Siebel Universal Queuing Administration Guide > Overview of Siebel Universal Queuing > How Siebel Universal Queuing Works >
Each route includes escalation steps which define the skill requirements for an agent to handle the work item. One or more escalation steps can be defined to widen the choice of qualified agents when no agent is available that matches the ideal set of skill requirements for the work item.
When a work item is matched to a route but no qualified agents are currently available to accept the work item, the work item waits in the first escalation step for the next available agent. Each escalation step includes a time limit that a work item can remain queued. When the elapsed time that a work item has been in the step reaches the time limit, the work item is moved to the next escalation step for the route. If a work item remains in the last escalation step beyond its time limit, an alarm is generated and logged.
NOTE: Escalation steps consider agent availability only for real-time work items.