When you think of Spend Management optimization technology, what comes to mind? For me, it is 2 inch think glasses, dandruff, and ivory tower diplomas on the wall -- not exactly the stuff of mainstream procurement in Middle America (or Middle Europe for that matter). Unfortunately, I don't believe that I'm alone in thinking that optimization is a tool that sounds like it's for geeks. Which is too bad, because from what I've heard from vendors such as Emptoris and Combinenet over the years, optimization can generate huge results in tough categories where other sourcing methods come up short. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be interviewing some experts and software developers in the optimization world, and sharing what I learn here at Spend Matters. I'll even share some war stories about helping to develop, productize and market an optimization tool years back. While I can't promise to make optimization sexy, I'll try to demystify it a bit, hopefully winning over some converts in the process who will at least give it a try. If you've got a specific angle on optimization that you'd like me to investigate or discuss, let me know by dropping a line or posting a comment.