Leadership Summit for Predictive Procurement is a strong one, and we hope to see you there.

Related Articles

predictive procurement metrics

Sourcing Education

Top 5 Predictive Procurement Metrics

Arkestro Series A

Feature Announcements

Arkestro Lands $26 Million in Series A Funding

Spend Matters Value Leader

Feature Announcements

Arkestro Named Value Leader in Spring 2022 Spend Matters SolutionMap

Predictive Procurement in Health and Pharma

Sourcing Education

Why Predictive Procurement in Health and Pharma is the Future

How to solve supply chain disruptions

Sourcing Education

How to Solve Supply Chain Disruptions — It’s Not What You Think

predictive procurement in chemical manufacturing

Sourcing Education

How to Use Predictive Procurement in Chemical Manufacturing

Rob DeSantis


As a former co-founder of Ariba running sales, Rob has deep expertise in the procurement space, having helped propel Ariba from zero to $250 million in revenue in four years and IPO of the year in 1999 before its acquisition by SAP a decade later. In addition to co-founding Ariba, Rob was also an early angel investor and board member of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional online network.

More recently, Rob served as an investor and advisor to a small portfolio of companies including Bloom Energy, AEye, Inc., HiQ Labs, Agiloft, USEND and more. He is also a co-founder of Dibbs Technology and TrueParity. Rob holds a BSME from the University of Rhode Island.

Marty Meyer

Chief Financial Officer

A trusted partner and advisor on the executive team, Marty has a unique background having been the CFO of nine venture backed technology companies. Marty has raised over $300M in venture funding and has closed six strategic M&A transactions with a combined value of over $1B. Marty has deep domain expertise in ecommerce, consumer internet, networking, data security, data privacy, media technology and enterprise software industries. Marty is especially experienced in the finance and operations activities of SaaS companies and is driven by data and metrics to help create outstanding customer experiences and drive efficient growth.

Neil Lustig

President and Chief Operating Officer

Neil is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience leading and building teams in Tech. Neil brings insights from a variety of market spaces and company sizes. Most recently Neil was the CEO of GAN Integrity, an innovative SaaS Compliance technology company serving enterprise customers in North America and Europe. Before that Neil was the CEO of Sailthru, a leader in ML driven personalized multi-channel marketing communications for media and e-commerce markets. Prior to that Neil was the CEO of Vendavo, the leader in B2B price optimization and management for large enterprises. Before Vendavo, Neil led the commercial team at Ariba, the market pioneer that defined and created the eProcurement space. Neil served as the GM of Ariba Europe and subsequently the GM of Ariba North America. Neil started his career at IBM where he spent sixteen years, initially as a software developer, and then twelve years in a variety of Sales and Marketing roles


Neil has a BS in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from SUNY Albany. He is a native New Yorker, Brooklyn born, and still resides with his wife and three children in New York City.

Bonnie Adams

Director of People Operations

Bonnie is a People Operations and HR veteran, with over a decade of experience establishing successful people and culture functions for early to mid-stage tech startups going through high growth phases. She has a passion for supporting and creating inclusive and collaborative work environments and is well-versed in driving positive changes in her organizations as a trusted leader. Prior to joining Arkestro Bonnie worked as the People & Culture Coordinator for Ionic Security, helping them scale from 5 to over 200 employees in addition to a $120M funding round. Most recently she was the Head of People & Culture for blockchain innovator Storj Labs and was the Director of Human Resources at PrizePicks, the largest independently owned Daily Fantasy Sports platform in North America.

Arym Diamond

Chief Revenue Officer

Arym Diamond joined Arkestro in January 2022 bringing over 20 years of experience in the enterprise software and consultancy industry.  He is responsible for the worldwide go-to-market revenue strategy. Prior to Arkestro, Arym was Chief Revenue Officer at CalAmp focused on Telematics and Logistics. He also served as the area vice president of North American Sales within the Salesforce.com Enterprise Business unit for Einstein Analytics & AI, where analytics and machine learning were re-imagined for the front office.  Prior to that, he spent over 10 years at Oracle in various sales positions. Arym holds an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and an undergraduate degree from California State University.

Thank you!

Thanks for all your details! We are working hard to prepare the perfect event. The final step for you is to book your hotel room and you can do that by clicking here.

Book a Demo

Find out how Sourcing Enablement with Arkestro means better quotes faster

Arkestro Whitepaper

How to Deliver the Competitive Advantage of a High-Performing Procurement Team