"Let them lay out the adoption curve," he said. "Where do they expect to be in a year or two years? For this product, it's key to have live customers in volume on payroll or general ledger, to prove out its ability to handle large companies."
Insight into when the second wave of Fusion will be released would also be helpful to users, since the initial launch will not include a complete set of ERP modules.
"Not all the verticals will be delivered," said Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang. "It's important for Oracle to show what that road map is."
That said, Oracle has clearly positioned Fusion Applications as something users can adopt in modular fashion, at their own pace.
"We don't think all customers are going to replace what they have today with Fusion," Ellison said during his OpenWorld speech last year. "We think they will augment what they have with some Fusion. Fusion is designed to be delivered that way. ... We have replacement applications and then we have net-new applications."
But the company could do more to cement this message, as many customers seem to be under the impression that moving to Fusion Applications will be like other upgrades, according to another user.
"It's far more of a mix-and-match [situation]. You'll decide what you want. It's a different scenario for every user," said Debra Lilley, deputy chairwoman of the UK Oracle User Group and another key liaison to Oracle regarding Fusion.
It would help if Oracle began weaving Fusion Applications information into its presentations for E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customers, she said.
In fairness, Cliff Godwin, the Oracle executive in charge of E-Business Suite, did just that during a recent event Lilley attended, she added.
Meanwhile, Fusion's licensing model is a "phenomenally important" area for Oracle to clarify, Teter said. "We need to hear how that's going to work. What I've been told is we'll get 'like-for-like.' If we're upgrading from [E-Business Suite] financials to Fusion financials that should be a no-cost upgrade. But if it's a new module, that will cost you."
Lilley has a similar understanding. "In our conversations, they've been quite clear that if you own that process now, you'll own that process in Fusion," she said.
But the usability improvements in Fusion Applications are so strong that many companies will likely add user licenses, according to Lilley, who has had extensive hands-on experience with the software.
Another mystery is how open Fusion Applications will be to other vendors' technologies, such as databases.
This is an important point for some Oracle customers. About one-third of PeopleSoft shops are databases other than Oracle, Hamerman estimated. Moving to Fusion therefore potentially entails expensive new license purchases.
Wang expects Oracle to provide some measure of cross-platform compatibility.
"Like any good vendor they will be optimized for their own stack, but that doesn't mean they can't work with others," he said. "The market will dictate that Oracle has to be open enough to participate in other ecosystems."
Oracle did not respond to a request for comment about its plans for Fusion Applications at OpenWorld.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com