Phil Wainewright at ZDNet has a great post about how Mozilla is making a lot of money (the "bulk" of its $52.9 million in 2006) by including Google as the default search engine for the FireFox browser. It demonstrates another alternative revenue model for business application software vendors. I had previously discussed an ad-supported model and sponsored applications in this post. However, this is a different twist. Vendors would embed links to a variety of paid services into the applications, instead of advertising. Phil uses Skype as an example. If a vendor made a Skype extension the default for telephone number fields in an application, it could negotiate a micropayment deal with Skype for each call made through the link.
There are many opportunities here. Address fields in employee/manager self-service could trigger micropayments for Google Maps or Yahoo! Maps. How about a link on a total compensation statement that takes you to Payscale (a vendor gets a micropayment for each person it sends to Payscale that submits his/her compensation data -- which is automatically pre-populated of course)? This is more subtle than advertising, but could prove also be very lucrative.