In most industries, sales are no longer generated by classic products; instead, the focus is on service. The sale of technical equipment is combined with maintenance services, for example. This combination of material and service components in conjunction with corresponding software components or even the Internet of Things is then referred to as a hybrid service or a hybrid service bundle.

People and technology merge in a socio-technical system and form the Working World 4.0. This new linked working world of the Social Networked Industry increasingly enables companies to develop and offer hybrid services. These novel service bundles consist of the combination of hardware and software, which merge into an innovative, digital business model. For companies, hybrid services offer new opportunities to drive their digital transformation and establish new business models.

The focus is on customer benefits. Similar to a product service system (PSS), the service portion of the bundle is provided over the entire product lifecycle to increase customer value. The service and material parts of a product merge, and a strict division of the two components is no longer possible. Overall, a division of the economy into sectors (such as service or production sector) is no longer appropriate.

This is where hybrid value creation comes into action as a special form of business-related services. This term focuses on the integration of production and services. This form is seen as a way of increasing or maintaining international competitiveness of the production sector and is incorporated into the smart factory project.

The transformation to hybrid services or hybrid value creation will also change supplier-customer relationships, network formation and corporate cooperation and enables them in a completely new way. Pure service providers as well as traditional producers will develop into providers of hybrid products and offer their service bundles on platforms or within the framework of a shared economy. It is conceivable that a complex service will be provided by several companies in the sense of co-production. Different providers share the development and provision of services via a digital platform which ensures that data sovereignty is maintained and coordinates collaboration. This concept is referred to as Sealed Services.